Rackspace has announced private-cloud-as-a-service running Red Hat's cut of OpenStack.
Rackspace's definition of “private cloud” is a little different. Most of the rest of the industry imagines the concept as pooling one's on-premises servers so that they behave more like a public cloud, complete with “give me a VM and give it to me now” features that draw resources from a pool of hardware. If that rig sometimes slurps more resources from a public cloud, it's usually called a hybrid cloud.
Rackspace's version of private cloud concept sees it either run the private cloud from its cloud, install a Rackspace-powered rig in your bit barn or cook up a hybrid spanning your data centre, Rackspace's own sheds and those of any third parties you care to work with. OpenStack throws its support offering at the results, promising 99.99 per cent uptime.
Definitions aside, why is Rackspace keen on offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform?
Red Hat's well-used. Many of those users are probably looking for OpenStack and/or private cloud. And Rackspace has just about given up trying to go head-to-head with AWS, Azure and Google as a provider of public cloud, so needs to find new offerings to which it can attach its real differentiator, namely services.
Giving Red Hat's OpenStack the XaaS treatment therefore gives Rackspace a new product with which to push its real money-maker: services.
One other reason is that OpenStack remains a complex creation. RedHat's packaged version may be rather easier for some users to wrangle, giving Rackspace further opportunity to delight. ®