Rackspace says it will be teaming up with HPE to build a private cloud service that bills customers based on usage.
Starting on November 28, the two will offer the OpenStack Private Cloud as either a pay-per-VM hour (or per Gb transferred) service with a billing structure similar to public clouds like Amazon AWS.
Unlike public clouds, however, Rackspace says its service gives enterprise customers a dedicated single-tenant managed HPE box that can be hosted by Rackspace, the customer, or at a colocation space. Additional boxes can then be added and switched on as needed, with the customer again only paying for the compute resources it uses.
The idea, says Rackspace EVP of private cloud Scott Crenshaw, is to give large enterprise customers the ability to set up and consume data on an isolated private cloud the way they would a scalable public cloud.
While smaller companies are still better-suited for public clouds, Crenshaw said that in the case of large enterprises managing hundreds of applications, a private cloud remains more practical, especially when compliance requirements are in play.
For those companies, Rackspace believes, a pay-as-you-go option on a managed private cloud will be an attractive option.
"Our goal isn't to get into a price war with Amazon," Crenshaw told The Register. "This is a new page in the private cloud market, because you can consume private cloud like a public cloud."
While OpenStack will be the only private cloud platform to be offered on the service at launch, Rackspace says it does not want the service to be tied exclusively to one product, and expansions to both VMware SDDC and Microsoft's AzureStack are set to launch over the next year or so.
"I'm seeing more and more buyers who are not advocates of a particular cloud technology stack," Crenshaw said.
"CIOs are becoming buyers of cloud, they are looking at the richness of the service cloud and then the SLAs."
The new Private Cloud service will also not be a single vendor effort. Both Rackspace and HPE say they will have their respective sales teams looking to flog the service to large enterprise customers. ®