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Rackspace In The News: Week Ending April 6, 2012

Updates to Rackspace Cloud Sites and the launch of Essex, the latest OpenStack release, took center stage this week, providing the fodder to keep Rackspace in the headlines.

Here we take a look at a few stories which featured Rackspace for the week ending April 6, 2012.

A Deep Dive Into OpenStack

Wired took a strong look at OpenStack in a piece by Cade Metz that dove into the open source cloud software’s history and surmised that it’s the “free cloud software that’s changing everything.” The story paints a picture of OpenStack from its infancy – the coming together of Rackspace and NASA – to now.

Wired write: OpenStack is software anyone can use to build their own version of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, the massively popular web service that gives developers and businesses instant access to virtual servers. The roots of OpenStack stretch back only about four years to a skunk works project inside of NASA, but it has already overturned the status quo in both the private sector and the public. … More than that, their code bases were complementary. While NASA was building Nova, Rackspace had built a platform called Swift. Nova provided virtual servers — i.e., processing power — and Swift provided storage. Whereas Nova mimicked Amazon EC2, Swift was analogous to Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3). At dinner, the two parties resolved to combine the two projects and open source them as one under the banner “OpenStack.”

Server Management Dominates IT Department Time

Citing a Rackspace study that examined how time consuming server management can be, eWeek’s Nathan Eddy showcased that server management and troubleshooting can really tie up IT time. Time spent with server management takes time away from value-added activities, the study revealed.

According to eWeek: IT teams from midsized U.K. and U.S. businesses polled still spend more than half (56 percent) their time on server management and troubleshooting in a typical month, and only 28 percent on strategic, “value-added” activities, according to a survey released by cloud computing specialist Rackspace Hosting. … According to [Rackspace Vice President of Cloud Fabio] Torlini, the way the cloud and managed hosting market is maturing, as suggested by the study, represents a challenge to users and cloud and managed hosting service providers alike. “In 2009, almost two out of five (40 percent) of respondents didn’t know what cloud computing was. In 2012, everybody does, and is looking at it – the benefits and the issues,” he explained. “The challenge for midsized businesses is to stop unnecessarily holding onto their in-house physical servers, and give themselves a chance to focus on more important and valuable work. The challenge for cloud service providers is to provide the right advice and services to help more of them overcome the barriers to doing just this.”

Cloud Sites Updates Take Hold

Over at the Web Host Industry Review, Justin Lee covered recent updates to Rackspace Cloud Sites, the website hosting service, were highlighted. Among the new features is support for a wider range of programming languages, including PHP 5.3 and .NET.

Lee wrote: Web hosting and cloud hosting provider Rackspace announced on Tuesday it is targeting advertising agencies and web design firms with new, enhanced features for its Cloud Sites service that are designed to help companies seamlessly host reliable and scalable websites and blogs.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Andrew Hickey.

Andrew Hickey is chief blog editor at Rackspace, a role in which he helps Rackers, customers and partners tell their stories. Andrew comes to Rackspace following many years as a journalist, more than half of which were spent covering high tech and Rackspace. When not writing, Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife and his dog, and spinning punk rock vinyl. If you have an idea for the Rackspace Blog, track down Andrew at andrew.hickey@rackspace.com.


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