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Rackspace In The News: Week Ending March 30, 2012

Rackspace continued to clobber the headlines this week, with OpenStack, Rackspace services and our social media team taking center stage and stealing some ink.

Let’s take a look at a few of the stories in which Rackspace made an appearance this week.

Cloud Services Changing The Game

GigaOM’s Barb Darrow showcased Rackspace’s customer advisory services in a piece that examined how cloud providers are upping their consulting services games. Rackspace Vice President of Technical Sales Lisa Larson broke down how Rackspace’s cloud-readiness assessment service works and how it helps customers determine what should go into the cloud.

According to the story: At this stage of the game, most companies know at least some of the benefits of cloud computing —  the ease of capex vs. opex budgeting, simpler rollout of standard applications and processes, etc. … Rackspace is launching a cloud-readiness assessment program to help customers who want to do cloud figure out which of their applications and data should make the move first, said Lisa Larson, VP of technical sales for the San Antonio, Texas,-based hosting company and cloud service provider. Rackspace architects can walk customer reps through their budget and timeframe, review their current applications and come up with a deployment roadmap.

OpenStack’s Appeal

In a Bloomberg Businessweek piece, Ashlee Vance examined OpenStack and how it differs from its competitors in the cloud market. In the article, Rackspace CTO John Engates dishes on the benefits of OpenStack and where it plays in the cloud marketplace and notes that the fifth OpenStack Design Summit is on the horizon.

Bloomberg Businessweek noted: The big pitch around OpenStack is that it offers an open-source competitor to the closed cloud services of Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and a handful of others. In that sense, it’s a lot like Linux—a standard system that lots of companies got behind at the expense of Microsoft’s Windows and proprietary versions of Unix from Sun, HP, and IBM.

“We’re coming up on our fifth design summit, and the conferences are getting bigger and bigger,” says John Engates, chief technology officer at Rackspace. “The number of companies that have joined has also exceed our expectations.” … “We see a lot of people who have started their businesses on Amazon and then want to diversify and sometimes have their own cloud,” Engates says. “The more a company starts to build into Amazon’s unique constructs and architectures, the more likely [it is] to be stuck there. This is the year I think we will see quite a number of companies try out the OpenStack approach.”

Spotlight On Social Media

In a Forbes piece, contributor Shel Israel examines how Rackspace’s social media team, and how three of its players, Rob La Gesse, Robert Scoble and Rocky Barbanica, are taking a new approach to social media that is less about push marketing, and more about people marketing.

Forbes’ Israel Wrote: When I heard that Rob La Gesse had recruited the video team of Robert Scoble and Rocky Barbanica away from Fast Company to join Rackspace, I really didn’t know what to think.  I knew, liked and wanted to see all three of these people succeed, but I had a bad feeling this relationship was going to be like those of couples who get married at midnight in Las Vegas, and wake up the next morning wondering what they had been thinking. … La Gesse encouraged Scoble and Barbanica to just keep doing what they had been doing since they first teamed up in 2007, interviewing whoever they wanted to do. They were not steered to Rackspace customers, and when they selected one by coincidence, Rackspace was rarely mentioned in the interview.

Hanging Out At The Mall

The Economist this week took a hard look at America’s struggling shopping malls and how some are breathing new breath thanks to businesses moving in. Rackspace’s Castle headquarters, the former Windsor Park Mall, was the main attraction to open the piece.

According to the article:  “Nobody wants a mall any more,” says John Engates, the chief technology officer. Except Rackspace, and others like it, who have come to see a dead mall as a blank canvas. In 2008 it opened its new headquarters, and won a prize for community economic development. Now it has more than 3,000 workers on site, with plans to hire hundreds more by the end of the year … Freestanding conference rooms adorn the walkways, their glass walls cut from the old shopfronts. A loading dock has been converted into a presentation room, with a rolling industrial door so that groups can spill over outside. Workers can take a break from their desks to work at a bistro table, or check in at the human-resources kiosk, or play catch in the vaulted interior. “I don’t think people think about it as a mall any more,” says Mr. Engates. Some might think about it as an example.

We’re Hiring

And lastly, Fox News, in a piece on jobs, highlighted Rackspace as a great place to work and noted some of the perks that employees, ie. Rackers, receive. The spot also noted that Rackspace currently has a host of positions open.

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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