Authored by Toby Owen, Senior Manager, Hybrid Cloud Solutions
A year ago, to the day actually, we announced general availability of RackConnect®, the Rackspace® Hosting solution to integrate dedicated and cloud hosting into a single solution. It’s hard to believe it’s been a full year since the launch, and we’ve been hard at work since then. We’ve seen adoption grow from a few customers to a significant portion of our customer base. We’ve seen RackConnect open up architectures and solutions that we hadn’t even dreamed of a year ago. And most importantly, we’ve listened to you about what works and what needs improvement.
Today, I have the distinct privilege of announcing the launch of a new and improved RackConnect, "RackConnect 2.0" if you will. It's packed with improvements and features that you told us were important. While there are still lots more improvements in the works, here are some of the highlights we are pleased to offer you, as part of the new-and-improved RackConnect solution.
1. More Automation - We've fully automated the provisioning of your Cloud Servers™. Once Cloud Servers are built, they are already fully connected to the rest of your hosting environment. We've also created a portal interface to allow you to manage your entire RackConnect configuration in one place.
2. More Security Features - You can now set a network security policy for your entire hosting environment, and it's automatically applied and managed across your dedicated firewall, load balancer, and Cloud Servers. This includes managing a software firewall on each of your cloud servers.
3. More Availability – We’re excited to announce RackConnect on a wider variety of networking platforms, including an entry level firewall; which should make RackConnect a great option for a cloud customer wanting a dedicated firewall.
Network security policy management should be an exciting feature, since it allows you to create a policy for communication to, from, and within your environment ONE TIME, and have that policy applied AUTOMATICALLY as you scale up and down in the cloud. This creates a managed security perimeter for your entire hybrid infrastructure at Rackspace.
Also, it's good to point out that RackConnect can provide secure connections from your own IT infrastructure to the Rackspace Cloud. By terminating a VPN tunnel or leased line at Rackspace, you have a secure way to move workloads to and from Rackspace, or to manage your environment remotely. When used in conjunction with RackConnect, you can now link your datacenter or IT infrastructure directly to the Rackspace Cloud!
We’ve also created some additional content on our website to detail the ways in which Rackspace customers are using RackConnect to help solve their IT needs. This content includes more product features, details on some of the top use cases, and some customer testimonials, including one from Vevo. Watch the Vevo video or download and read their case study now.
One more thing to note, in the spirit of full transparency (a core value of Rackspace) - for current RackConnect customers, we won't be able to upgrade you to the new feature set of RackConnect for a few more weeks. Upgrading customers should be a simple and flawless experience. In order to provide this experience to our customers, we need a bit more time to finish some additional tools to aid in the upgrade process. We know it's important to you that your hosting environment stays up and stable and we think the upgrade will be worth the wait! Thanks for your patience. We'll update you when we're ready to offer you the chance to upgrade (upgrading to the new RackConnect features will be opt-in, by the way).
We look forward to discussing these new RackConnect features with you further. If you'd like more information, please contact a member of our Sales team; or if you're already a Rackspace customer, please contact your Account team.