I just joined the product marketing team at Rackspace. A necessary rite of passage for product marketers at Rackspace is to shadow our field teams. Yesterday, I shadowed Rackspace Cloud Advisor Steve Slattery to learn about Rackspace’s Managed Cloud offering from a customer’s perspective.
During my time with Steve, he worked with a new Rackspace customer, a startup that delivers an online public interest platform with predictable traffic and usage. The company is about to launch a major PR event that is going to attract thousands of visitors to its web site in a short period of time.
The CIO of this startup had a challenge: What kind of infrastructure should his online platform have to scale up and out to handle unpredictable bursts of traffic? How can he rest assured that the PR event would not turn into a PR nightmare?
This is where Steve and his skills as a Cloud Advisor come in. The startup’s CIO explained his challenge to Steve. In less than 30 minutes on the phone, Steve and his technical counterpart Ross Taylor inspected the startup’s application architecture, which at that time was monolithic and not exactly designed for scaling. Ross then explained how they can re-architect it in a matter of hours, set up database replication, add load balancers, add more web server instances, set up web site health monitoring and even add a memcached cluster for session performance gains. And it can all be scaled back when the surge is over. All the service related to this event is included in the Managed Cloud offering at no extra cost!
As a new Racker, I was amazed to see the real world problems of a small startup that simply didn't have the resources to configure, manage and operate a dynamic cloud deployment, and how our Cloud Advisors and specialists make these firms successful every day. It's a great feeling to be part of this team.
Technology can do wonderful things, and for businesses that don’t have their own army of cloud operations teams, yet want to take advantage of the scale, agility and cost benefits of cloud, Managed Cloud is the answer.
The cloud solves the problem of scale, not service, and Rackspace adds service to the cloud. For the CIO of the young startup, this is exactly what he wanted from Rackspace; someone he could quickly call to run their IT in the cloud without huge upfront investments in either infrastructure or technical talent.