Rackspace Launches Fanatical Support for Microsoft Azure Stack

LONDON. – July 10, 2017 – Rackspace® today announced from the Microsoft Inspire conference in Washington D.C. Fanatical Support® for Microsoft Azure Stack, which will make the hybrid cloud solution accessible to organizations of all sizes, regardless of cloud skills or expertise. As a launch-day global partner supporting Microsoft Azure Stack, Rackspace will offer 24x7x365 operational support and expertise for Azure Stack to provide a simplified and seamless support experience for Azure Stack deployments as well as the associated workloads it supports. Rackspace also announced the availability of a hosted single node of the Azure Stack Development Kit, which customers can leverage to do proof of concepts.

By providing a consistent experience across Azure and Azure Stack, including portal, APIs, and service architecture, Azure Stack enables customers to realize the flexibility and agility of the first true hybrid cloud solution. With Azure Stack, enterprises can pivot between public and private clouds using the same application code base, providing increased flexibility across locations while still maintaining the security and control of a single-tenant environment. According to Gartner, 72 percent of enterprises will be pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy by 2018 with the bulk of traditional IT workloads shifting to private cloud rather than public cloud over the next 5 years.[1]

The benefits of Azure Stack are optimized when it is configured and managed to help ensure cost effectiveness and deliver high reliability, efficiency and utilization. Fanatical Support for Azure Stack helps enterprises navigate and achieve these goals through unique benefits including:

  • Full-Stack Fanatical Support – Rackspace offers an end-to-end, centralized support experience across hardware, networking and platform components of Azure Stack, including virtual machines and other gear running inside Azure Stack and public Azure. Experts leverage deep Azure expertise to architect, deploy and operate customers’ Azure Stack environments, as well as proactively monitor and maintain the health of customers’ private clouds 24x7x365.
  • Singular, Highly-Skilled Point of Contact – Rackspace operates as customers’ single point of contact, including working with numerous vendors that ship solutions on top of Azure Stack. Dedicated Azure Stack engineers and account managers go beyond break-fix support, providing customers with expert guidance as well as conducting proactive maintenance, updates and planning as Azure Stack evolves along with public Azure.
  • Ongoing Security – Rackspace integrates a customer’s existing Azure Active Directory with their Azure Stack cloud to help ensure a consistent and secure user experience.  Rackspace experts perform application and infrastructure assessments for security hardening, and offer enhanced security services for customers that must meet security or regulatory compliance requirements. Customers can also choose to host their Azure Stack cloud in Rackspace data centers, which are HITRUST certified.
  • Experience and Expertise – Rackspace uses its extensive expertise gained from supporting Azure, Hyper-V and other Microsoft technologies at scale, to help customers make a successful transition to Azure Stack. With more than 15 years of Microsoft experience, Rackspace operates one of the largest Azure managed services practices worldwide. Rackspace is the only five-time Microsoft Hosting Partner of the Year and holds 11 Microsoft technical competencies and more than 1,000 technical Microsoft certifications.

According to Garter, “Rackspace is the market leader in industrialized private cloud IaaS. Its industrialized private cloud offerings are thoughtfully constructed, more automated than most competing offerings and operated in a fashion that allows Rackspace to deliver reliable, well-supported services at economical prices and at scale. It is technology-neutral, with solutions based on VMware®, Microsoft and OpenStack® platforms. It is one of the only providers to currently support Azure Stack in technical preview, as a proof of concept.”

“Azure Stack is well-positioned to become the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution, but many customers will need help operating it at scale to realize its full benefits,” said Ramakant Pandrangi, vice president and general manager of Microsoft Clouds at Rackspace. “Through Fanatical Support for Azure Stack, Rackspace will make the solution accessible to organizations of all sizes.”

“As a long-time Microsoft partner, Rackspace has gained significant hybrid cloud expertise through managing Microsoft private cloud and Azure public cloud for more than two years,” continued Pandrangi. “We’ve been working closely with Microsoft since the first Technical Preview of Azure Stack to ensure Rackspace is the go-to provider for support for customers at any stage in their adoption of the platform, regardless of hybrid cloud skills or expertise – from testing with a single-node proof of concept, to deploying a production-ready Azure Stack cloud backed by Rackspace expertise and Fanatical Support. We are excited to be an at-launch partner for Azure Stack and look forward to our continued collaboration with Microsoft in the future.”

In addition to Fanatical Support for Azure Stack, Rackspace has worked closely with Microsoft to provide a stable test environment where businesses can test non-production workloads in a hosted single node Azure Stack Development Kit. This proof of concept is available on flexible, month-to-month contract terms and is deployed on Rackspace Rapid Deployment hardware.

“Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, providing new ways for our customers to build hybrid applications,” said Mike Schutz, general manager, Cloud Platform at Microsoft Corp. “Rackspace brings great experience with and expertise on Microsoft technologies, and offers great value in the managed services they can provide across Azure and Azure Stack. We look forward to working together with Rackspace to maximize customer value for Azure Stack.”

The Rackspace Azure Stack proof of concept is now generally available to customers. General availability and delivery for Fanatical Support for Azure Stack is expected in the second half of 2017. For more information about the Rackspace Azure Stack proof of concept and Fanatical Support for Azure Stack, visit https://www.rackspace.com/microsoft/microsoft-azure-stack

1 Gartner, Data Center Conference Survey, 2016
2 Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide, 2017

About Rackspace
Rackspace, the #1 managed cloud company, helps businesses tap the power of cloud computing without the complexity and cost of managing it all on their own. Rackspace engineers deliver specialized expertise, easy-to-use tools, and Fanatical Support® for leading technologies including AWS, Google, Microsoft, OpenStack and VMware. The company serves customers in 150 countries, including more than half of the FORTUNE 100. Rackspace was named a leader in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers, Worldwide, and has been honored by Fortune, Forbes, and others as one of the best companies to work for. Learn more at www.rackspace.com.

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Steve Vinall
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