Rackspace Cloud Servers vs the cloud giants
From its humble origins, Rackspace has grown into a global company with more than 200,000 customers in 120 countries and $1.8 billion in annual revenue. They have more than 5700 employees (called rackers) on four continents. However, Rackspace cloud servers have been facing aggressive competition from the big players: AWS, Azure, and Google, and even from some of the smaller public clouds that populate various niche markets. That competition, along with management changes and a sinking stock price have raised questions about Rackspace’s ability to stay in the race and survive the public cloud war.
Can Rackspace rely on some unique selling points while fighting off competition from both the giants and niche public cloud providers?
What do Rackspace cloud servers have going for them?
Two things: customer support and OpenStack. Each of these adds its own significant value.
Rackspace prides itself on its “Fanatic Support” – a term coined back in 1999 by VP of Customer Care, David Bryce, to capture the essence of the company’s customer service philosophy. While not everyone in the industry will necessarily agree on the ultimate quality of the results, Rackspace aims to offer its customers more than “the basic break-fix support.”
Fanatical support is meant to make Rackspace’s team an “extension to the customer’s team,” providing customers with 24/7 access to the knowledge and experts they’ll need to get their desired results. Rackspace trains and evaluates their employees based on criteria designed for Fanatical Support and customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.
“Fanatical Support” is a product of Rackspace’s early focus on providing managed cloud services. Rackspace cloud servers deliver better value, the company believes, because the “highest performance and cost-efficiency come when you combine infrastructure with specialized expertise.” Relying on managed services can relieve you of some of the responsibility for infrastructure monitoring.
2) OpenStack (and hybrid clouds)
Rackspace, with NASA, is the founder of the open source project OpenStack, and the operator of the largest OpenStack public cloud. Enterprises that choose to use OpenStack on their Rackspace cloud servers will, by design, avoid the potential costs of vendor lock-in, because they’re always free to migrate to some other platform or even to their own data centers. And that’s no small consideration.
Building on OpenStack, Rackspace plans to position itself as number one in the hybrid cloud market. They believe that the traditional multi-tenant public cloud approach used by the giant public clouds is not necessarily an enterprise’s best choice.
How Rackspace cloud servers compare
Rackspace vs the giants
AWS, with their massive economies of scale and near-constant new feature rollouts, has announced price reductions tens of times since their launch in 2006, and Google and Azure are not far behind. Practically speaking, Rackspace simply can’t expect to go head-to-head with the Big Three on either price or features. Betting on Rackspace becoming a player in the mainstream general cloud computing market would, therefore, not be particularly wise. Whatever space they do manage to carve for themselves will, therefore, have to leverage their two core strengths.
Rackspace vs niche public cloud providers
“Niche cloud providers” are cloud providers who, like Rackspace, lack the resources and infrastructure to compete in the open cloud market. Niche providers whose business models overlap with Rackspace include CloudSigma (who, broadly speaking, wish to be known for better performance, simpler hardware setups, and flexibility), Digital Ocean (developer-focused and super-fast provisioning), ProfitBricks (the InfiniBand high-speed network connectivity), and SoftLayer (integration and automation).
Rackspace cloud servers run on a mature and reliable platform, but they face stiff competition from the industry. The company really has no choice but to focus on their niche and differentiate themselves through customer service and specialization (OpenStack). Joining the ongoing price war would definitely not end well for Rackspace, and it might well put them out of the race altogether.
In my opinion, the survival of Rackspace as an IaaS public cloud will depend on keeping their customers addicted to their “Fanatical Support” and on successfully marketing their OpenStack and hybrid cloud philosophy. Rackspace is already known for some SaaS cloud services like Microsoft Exchange, so there’s promise in focusing more on SaaS and PaaS. Niche public cloud providers compete with Rackspace cloud servers but they don’t greatly threaten their existing position. However over time they, too, might reduce Rackspace’s piece of the public cloud pie.
New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More
Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...
Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration
What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...
Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud
Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...
New on Cloud Academy: AZ-900 Exam Update; MS-100 Exam Prep; PRINCE2 Foundation; Azure, Kubernetes, and Google Hands-on Labs; and Much More
This month, our Content Team really kicked it into overdrive with tons of new content. If you're Team Azure, then you'll be amazed at the number of Azure Courses and Hands-on Labs we published this month alone! At any time, you can find all of our new releases by going to our Training ...
How to Get Hands-on Experience on AWS, Azure, and GCP: Lab Challenges
Meaningful cloud skills require more than book knowledge. Hands-on experience is required to translate knowledge into real-world results. We see this time and time again in studies about how kids and adults best learn — doing the actual learning task is key. Hands-on Labs and Lab Challe...
Which Certifications Should I Get?
As we mentioned in an earlier post, the old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and compan...
New on Cloud Academy: ITIL® 4, Microsoft 365 Tenant, Jenkins, TOGAF® 9.1, and more
At Cloud Academy, we're always striving to make improvements to our training platform. Based on your feedback, we released some new features to help make it easier for you to continue studying. These new features allow you to: Remove content from “Continue Studying” section Disc...
Cloud Migration Risks & Benefits
If you’re like most businesses, you already have at least one workload running in the cloud. However, that doesn’t mean that cloud migration is right for everyone. While cloud environments are generally scalable, reliable, and highly available, those won’t be the only considerations dri...
Google Cloud Functions vs. AWS Lambda: The Fight for Serverless Cloud Domination
Serverless computing: What is it and why is it important? A quick background The general concept of serverless computing was introduced to the market by Amazon Web Services (AWS) around 2014 with the release of AWS Lambda. As we know, cloud computing has made it possible for users to ...
New on Cloud Academy: CISSP, AWS, Azure, & DevOps Labs, Python for Beginners, and more…
As Hurricane Dorian intensifies, it looks like Floridians across the entire state might have to hunker down for another big one. If you've gone through a hurricane, you know that preparing for one is no joke. You'll need a survival kit with plenty of water, flashlights, batteries, and n...
How to Unlock Complimentary Access to Cloud Academy
Are you looking to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Cloud Security, Python, Java, or another technical skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendars for August 23, 2019. Starting Friday at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), Cloud Academy is offering c...
Content Roadmap: AZ-500, ITIL 4, MS-100, Google Cloud Associate Engineer, and More
Last month, Cloud Academy joined forces with QA, the UK’s largest B2B skills provider, and it put us in an excellent position to solve a massive skills gap problem. As a result of this collaboration, you will see our training library grow with additions from QA’s massive catalog of 500+...