Rackspace buys cloud-server management start-up Cloudkick

Deal for undisclosed sum gives Texas-based vendor stronger Silicon Valley presence

Cloud computing and IT hosting company Rackspace on Thursday announced the acquisition of cloud-server management applications start-up Cloudkick for an undisclosed sum. Texas-based Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) is a major player in enterprise cloud, colocation and hosting, focusing on providing infrastructure for customers' own cloud software. (Also see: Rackspace adds management to cloud offering)

Cloudkick, based in San Francisco, provides dashboard applications designed to allow customers to manage and monitor servers across multiple providers. The company, originally funded by seed-funding specialist Y Combinator, claims among its clients the Mozilla Foundation, music industry giant EMI, investigative journalism non-profit ProPublica, video-sharing website Vimeo and automated test equipment vendor National Instruments. In addition, Cloudkick is an active member of the OpenStack community, the open-source cloud project founded by Rackspace. Rackspace chief strategy officer Lew Moorman, in a statement announcing the acquisition, said, “Until now, the cloud has been about automating hardware and making it more agile and efficient. But as cloud computing has made it easier to launch servers, companies launch a lot more of them, and use many of them inefficiently — and even lose track of some. Cloudkick brings order to that chaos and sprawl.” Cloudkick founder Alex Polvi said, “We built Cloudkick to make the lives of system administrators easier. With the support of Rackspace we look forward to fulfilling our vision, while getting our tools directly into the hands of customers as they adopt cloud computing.” Earlier this week Rackspace announced it has added managed services to its cloud offering. Rackspace shares opened trading Thursday down 72 cents, or 2.3 percent, to 30.40. Nonetheless, the company's stock is trading near its 52-week high of 32.69, which it hit last Friday. Through Wednesday's close, shares were up 49.3 percent in 2010 and 100 percent since June 8.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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