Rackspace combines cloud with managed hosting

New services come to UK next year

By Maxwell Cooter, Techworld |  On-demand Software, managed hosting, Rackspace

While service provider customers have had to choose between traditional managed hosting and cloud services, Rackspace is set to introduce a product that combines both.

[ ITworld's Kevin Fogarty: Cloud Computing Still Too Exciting; Feds, Rackspace Try to Dull It Up a Little ]

Cloud Connect, which has just been released from beta, combines the scalability and cost benefits of the Rackspace Cloud with the security and configurability of dedicated managed hosting said Rackspace.

One of Rackspace's customers has already signed up for the service. "As a growing company with millions of users, we have significant scaling requirements that are being addressed very successfully with Rackspace's Hybrid Hosting approach," said Brian Corrigan, CTO, Major League Gaming. "We wanted the best of both worlds - dedicated physical hardware for our performance-intensive applications as well as the on-demand scalability provided by the Rackspace Cloud to drive our high-traffic live events. This combination allows us to continually tailor our environment to deliver the best experience for our gamers.

Cloud Connect is being rolled out in the US currently. According to a Rackspace spokesman, "Managed services and cloud infrastructure must be in the same data centre for Cloud Connect to work. However Cloud Connect will be available in the UK in 2011 when Rackspace launches the UK's first cloud infrastructure - first Beta in January and for general availability from February.

The company has also introduced a new premium service, Critical Sites, designed to support its customers' most important websites. Companies whose businesses are strongly dependent on its web presence are particularly vulnerable to poor performance. According to a survey last month from CA Technologies, only 14% of retailers were confident that their websites were always able to respond to customer demand.

Critical Sites allows customers to identify issues before they affect end users and quickly address any problems that do occur. Customers of the service will be able to call on a range performance management tools that will allow enterprises to get a feel for their customers' real experience. The tools have been designed to increase peak application performance and availability, and ensure that the infrastructure functions at the optimal level to support the business.

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