Launch App-Centric OpenStack Clouds with RightScale and Rackspace

RightScale just added more functionality for the Rackspace Open Cloud, which is based on OpenStack, the massively scalable open source cloud operating system. Now RightScale customers can take advantage of even more features for managing their Open Cloud Servers. Plus they can now connect to their OpenStack clouds and manage them through the RightScale dashboard.

The new RightScale features and functionality that enable our customers to manage their applications on Rackspace Open Cloud Servers include:

  • Support for all Rackspace regions – Chicago, Dallas, and London
  • Support for Cloud Files
  • Support for Cloud Block Storage (NEW!)
  • RightImagesTM and MultiCloud ImagesTM for CentOS 6.3, Ubuntu 12.04
  • RightImages and MultiCloud images for Windows 2008 R2 (NEW!)
  • 15+ RightScale ServerTemplatesTM from LAMP All-In-Ones to SQL Server
  • Get more details about RightScale support for Rackspace Open Cloud

To take advantage of all the new RightScale features to manage scalable and highly available applications on the Rackspace Open Cloud, sign up for a free trial of RightScale.

Also New in the RightScale Dashboard: OpenStack Private Cloud

OpenStack now has some 8,300 members from 87 countries, including a Who’s Who of Silicon Valley. Ann Winblad, a venture capitalist and a managing director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, told, “OpenStack has won the race to become the standard, and it has done it rapidly. We’ve made some investments around the software-defined data center, and OpenStack is a key component. It is the OS for the cloud.”

Our latest release includes public beta support for OpenStack Folsom as well as Rackspace Private Cloud, which tracks to the open source trunk and is our recommended software package for OpenStack. RightScale customers can speed their adoption and onboarding to OpenStack by choosing the Rackspace Private Cloud configuration coupled with RightScale.

Using our joint solution, customers will benefit from an application-lifecycle management solution to manage and migrate workloads across Rackspace public and private clouds with consistent governance and monitoring, all of which is backed by no-handoff technical support. Among the many vendors supporting OpenStack, Rackspace Private Cloud offers one of the most established and stable solutions. If you’re an OpenStack user, you can access OpenStack from your current RightScale account or, if you don’t have an account, sign up for a free trial.

To get a deeper perspective on what the joint RightScale/Rackspace solution means for customers, we spoke to Rackspace Private Cloud Product Marketing Manager Duan van der Westhuizen about OpenStack, industry trends, and the Rackspace partnership with RightScale.

Why is OpenStack becoming so popular for the enterprise? 
Duan:  A major factor is the pace of innovation that can be achieved with an open source technology. A community of thousands together can innovate at a pace that far outweighs a single company. A proprietary vendor simply cannot match what a global community can deliver over the long term. As Rackspace Private Cloud stays as close to the OpenStack trunk as possible, we evolve along with the rapid development within the OpenStack code base. OpenStack is made up of a technical meritocracy of some of the best and brightest minds in the industry, voted on by a community of users, and this collective knowledge is passed on directly to our customers. You’re not going to get that kind of innovation from a single software vendor. 

What do you see as the main value that customers receive when they use Rackspace Private Cloud and RightScale? 
Duan:  Customers are testing OpenStack now, whether it’s in the corner of the data center or under someone’s desk. You can’t scale using that approach. With RightScale managing a Rackspace Private Cloud, you have the best of both worlds – on-demand resources that you can provision across the enterprise. The RightScale and Rackspace approach is to be able to do this at scale with deep management functionality and integration. 

Migration to cloud is a big challenge. What kinds of choices affect customer risk and the success of cloud projects?
Duan:  We see major risks around high switching costs. Every time you decide to change to a different proprietary vendor you suffer high costs, and not all of them are financial in nature. Added complexity, retraining of staff, software acquisition cycles – all these components add additional overhead. Organizational change is painful to absorb, so why not pick a technology platform that allows you to switch vendors easily? OpenStack provides this freedom. You decide on OpenStack and you are done with decisions, you just have to do the deployment – though of course deployment isn’t trivial.

We expect most private clouds, even if they are not on Rackspace, to be powered by OpenStack. We intend to prove our value through our cloud operations expertise and world-class support for customers running on clouds powered by OpenStack. This is what we’ve always done with our Fanatical Support model. Plus OpenStack was founded by Rackspace and NASA, so we know our fair share about running clouds powered by the OpenStack cloud operating system.

How does the RightScale and Rackspace partnership help customers launch successful OpenStack projects?
Duan:  Well, the two companies have invested in OpenStack together. We’ve worked on integrating Rackspace services into RightScale for many years now, first with the public services and now with private. We’ve even worked out integration with RackConnect, Rackspace’s service that integrates cloud resources with traditional hosting, for customers in transition from legacy systems to cloud. We have a joint no-handoff support process, for example. RightScale customers say that hybrid cloud is likely to become their dominant deployment model. We know where the customers are headed, and we’re building in the flexibility to manage multiple clouds. No one has as many years providing multi-cloud management as RightScale, so that’s why it’s a perfect partner for Rackspace.

To get started with RightScale and Rackspace, sign up for a free trial.