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Rackspace managed VMware service provides AWS steppingstone

A new multi-cloud platform from Rackspace seeks to take advantage of customer experience with VMware technology and the need to tap public cloud services, such as AWS.

Rackspace has launched Rackspace Managed VMware Cloud on AWS, a multi-cloud offering that aims to couple customers'...

familiarity with VMware products with the ability to tap Amazon Web Services.

Rackspace, a managed hosting company based in San Antonio, said it expects the new multi-cloud service will help customers with standard workflows, consistent APIs, easier access to native services across clouds and manageable geographic expansion. Other benefits, the company said, include better compliance with data sovereignty policies.

Rackspace also said its next-generation cloud offering delivers greater flexibility for customers to run each VMware workload in the environments that customers' prefer, whether in VMware Cloud on AWS, in their own data center or hosted in a particular geographic location. The multi-cloud platform also provides the consistency of a unified infrastructure that bridges private and public clouds, the company said. VMware Cloud on AWS became available in mid-2017.

In other partnering moves, Apps Associates LLC, a professional services firm in Acton, Mass., unveiled a managed VMware Cloud on AWS offering in conjunction with AWS' re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

Service lineup

In addition to providing certified experts to help customers manage their multi-cloud platform environments, Rackspace will offer a number of services to support customers to run workloads on VMware Cloud on AWS, said Peter FitzGibbon, vice president and general manager of Rackspace managed services for VMware. Rackspace is a 10-year VMware partner.

"Rackspace will provide services across a number of areas, including initial workload assessment, solution architecture, migration, build, workload optimization and iterative transformation of the workload," FitzGibbon said.

Rackspace, he added, has created a center of excellence that will include experts in VMware and AWS. The company has more than 1,000 AWS certifications.

At a glance: Rackspace Managed VMware Cloud on AWS

  • Consulting for multi-cloud implementation. Rackspace offers consulting services, with certified experts who can guide customers' choices across architectures during data migration and with cloud transformation strategies.
  • Building, financing and maintaining multi-cloud. Customers that have difficulty migrating to a multi-cloud solution can tap Rackspace's engineers to help build, migrate, operate and optimize their VMware Cloud on AWS. Rackspace also provides consolidated billing, support teams and will offer monitoring and troubleshooting services across multiple clouds.
  • Center of excellence. Rackspace has established a center of excellence that includes practitioners in VMware and AWS technology. Company personnel provide cross-platform expertise, as well as new strategies for consuming native AWS offerings from VMware workloads.

Transforming workloads

Rackspace will provide services across a number of areas, including initial workload assessment, solution architecture, migration, build, workload optimization and iterative transformation of the workload.
Peter FitzGibbonvice president and general manager of Rackspace managed services for VMware

FitzGibbon said the goal is to support customers transforming their workloads to take advantage of native AWS offerings in an iterative fashion over time. He noted the Rackspace Managed VMware Cloud on AWS offering lets customers access native AWS products, while still running on familiar VMware technology, using consistent VMware APIs.

"Customers seeking to expand to new geographic regions will also find this solution appealing, where workloads can be quickly moved to run in a number of AWS availability zones globally," FitzGibbon said.

He said the new managed VMware Cloud on AWS offering also provides services "that we are traditionally known for on our existing VMware products." Those services include Rackspace's 24/7 support. He said the company's payment approach will also appeal to customers.

 "We offer an alternative commercial structure for customers, where they pay a monthly fee for our services that eliminate the need for large capital purchases and multiyear licensing agreements," FitzGibbon said.

Additional reporting by John Moore.

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