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Rackspace does tech support for popular languages on its cloud

Getting all fanatical about SDKs – for free

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Rackspace Hosting has spent the past six months putting together a set of officially sanctioned software development kits and runtime environments for popular programming languages to run on its eponymous infrastructure cloud, and now it is ready to offer tech support for those SDKs when companies deploy applications on the Rackspace Cloud.

You don't have to use the Rackspace SDKs for Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, and .NET if you want to code applications to run on the Texan's heavenly infrastructure, of course. But as Rackspace explained in a blog in October when the SDKs for Java and PHP were released and some of the others were in preview, the idea is to craft the SDK so it works well with the OpenStack cloud controller and hooks into the Rackspace management APIs and physical infrastructure.

As part of Rackspace Developer Support, which company president Lew Moorman announced in a blog, the idea is to give customers who run applications on the Rackspace Cloud and who have a tech support contract advice on how to use the Rackspace APIs and make best use of the SDKs. Developer Support also helps find and resolve problems in the customer application stack when the issue relates to the APIs or SDK.

And apparently this additional level of tech support is being provided for free if customers have an existing support contract for infrastructure services. This is sure to make Wall Street very happy, indeed.

"Providing you a simple and strong SDK is only part of the puzzle to make your life easier," writes Moorman. "The other piece is to make sure you have Fanatical Support when you use them. Therefore, when you or your developer are writing code against our APIs or SDKs and you have a question, let us know. We'll give you answers and even take a look at the code you've written around the use of the APIs or SDKs. If the problem is in your application code, we'll even help you fix it."

El Reg is trying to find out what the service-level agreement is for the SDKs and what kind of response time is available for Developer Support. We'll update this article when we find out.

The Java SDK put together by Rackspace is based on the jclouds open source library, which is supported on over 30 different clouds. It requires the Oracle JDK version 6 or higher as well.

The PHP SDK was actually created by Rackspace itself and is called php-opencloud and is based on PHP version 5.3 and the PHP CURL library extension. The Python SDK is based on Python 2.7, was created by Rackspace as well, and is called pyrax.

The Ruby SDK tapped by Rackspace is based on the Ruby Fog cloud services library and officially supports Ruby 1.8.7, 1.9.2, or 1.9.3. The .NET SDL comes from Microsoft, and is based on the .NET 4.0 or higher application framework and the NuGet package manager.

All of the SDKs hook right into the Nova compute instances and Swift object storage of the Rackspace Cloud. You can get details on the Rackspace SDKs here, and Moorman says there is a Node.js SDK in the works if you want to swing that way. ®

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