The Channel

Rackspace: Amazon? Sure, you can buy their cloud ... from us

Hosting firm will offer cloud management on top of AWS, report claims

By Neil McAllister in San Francisco


Rackspace has reportedly formed a partnership with Amazon Web Services to help customers move their data centers to the online retail giant's public cloud.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, an American financial newspaper, the two companies plan to announce their new relationship at Amazon's AWS:reinvent conference in Las Vegas next week.

If the reported deal is anything like the one Rackspace struck with Microsoft in July, it will involve Rackspace acting as a reseller and support source for Amazon Web Services, in addition to offering hosting options in its own data centers.

Until recently, Rackspace entertained ambitious public cloud aspirations of its own. But with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google literally spending billions each quarter to build out their cloud data centers, the plucky upstart appears to have done a rethink about its role in the future cloudy world.

In Rackspace's most recent earnings report, CEO Taylor Rhodes – who moved into the corner office a year ago – admitted that his goal of expanding the company's public cloud revenues "has not been fulfilled," and that Rackspace's public cloud growth had "remained slow throughout the quarter."

Founded as a hosting company in 1998, Rackspace has been rapidly outpaced in the cloud market by its larger competitors. AWS, for example, only sprang to life in 2006, yet it pulled in 3.7 times as much revenue in its most recent quarter than Rackspace did, not including any of Amazon's retail operations.

Speaking at an event in London in June, Rackspace CTO John Engates said the company sees a future in offering cloud management services, even if it's on top of other companies' clouds.

"When you start to blend Rackspace's services and support into the mix, and those things become a bigger and bigger proportion of the check that our customers write us every month, the penny or two of infrastructure difference fades into the background," Engates said.

That "managed cloud" concept has become something of a theme for Rackspace. Around this time last year, Rhodes said, "We're targeting businesses and developers who want to tap the power of the cloud without the pain of running everything themselves – and the expense of recruiting or contracting with experts in dozens of complex technologies."

Neither Rackspace nor Amazon would comment on the WSJ's report. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily


More from The Register

VMware set to reveal blockchain, better app store, new AWS client

VMworld content catalogues are live and we’ve trawled ‘em

VMware-on-AWS coming to Frankfurt, Sydney, Japan, with vMotion between regions too

Virtzilla's Amazonian cloud is also tooling up for managed services providers

Amazon: For every dollar of op. profit going into Bezos' pockets, 73 cents came from AWS

It's pretty much a cloud provider with a gift shop on the side

VMware-on-AWS bulks up, fails in (good) new ways and even lets you reserve a table

Virtzilla's new cloudy release cadence gets an airing

New AWS auto-scaler started life as private show for Netflix

Amazon’s own auto-scaler now available for third-party apps

AWS seeks ‘startup launch’ experience for end-user services

We smell a cloudy challenge to Citrix and VMware – and maybe Microsoft and Google

Verizon commits to AWS after buying and selling its own cloud

Can anyone catch the big three (plus Oracle and IBM?)

Amazon AWS: 'Hi there!' VMware: 'We submit. Please, save us'

vSphere to be rented out on Jeff Bezos' cloud

KVM? Us? Amazon erases new hypervisor from AWS EC2 FAQ

We've fro-Xen page to preserve evidence of NVMe servers and Xen's stay of execution

VMware and Microsoft make up and get NSX-y together

Virtzilla's virtual cloud networking push is on and Switchzilla is in its sights