Rackspace is expanding its efforts to provide managed services for private clouds based on VMware that can now be deployed anywhere.
Peter FitzGibbon, vice president and general manager of VMware at Rackspace, said Rackspace Private Cloud Everywhere, powered by VMware, is making an effort to provide infrastructure services that enable IT organizations to devote more resources to building applications. As part of the effort, Rackspace is making the managed services it provides a natural extension of an organization’s DevOps processes.
Previously, Rackspace provided support for VMware in data centers it owns. Now Rackspace will manage instances of VMware deployed anywhere, including public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), FitzGibbon said.
FitzGibbon noted Rackspace already has more than 70,000 VMware virtual machines under management—a number the company expects to expand significantly as more instances of VMware are deployed on the cloud in addition to on-premises IT environments.
Longer term, FitzGibbon said IT organizations should also expect to see Rackspace extend the reach of the managed services it provides for VMware to include storage and network virtualization, as well as Pivotal Container Service, an instance of a container platform developed jointly by Pivotal and its sister company VMware.
FitzGibbon said most organizations are on a multiyear journey when it comes to making the transition to the cloud. Most are still analyzing which classes of workloads make the most sense to deploy on a public cloud. Also slowing that transition are new data sovereignty requirements that force organizations to rethink where data is hosted around the world, he said.
As they make that transition, many of those organizations are concluding they don’t want to manage the underlying infrastructure that is now distributed across multiple data centers. Instead, they want to reallocate their own limited resources to developing software faster, FitzGibbon said.
FitzGibbon also noted that taking advantage of advanced cloud capabilities such as cloud bursting or moving workloads back and forth between environments requires a level of expertise many organizations don’t have in place today.
As more organizations realize they need to become software companies to remain competitive, many are rethinking how IT infrastructure is managed within the context of a integrated DevOps processes. As part of that transition, many are starting to evaluate how much of the management of IT infrastructure they can outsource within the context of those DevOps processes. Rackspace is essentially making the case for retraining the existing IT staff focused on IT infrastructure to focus more on managing applications rather than physical and virtual infrastructure.
Naturally, that level of cultural IT transformation inside any organization will take time to achieve. Not every organization is comfortable giving up control over its IT infrastructure. Others will prefer to collaboratively manage IT infrastructure with a service provider. Just as significantly, not every member of the IT staff managing infrastructure wants to be retrained.
Nevertheless, as the sheer volume of IT infrastructure that needs to be managed becomes more distributed, it’s unlikely most IT organizations will be able to manage all those systems on their own.