News & Insights for the AI Journey|Sunday, September 22, 2019
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Rackspace Fleshes Out Hybrid Cloud Offerings 

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Cloud vendors are increasingly focused on supporting legacy IT infrastructure as their customers shift to hybrid cloud deployments that include emerging microservices to deliver cloud-native applications.

With those requirements in mind, private cloud specialist Rackspace this week announced a batch of upgrades to its hybrid cloud offerings that includes Kubernetes and application “enablement services” along with external storage for VMware virtual machines on Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) and other support for cloud native services.

The upgrades announced during VMware’s annual company event also include a managed VMware (NYSE: VMW) cloud aimed at AWS workloads. That offering would give customers access to VMware’s HCX hybrid cloud tool and a “guest” OS service running on the VMware cloud.

Managed external storage also will be available soon, Rackspace said Tuesday (Aug. 27).

Along with new Kubernetes and application container services, Rackspace said it would add other cloud application support as IT teams make the transition to cloud-native development. The new tools include an API “management assessment” capability that evaluates application state and data integration across an organization. The goal is to help customers accelerate the development of new data-driven products and services.

The hybrid cloud upgrades also include managed security “blocks” used to track both VMware private clouds. The security feature will be extended to support public cloud security tools, beginning with AWS.

The shift to hybrid cloud deployments and cloud-native architectures also is fueling the need for continuous monitoring and reporting capabilities. Rackspace added that its hybrid cloud portfolio would utilize increasingly popular AIOps capabilities to help harried DevOps teams. Those monitoring tools can be used to spot glitches. Rackspace’s approach manages the volume of IT support tickets sent out each day, grouping alerts in order to help IT support resolve incidents faster.

The hybrid cloud moves align with VMware’s expanded hybrid cloud offerings announced earlier in the week as Rackspace and other early cloud vendors look to support legacy infrastructure while introducing new cloud-native features.

Taken together, these moves reflect the enterprise embrace of hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. Industry forecasts cited by San Antonio-based Rackspace and others note that more than 70 percent of organizations surveyed are shifting to hybrid cloud deployments.

Where once it was widely thought application container infrastructure would replace virtual machines, VMware and its growing list of cloud partners are building out a hybrid cloud strategy that connects legacy infrastructure with emerging cloud-native microservices.

That strategy was cemented last fall when VMware acquired Heptio, the startup founded in 2016 by the creators of the de facto standard Kubernetes cluster orchestrator.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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