Actually a "managed" cloud is not so lonely is it? But is it enough to bring companies into adopting the cloud computing model of IT delivery if they still harbour misgivings about cloud security, cloud data privacy issues and cloud robustness in all its many forms?
Will the in-house developer team be able to work with the new computing paradigms now in place? Will the skill sets exist to cope with new programming languages being used in the cloud such as Voldemort, Puppet and Chef?
... and, most of all - can you trust a cloud SLA? Or are they not worth the (virtual) paper that they're printed on as seems to be the view of the collective cloud commenting community these days?
Rackspace says its cloud is baked with just about as fully rounded and tasty a recipe as you'll find anywhere, but is this just marketing talk? Or is there substance to the breadth of its so-called "managed cloud support" services.
This week sees the company open up its new managed support option to its UK cloud service. Rackspace is gambling its dice on an offering that claims to provide 24x7x365 managed services with "competitive" Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Ah - so that was "competitive" SLAs, not "concrete" SLAs you will notice.
The new UK offering marries Rackspace's scalable on-demand cloud servers with monitoring and troubleshooting support -- this is designed to remove the headache of everyday infrastructure worries and enable organisations to focus on their core business.
But does it work and is it enough to help companies transition to cloud?
Here's what the customers have actually said:
"We started testing the cloud last year. Our traffic isn't always predictable; it's centered around events, especially at the World Championship. I love it that you're combining the managed service level that I've had on the dedicated side for all these years with the cloud systems that allow us to scale and adapt rapidly. To me, that's the greatest solution." Travis Sitzlar, Chief Technologist for IRONMAN at the World Triathlon Corporation.
You can watch Rackspace's launch video below:
Rackspace's latest offering supports the following operating systems: MS Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise 64-bit, Ubuntu 10.4, (Lucid Lynx), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4, CentOS 5.5 and key applications, including Apache, MySQL, PHP; .Net/IIS; Microsoft SQL Server Standard Edition 2008 R2.