Rackspace gets cloudier

News 24 Oct, 2008

Hosting firm to offer servers in the cloud after picking up Slicehost and Jungle Disk for $11.5 million.

As cloud computing continues to take the IT world by storm, Rackspace has stepped up its cloud offering following two acquisitions.

The hosting firm is taking its services one step further with the purchase of Slicehost and Jungle Disk for $11.5 million (£7.05 million), in order to offer new cloud hosting services, Rackspace said.

Slicehost offers Xen-based virtual machine hosting, while Jungle Disk provides cloud storage. Rackspace said it intends to roll their services up with its own to offer cloud solutions.

As part of Rackspace’s cloud division Mosso, the new ‘Cloud Servers’ offers on-demand server capacity using Slicehost’s tech from $20 a month. Rackspace also said it would be offering larger ‘slices’ of hosted servers for high performance computing.

Alongside this, Rackspace has rebranded its existing cloud site hosting to ‘Cloud Sites’ and dubbed its web-based storage ‘Cloud Files.’

Rackspace’s chief technology officer told IT PRO that his firm is looking to make cloud computing standards based, so firms aren’t locked in. “One deterrent is that people feel like they get into one vendor or one type of technology,” John Engates said.

He added that cloud computing has previously been too difficult to use without investing developer time, saying Rackspace is looking to simplify the technology and make it user friendly. “It’s sort of designed for developers of those with computer science backgrounds,” said Engates. “That’s not accessible for business – especially small businesses, but even large businesses.”

Microsoft is set to detail its cloud OS Strata next week at the Professional Developers Conference in California – IT PRO will be there, so check back for live coverage from the event.