Yesterday a little before noon I jumped in my car and headed to UT to attend the Rackspace Cloud Event. It was held on campus in the same building that “hosts” (bad pun intended) the local NPR station as well as the studio that Austin City Limits is filmed in. It was this studio that Rackspace used for their event.
Others who’ve used the studio besides Rackspace, The Buena Vista Social Club and Robert Plant (notice the reflected PBS logo artfully captured in the upper left)
The Big News
The big news of the day were the two acquisitions that the recently IPO’d Rackspace announced, Jungle Disk and Slicehost. Jungle Disk provides storage back-up for the cloud and until the acquisition, was solely supporting Amazon S3. Going forward, Jungle disk will support both Rackspace’s cloud offering as well as S3. The other company, Slicehost is “a leader in Xen-based virtual hosting.”
One of the most tangible benefits these acquisitions give Rackspace right off the bat is a whole bunch more “active, paying customers”:
It would be interesting to see this same chart done by revenue. I have a sneaking feeling the managed hosting side would go shooting off the chart. Of course once you have new customers you can always look to up-sell them.
Mosso aka Rackspace’s Cloud Hosting Divsion
Mosso is now refered to as “Rackspace’s Cloud Hosting Division, powered by Mosso.” It will be interesting to see how they handle the branding transition going forward and if they drop the Mosso name completely. Speaking of Mosso, I didn’t realize it, but in chatting with Emil Sayegh, formerly Rackspace’s VP of product management and Marketing and now the Mosso GM, Mosso was originally an incubator project of Rackspace’s, funded a couple of years ago.
As of yesterday, this division is now organized into three buckets:
- Cloud Sites (formerly “The Hosting cloud”): “a scalable platform for [web sites] for handling huge traffic spikes and a pay as-you-grow pricing model.”
- Cloud Files (formerly “CloudFS”): Rackspace’s cloud-based storage. This is where Jungle Disk will fit. Lombardi Blueprint will be making use of this when we add file attachment capability to the product in our December release.
- Cloud Servers: Will offer server capacity for customer applications (vs. sites) in the cloud. This is where Slicehost fits.
Slicehost founders Jason Seats and Matt Tanase.
The Bigger Picture
Zooming out to high-level view of Rackspace’s portfolio, its grouped into three main bubbles:
- Cloud Hosting: Which yesterday’s event focused on.
- Cloud Applications: Apps that Rackspace provides like email
- Managed Hosting: “an advanced type of dedicated hosting… Unlike basic dedicated hosting, managed hosting offers system level administration and support, comprehensive Internet infrastructure and extensive services that relieve IT departments of many critical, but costly responsibilities.” (We use this service to host Lombardi Blueprint).
Looks like Cloud hosting has bubbled to the top.
Rackspace Customer Event
I’m psyched for next week’s customer conference down in San Antonio and learning more about what Rackspace is up to. I met a few of the execs yesterday and warned them that I would come armed with a recorder to do some podcasting. I will be posting those here on the blog so stay tuned.
I ran into Red Monk Pundit Michael Cote yesterday, sporting a very sharp shirt, and had a quick chat after the event. Here’s his take and pics from the event.
Pau for now…