Pods and elastic engineering: Rackspace adds new services to support cloud operations

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The new capability can be accessed via a fractional subscription and supports all the major cloud providers.

Image: iStock/gorodenkoff

Rackspace announced on Wednesday a new option for cloud customers: elastic engineering support available in fractional capacity. The company said in a press release that the new service will be provided by a “pod of multidisciplinary cloud experts” in flexible and hours-based tiers. 

The company reports that customers will work with a dedicated pod of nine architects and engineers and use the services by subscribing to a fractional capacity from a pod. 

Customers can use the service for sprint-based projects and long-term goals for building, migrating, optimizing and managing cloud environments, according to the company.

Bill Martorelli, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, said that this new service is consistent with emerging customer requirements.

“It definitely fits with the trend that customers are seeking to engage for more rapid results and with greater flexibility than afforded by traditional managed services models,” he said. “It also fits with regard to the adaptation of pod-based models as a principal mode of delivery for cloud-oriented services that would otherwise be delivered on a time and materials basis, or a traditional managed services basis.”

SEE: Top cloud providers in 2020: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, hybrid, SaaS players (TechRepublic)

Tolga Tarhan, chief technology officer for Rackspace Technology, said in a press release that the service combines operational expertise with flexible, modern, cloud native engineering services.

“Customers gain the most from cloud technologies when workloads, teams and processes are transformed to a more cloud native and agile operating model,” he said. “Traditional managed services struggle to deliver in these environments due to inflexible scope and contract structures.”

Sid Nag, vice president for cloud services and technologies at Gartner Research, said that the new offering could be an extension of an organization’s cloud team and accelerate the CI/CD pipeline and the DevOps process. 

“Bringing that innovation from application development to running these newly reimagined workloads in an expeditious manner is top of mind for CIOs today,” he said.

Nag said the old ways of IT services in the legacy outsourcing model don’t cut it in the fast-moving cloud industry. 

Martorelli said Rackspace has done a good job of pioneering the idea of Service Blocks as a way to envision a managed services engagement as not simply the maximum recurring monthly revenue possible as in the traditional MSP model. 

“Instead, specific services or competencies can be delivered throughout the length of the engagement based on the then current customer need,” he said. “This flexibility is attractive for customers that are willing and able to take advantage of it.”

The new service is available across all three major public cloud providers: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. 

Martorelli said this flexible delivery model would be attractive for mid-sized enterprises for whom flexibility in terms of month-to-month expenditures is very attractive. 

“Sometimes larger enterprises value predictability more highly than flexibility that can result in variable expenditures on a month-to-month basis,” he said.

Nag said the tiered approach to pricing makes cloud support services more feasible for small- and mid-sized companies to use.

SEE: Cloud data storage policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Several cloud service providers recently announced new products to make management of multicloud deployments easier. Earlier this week, ServiceNow and Oracle Cloud announced the integration of ITOM Visibility with the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. This integration provides visibility into multicloud infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and containers as a service resources, according to a press release. The combination of the two services also will help distributed teams track cloud-native environments.

Also, MinIO’s open-source Kubernetes object storage product has been beefed up with a trio of new tools that should make it easier to manage, as Lance Whitney reported on TechRepublic.  MinIO announced recently the new Operator, Console, and SUBNET Health tools for enterprise customers. The company said the new features are designed to help organizations who want to simplify the deployment of multi-tenant, object storage using Kubernetes. The tools should also offer customers greater automation as they ramp up their cloud-based deployments and workloads.

Finally, Oracle announced a free service to make it easier for customers to move from on-premise data centers to the cloud. As Brandon Vigliarolo reported, Oracle Cloud Lift is designed to be a “seamless path to the cloud,” said Oracle Cloud Infrastructure SVP Vinay Kumar with a single point of contact for all technical delivery.

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