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August 3, 2009

Rackspace turns on private cloud hosting service

Sells virtual server capacity on single-tenant cloud infrastructure

By CBR Staff Writer

Businesses now have the option of running a private cloud from infrastructure provided by a hosting supplier, after Rackspace Inc launched a private cloud service for IT shops that want to run a managed VMware virtualisation platform off a private dedicated server hosted in a secure data centre environment.

The single-tenant architecture is intended to offer businesses increased levels of control and security over cloud resources that are run off shared cloud infrastructures.

Rackspace said its Private Cloud service is to be seen as an evolution of a dedicated virtual server offer that has long been available as part of its managed hosting business. 

It explained that at a very basic level its public cloud service is open to multiple companies to subscribe to on a shared cloud platform, whereas private clouds are based on dedicated virtual servers and are limited to one company behind a dedicated firewall.

As it noted in an official blog, ‘The benefits of a public cloud is the ultimate in pay as you go, utility computing, resulting in instant scalability on tap however much you need for as long or little as you need. However the disadvantages are that as you are on a shared platform and so there are some trade-offs in terms of flexibility in configuration and security.’

The benefit of a private cloud is higher security as it is behind a dedicated firewall, plus it offers more flexibility to configure a cloud exactly as it is needed. 

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“It is still pay as you go, with VMs switched on in your preconfigured cloud environment (dedicated virtual servers).The disadvantage is that beyond your agreed preconfigured environment scaling isn’t quite as instant as in the public cloud. It is also a more expensive solution.”

John Engates, CTO at the hosting company said, “Rackspace is implementing a hybrid hosting vision that allows customers to create a blend of the right hosting solutions from dedicated, to multi-tenant cloud to specialised application hosting such as email.”

The company confirmed that the Rackspace Private Cloud will be available in three editions of fundamental, essential or high availability, depending on the processing power, and amounts of memory and SAN storage required.

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