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Rackspace announces plans to create global cloud network for service providers

Rackspace aims to build and run clouds for service providers, telcos and colocation firms

Rackspace has announced plans to open its cloud services up to third party service providers and telcos, aiming to create a global network of data centres powered by its OpenStack systems.

Rackspace intends to provide its expertise to help simplify and accelerate the process for companies looking for a quick way to enter the cloud services market. This will involve building and running clouds in return for a percentage of revenues, with access to Rackspace software buit on OpenStack architecture. Rackspace will offer operational services including patching, tuning and monitoring, with carrier grade SLAs, the company said.

"What we are announcing is a new business for Rackspace," explained Rackspace CTO John Engates. "Historically we have operated a public cloud and we offered OpenStack in a private cloud context, but what we are doing here is really addressing a common request that we have had from companies and customers over and over again. This is basically targeting telcos and service provides and maybe even co-location facilities around the world that want to be in the cloud business."

Part of the aim is to provide service providers access to a global network of interoperable public clouds powered by Rackspace, enabling them to offer their own customers access to the cloud network in other geographies. This will give the illusion of having their own global cloud network Rackspace says.

Having run a public cloud on a large scale, second in terms of size to Amazon, Rackspace is confident that it can help other avoid the pitfalls of setting up a cloud.

"We take over the entire software stack, and then even potentially help them with sales and marketing if they need it. The benefit to the customer is that it accelerates their time to market dramatically, they don't have to learn anything new in terms of technology, they don't have to start from ground zero," he said.

Rackspace recently announced that it would be expanding its presence of its main business in the UK to meet growing demand for cloud services. This involved hiring an additional 300 UK staff and increasing server count by 10,000, with a view to supporting the building of up to 10-megawatts of extra leased data centre space.

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