Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Rackspace Turns Anso Labs Into a Cloud Services Business Unit

Rackspace, the Web hosting and cloud-services outfit that many people think is going to be acquired any day now, said today that it’s moving more deeply into the cloud business with its own infrastructure offering built around OpenStack, open-source cloud-computing software.

The move comes hot on the heels of Rackspace’s acquisition of OpenStack specialist Anso Labs, which NewEnterprise reported exclusively last month. Rackspace is calling the new unit Rackspace Cloud Builders, and will offer training and certification, deployment and support to companies that want to build and maintain their own cloud running OpenStack. Jesse Andrews, co-founder of Anso Labs, has the title of director of development in the new business unit.

Rackspace is just one of a batch of companies backing the OpenStack movement; Dell and Citrix are also big supporters. Dell has created an OpenStack installer that can be used to get the software up on a set of servers, and once field tests are completed, it’s expected to be offered to the open-source community.

The news here is for companies that have been looking on jealously at all those taking advantage of the public cloud, but that for whatever reason aren’t willing or able to do so themselves. OpenStack offers a way to easily build a private cloud that, depending on its structure, offers at least some of the advantages, like ease of of setup, without some of the perceived drawbacks, like a loss of control over data.

Meanwhile, the speculation around Rackspace and whether or not it’s going to be acquired continues unabated. Its shares have improved by nearly 20 percent since the first of year. It’s certainly not behaving like a company that expects to be acquired. Earlier this week it disclosed in an SEC filing a new 15-year lease on more than 21,000 square feet of data center space capable of maintaining a maximum critical load of nearly four megawatts of power, ready for occupancy by February. Combining that with the cancellation of a lease on a smaller facility, the deal is worth $88 million. Maybe when CEO Lanham Napier said the company is not for sale, he really meant it.