US IT hosting multinational Rackspace has launched two new managed cloud service offerings today, which it hopes will help capture businesses' increasing demand for public cloud services.
The two new service levels are managed infrastructure and managed operations.
The more basic level - managed infrastructure - will cost 35p for every gigabyte per hour and will include features such as 24/7 access to cloud engineers, architecture advice, launch assistance and security evaluation.
The next level up - managed operations - will cost customers £1.50 for every gigabyte per hour.
It includes all the services of managed infrastructure, plus "a full time named account manager, who will work on your application platform, install it, maintain it, upgrade it and help you configure it", according to Rackspace CTO John Engates. It also includes monitoring and response services.
Speaking to ComputerworldUK, Engates described it as "a higher, more comprehensive, more active service level, where we run things for customers and don't just wait for them to call us."
'DevOps automation is the future'
According to Engates, the managed operations level includes two methodologies: the traditional sysadmin approach, but also a 'DevOps' automation approach.
DevOps is an increasingly popular software development method that involves integrating developers and operations teams to improve collaboration and productivity. They are usually supported by automated infrastructure and, and application performance is continuously measured and fed back to the team so that apps can be developed faster.
Engates said: "We think DevOps automation is the future. We've been doing it for customers for over a year now and we're seeing significant take up with new companies, especially those building native cloud applications. But a lot of customers are not quite there yet."
Next wave of cloud adoption
Rackspace hopes that the new service levels will put it in good stead to capture future growth in the managed cloud sector, Engates explained.
He said: "This is a big deal for us. We're really excited about offering our products in a more transparent and clear way. We have believed for a long time that the market would be ready for managed cloud at some point, but it tended to be managed by those early adopter companies themselves at first.
"We firmly believe the next wave of cloud adoption will be by more pragmatic buyers, without the necessary resources or expertise there currently. This part of the market needs more help and guidance to go along with commodity resources. To address that market we're launching managed cloud."
Engates said that Rackspace has previously been penalised by its pricing models, which did not make it sufficiently clear that its offerings include support and extra services.
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