Rackspace Enhances Provisioning With F5 Technology

By Frank J. Ohlhorst Comments
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Hosting and cloud computing company Rackspace has launched a new service using F5 Networks technology that gives partners access to a new hybrid architecture, called Cloud Connect. Rackspace’s Cloud Connect service brings additional scalability to customers and partners by incorporating F5 Network’s BIG-IP solution as a foundation for connectivity. F5 Networks is known for application delivery networking (AND), WAN optimization and application-acceleration technologies. According to Rackspace, the new hybrid architecture supports mixing dedicated and cloud based hosting platforms for scalability, flexibility, and efficiency.

“We chose BIG-IP as a cornerstone of Cloud Connect because with it, we can make our customers’ dedicated servers and cloud environments communicate seamlessly with each other over a protected, private network," said Toby Owen, product manager for Hybrid Hosting Solutions at Rackspace. “This solution does much more than provide a physical connection; it allows customers to take advantage of BIG-IP’s intelligent traffic management capabilities between dedicated and cloud servers. Furthermore, BIG-IP has already proven itself as a reliable and cost-effective component of our infrastructure."

Rackspace claims that Cloud Connect will offer customers cloud computing benefits without the burden of rewriting their entire application to adapt to the cloud. Cloud Connect is especially useful for companies that experience seasonal traffic spikes. For example, an e-commerce company can now respond to peak demand periods by “bursting" a predetermined segment of its operations – such as its Web catalog – to run in the cloud, while keeping its payment processing on highly secure, dedicated servers, all within a Rackspace data center.

“We are pleased to be part of Rackspace’s Cloud Connect service," said Jason Needham, senior director, Product Management at F5 Networks. “Rackspace’s enterprise customers can receive great benefit from their ability to access cloud-based resources safely on demand."

According to Rackspace, customers will have access to BIG-IP devices with Local Traffic Manager, which provides a setup process that connects the customer’s dedicated servers to its cloud account. That, in turn, enables BIG-IP products to act as a strategic control point between the environments. As cloud services are provisioned or deprovisioned on demand, BIG-IP products automatically connect to dedicated resources, directing traffic to the appropriate application and Web pools based on business requirements.

Rackspace launched a comprehensive channel program in 2009, which offers partners four levels of commitment based on partner size and sales, with partners at certain levels receiving recurring revenue from customer upgrades and renewals. Partners also get access to a dedicated sales representative, sales and technical training, and marketing and sales information at increasing levels as they move up the partner ladder.

F5 Networks offers its BIG-IP technology to registered partners looking to build customized WAN and application solutions. The company’s channel program offers extensive support for partners, distributors and cloud services companies.

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