Rackspace Adjusts Managed Cloud Strategy

San Antonio, Texas-based Rackspace is out with a new strategy to deliver public cloud services.

Based on delivering excellent customer service dubbed “Fanatical Support,” Rackspace’s managed cloud strategy focuses on businesses and developers looking for a strong partner to help design, managed and scale their cloud operations.

Rackspace has enhanced its managed cloud service levels and launched what it says is a more transparent, service-based pricing model that represents a clear view of infrastructure pricing and emphasizes the value of the company’s cloud-management expertise.

In addition, Rackspace announced developer+, a new program for developers that offers essential services needed to build scalable applications. The program enables developers to easily sample Rackspace managed cloud services and Fanatical Support, the company said.

“Our new service levels will help businesses tap the power of the cloud without the pain of recruiting experts in dozens of complex technologies,” said Graham Weston, Rackspace co-founder and CEO. “We are the partner that will be with them every step of the way to help make their cloud strategy successful.”

Both service levels – Managed Infrastructure and Managed Operations – feature more services and expertise at lower total cost than companies would spend managing cloud operations on their own, Rackspace said.

The Managed Infrastructure level offers customers Fanatical Support, which features architecture advisors, security guidance, code development assistance, launch assistance and 24×7 access to cloud engineers. Managed Operations gives customers everything offered at the Managed Infrastructure level, plus additional features such as a dedicated account manager, around-the-clock availability monitoring and response, and management of common operating systems and application stacks. Rackspace offers two approaches to deliver its Managed Operations service level to customers. In one approach, the company logs into the customer’s servers to manage and, when necessary, help fix them. The other approach leverages Rackspace DevOps Automation Service, which manages a customer’s infrastructure as code, to help it achieve faster deployments and streamlined operations.

Monitoring and enabling customers to have real-time visibility into their infrastructure is an essential part of the Rackspace Managed Cloud strategy. Customers on both managed cloud service levels will now receive Rackspace Cloud Monitoring for free. For Managed Operations customers, cloud engineers will also watch the customer’s monitors and respond to alerts around the clock.

Rackspace has also unveiled a new pricing model that applies to all new public cloud customers, and is optional for existing ones. It features more transparency by highlighting the price of cloud infrastructure as distinct from service and support. This model allows customers to more accurately compare the true cost of cloud infrastructure from provider to provider.

The Managed Infrastructure service level offers an hourly service level rate of $0.005/GB RAM, with a $50 per month minimum, plus standard infrastructure rates. The Managed Operations service level offers an hourly service level rate of $0.02/GB RAM, with a $500 per month minimum, plus standard infrastructure rates.

Rackspace sells through channel partners. 

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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