Rackspace is taking on some big cloud computing players, and it seems like the hosting services provider has a weapon to use: free software. Companies like Amazon Web Services, Citrix and Verizon are clear leaders in the field of cloud computing, but San Antonio-based Rackspace Hosting has been gaining momentum in its quest to grow their piece of the sky.
OpenStack, the open-source cloud computing platform from Rackspace, was recently chosen by IBM to host all of its cloud services and software. Other tech companies that chose OpenStack include Dell, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard. Rackspace Chairman and co-founder Graham Weston says that “The skills needed to build websites, like PHP and HTML, are pretty mature,” and he added, “But the new skills are running those apps on a cloud-based server infrastructure – you can’t just go to college and learn those languages.” This is proving to be the challenge for Rackspace, especially since they are growing so rapidly.
The Open Cloud Academy was recently launched by real estate tycoon Weston. This program aims to provide the advance training needed to become a top level cloud technologist. This might be very effective, but it is unclear if the Open Cloud Academy will help Rackspace in their ever-growing quest to dominate the cloud computing industry. Maybe if more companies get onboard with OpenStack, they might be able to sell their vision of a standards-based, open approach to cloud services. For now, back to the cage.