I'm at the RackSpace "Cloud Event" where they're launching their cloud hosting business. Luckily I showed up with RedMonk analyst Michael Coté so they didn't throw me out. In fact, I got to meet Rackspace's CTO John Engates. I guess it pays to hang out with celebrities. Or at least popular analysts.
I could tell right away this was an event for a Texas company: lunch was catered by The Salt Lick. Nice. Coté and I grabbed some BBQ with Emil Sayegh, who runs Rackspace's Cloud Hosting division Mosso.
Now, on to the event proper.
They're talking about Mosso. I've never really understood what Mosso is about, but from his description it sounds compelling: standard stacks (including LAMPP), then "you code it, you load it, and watch it scale". No worrying about scaling, load balancing, etc. Hmm. Sounds extremely interesting for us.
To that they're adding "cloud storage". Cloud Files on mosso.com. $0.15/GB (comparable to Amazon S3's pricing.). REST API's, Web-based GUI file manager. Beta (specifically, they'll still have maintenance windows, but they have a 99.9% SLA.) Like S3, Cloud Files includes a CDN (same price as their standard bandwidth: $0.22/GB). Powered by Limelight Networks.
Killer app for cloud storage is backup. Announcing an acquisition of JungleDisk! Congrats to those guys. JungleDisk works with Amazon S3, but was designed for multiple cloud providers, so customers will have a choice. They can still choose S3. Interesting. "Sync to the Cloud" for mobile users. Hmm.
Notably, Rackspace is moving up the stack to applications instead of just staying at the platform level like Amazon. Good news for customers, maybe not so much for application-development partners. I asked this question, and was told that they'd be focusing on "ubiquitous apps" like email, backup, etc., and would leave niche apps to partners. Which begs the question, where's the line?
"Raw compute" resources. Talking Xen, so I assume this is a raw virtual machine instead of a preconfigured instance. Announcing the acquisition of Slicehost. Uh, congrats to those guys too. :-)
Rackspace wants to engage the ecosystem