Using open platforms provides Rackspace customers with a greater choice of provider as data is easier to move, says managing director international Taylor Rhodes.
Open-source cloud computing provider Rackspace is expanding its new data centre in western Sydney to bring its full product offering to Australia from May.
Rackspace opened its data centre in December but it was initially limited to government and enterprise clients that could lock in IT requirements for a set contract period.
From May, the company will offer Rackspace OpenCloud – a true cloud offering that gives customers full flexibility to quickly increase or decrease computing capacity and pay only for what they use.
Rackspace managing director international Taylor Rhodes says the company is making a significant investment in Australia.
“Cloud does take another dose of infrastructure so we rolled that out and the other great news for Australia is that we’re hiring,” Rhodes says.
Rackspace employs 30 staff in Australia and is recruiting for both the data centre and the sales and support office in Sydney city.
The company, one of the biggest cloud computing providers in the world, uses an open-source standard for cloud, along with companies such as HP and IBM.
Rhodes says the greater freedom is a major benefit for businesses and a big reason why he expects open-source cloud to dominate over proprietary systems such as Amazon Web Services in the long run.
“We build our products on an open stack, which is the open-source standard for cloud, and there’ll be others like HP and IBM also offering cloud services built on open stack,” Rhodes says.
“If you come and choose Rackspace and we don’t do a good job you can leave us and move your applications to another open-stack cloud fairly easily, as opposed to a closed model such as Amazon Web Services where you are essentially hard-coding your applications to their cloud and if you want to move at some point you have a really difficult job to do.
“Rackspace takes the open side of the argument . . . Android phones are shipping three times faster than Apple phones and you’re seeing these examples of open overtaking closed in lots of places in the world.”
As well as corporate customers, Rackspace is supporting a number of incubators through its “Boost Your Start-Up” program with free computing for local entrepreneurs, including Pollenizer, Startmate and Innovyz.
The launch of Rackspace OpenCloud is part of a trend for cloud providers to locate themselves in Australia to deal with issues such as network latency and regulatory or business concerns over where data is stored.
Amazon Web Services also opened its first data centre in Sydney last year, while Oracle opened a second data centre earlier this year to enable an expansion into infrastructure and platform as a service.
Rackspace also has facilities in Dallas, Chicago, Virginia, London, and Hong Kong.