Hosting company Rackspace is set to take on Amazon with the launch of two new cloud-based services. It has launched CloudServer , the pay-as-go, on-demand server option and has taken Cloud Files, the online storage service, that competes with Amazon's S3, out of beta.
Emil Sayegh, general manager for Rackspace cloud services said that the availability of Cloud Servers, Cloud Files and the existing Cloud Sites meant that the company was the only one that offered a complete suite of cloud services. He added that with its dedicated server offerings it was also the only company that offered a complete choice between dedicated and shared servers.
He said that the company was going to use that flexibility to position itself against Amazon, although he also said that the company was going to be a strong player in the space thanks to its service ethos. "We're a service company, contactable by phone, email or chat, 24x7, that's what we're good at." He added that the completion might find the technical provisioning only one aspect of supplying on-demand products and fall down on the customer service side. "Service is complicated," he said - although Amazon with its high emphasis on customer satisfaction is probably aware of that.
Sayegh said that the company was hoping to build even more on its service offering. "At the moment we manage dedicated and cloud through separate consoles, we're aiming to bring them together. We all have separate billing and are looking to merge them into one in the near future," he said.
In addition to the new launches, the company has announced that its sister companyJungle Disk, the company it bought last year, will now be offering it fle and backup services on Rackspace as well as Amazon S3. "Customers logging on to the service will now be offered a choice," he said. Although Jungle users are offered a choice, Rackspace's Erik Carlin blogged that the Rackspace offering provided significant advantages notably on performance and price.
In a further move, Sayegh announced that the company was dropping the Mosso brand name that it had used in the US. "It was name that was unknown in the rest of the world," he said, "what was the point of keeping it?"
Pricing for the Rackspace cloud serices is currently in dollars although the company is moving to local currency pricing before the end of the year."We hope to have UK pricing up well before then, " he said. He added that Rackspace was also looking to open new data centres in the UK in the near future but wouldn't be drawn on a date.