“Managed Pivotal Cloud Foundry is Rackspace’s first step into the managed platform space, as we move up the stack to solutions that customers want our help with,” wrote Brannon Lacey, vice president of applications and platforms at Rackspace, in today’s announcement. “It is a solution that helps customers get up and running on Pivotal Cloud Foundry quickly and stay up and running, with operational support and proactive monitoring. This way, in-house teams can focus on innovation and getting out to market quickly while Rackspace handles the backend.”
Now that they don’t have to compete with AWS, they have an extra $300m floating around in the spreadsheets:
“Ultimately now it’s about how are we going to build a stronger company. If we don’t have to go spend $300 million a year in capital competing against Amazon, building computing storage and networking, where should we go put that? In things like managed cybersecurity and professional services,” said Rhodes.
On OpenStack, finding the product/market for for private cloud:
And what about OpenStack, the open-source cloud computing platform that Rackspace created with NASA?
“We thought the world wanted another alternative to public cloud,” said Rhodes. “What we are learning is the world doesn’t need another public cloud, so OpenStack is shifting form and going private cloud.”
Also, cameo from my former 451 colleague Carl Brooks.
This week we discuss Rackspace going private and the OpenStack cloud scenarios that could have been. We also cover Matt Ray’s first trip to New Zealand where, sadly, he finds no Power Ranger monuments. Also, a little bi-modal flavor for ya.
Check out the full show notes (https://cote.io/sdt70) for links to the recommendations, conferences, and tech news items we didn’t get to cover.
- On August 31st, come hear about launching your cloud strategy and why multi-cloud matters with myself, an analyst, and an actual enterprise user of all this stuff. Register and watch it for free!
- I have a discount code for Operability.IO, September 19th and 20th in London. I hear good things about this conference; check out their talks from last year. It has a good list of speakers, including our very own Casey West. You can 10% off registration if you use the code COTEMEMOOIO16.
Check out https://cote.io/promos/ for more – free books, free cloud time, etc.
- Interested in speeding your software’s cycle time, reducing release cycles, and a resilient cloud platform? Check out the free ebook on Cloud Foundry or take Cloud Foundry for a test drive with Pivotal Web Services. See those and other things at cote.io/pivotal.
- See cote.io/promos for a full list of all the deals “mid-roll” stuff currently going on.
RAX goes private for $4.3bn
OpenStack dead, again.
- “Tough times ahead”.
- “There was a time when it was hard to read an article about OpenStack without hearing about ‘pets vs. cattle,’ and OpenStack was designed to herd cattle”
- “It has itself become a big, complex pet, which is why Mirantis and others can make a living providing services, software and training.”
- What could have happened: (1.) “we can beat AWS,” or, (2.) “containers, shoulda thought of that.”
Innovation is hard, esp. business-wise
- How could you compete with AWS?
- Word vs. Google Docs vs. Office 365.
- Uber has spent at least $4bn?
BONUS LINKS! Not Covered in show
AWS Sentinel is Coming
- Skunkworks-ish project from AWS for managed services. Potentially lots of partner conflict
- “MSPs need to work with customers to convert their infrastructure to Platform-as-a-Service using microservices architecture,” said one AWS partner. “They also need to bring DevOps into the heart of the organization. Unfortunately, most MSPs don’t have the developers that truly understand this.”
- “Few AWS Partners Are Really Surprised By Sentinel’s Emergence“
MariaDB switches away from open source license
- MaxScale proxy switching to commercial-only license
- “The MaxScale move shows MariaDB Corporation wants to switch from a Red Hat-style service and support model to a Sugar-style sole-vendor approach.”
Hashicorp Shuts Down Otto
- Interesting to see an open source project publicly shut down.
Microsoft Open Sources Powershell
- MSFT blog post
- Follows open-sourcing of .NET earlier this year
- available for Linux and Mac OS
- Brandon: first US college football game in Australia
- Matt: Rugby, help me learn it.
- Coté: BCG on two speed IT; Wizard of Oz series.
- Apollo Global Management paying $4.3bn to acquire Rackspace, $32 a share in cash, a 38 percent premium (Bloomberg)
- Competing against AWS is hard, plus the other mega public cloud plays: “Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc., Amazon and Microsoft have combined cash holdings of more than $200 billion compared to Rackspace’s less than $1 billion.”
- Brenon at 451 points out that Rackspace throws off a good amount of cash, “$674m of EBITDA over the past year,” and concludes:
- More from Brenon: “While we could imagine that focus on customer service as competitive differentiator might set up some tension under PE ownership (people are expensive and tend not to scale very well), Rackspace has the advantage of having built that into a profitable business. In short, Rackspace is just the sort of business that should fit comfortably in a PE portfolio.”
- Meanwhile, as we discuss on Software Defined Talk (#70, “No one wants to eat a finger-pie”), AWS is at a run-rate of ~$10-11bn and growing.
- In the recent Gartner IaaS Magic Quadrant, Racksapce is in the dread lower left hand corner. To be fair, a whole other MQ, “Cloud Enabled Managed Hosting,” which maps closer to what Rackspace says is their core strategy in cloud, has Rackspace leading. But, back to that “normal IaaS” MQ:
- The MQ says “Rackspace has successfully pivoted from its ‘Open Cloud Company,’ OpenStack-oriented strategy, and returned to its roots as “a company of experts emphasizing its managed service expertise and superior support experience.”
- Also: “Rackspace will continue to divert investment from its Public Cloud to other areas of its business, rather than try to compete directly for self-managed public cloud IaaS against market-leading providers that can rapidly deliver innovative capabilities at very low cost, or against established IT vendors that have much greater resources and global sales reach.”
- See also Rachel’s analysis over at RedMonk.
Finally, check out a tad of commentary on the deal in #32 of Pivotal Conversations.
Rackspace to sell support for Azure, meaning they’re not just about OpenStack.
Hello again, welcome to #039. Today we have 46 subscribers, so we’re +1. Dandy! I’d love to hear what you like, dislike, your feedback, etc.: firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you’re reading this on the web, you should subscribe to get the daily email.)
See a preview of my talk at HCTS! Come check out cloud hijinks at 451’s HCTS conference Oct 6th and 8th. I’ll be speaking there on developer relations and marketing. Use the code
MC200to get $200 off when registering. Only one person has taken advantage of this snazzy code, so: come on, sign up!
Come hear me yammer on about DevOps: I’ll be in Chicago (Sep 23rd) and Toronto (Nov 18th) giving my DevOps and cloud talk with TechTarget
Tech & Work World
- Jury finds CBS infringes podcasting patent, awards $1.3 million – patents, am I right?
Docker scores 40 MILLION greenbacks to pop business into boxes – the basic coverage.
Good overview if future plans and vision from Docker – basically, provide the stuff needed for “distributed applications.” Indeed. Notice the application development centric nature of the pitch – not generic IT management/virtualization/etc. And, sure, they were a PaaS company, after all. More:
This [cash injection] puts us in a great position to invest aggressively in the future of distributed applications. We’ll be able to significantly expand and build the Docker platform and our ecosystem of developers, contributors, and partners, while developing a broader set of solutions for enterprise users.
Look for significant advances in orchestration, clustering, scheduling, storage, and networking. You’ll also see continued advances in the overall Docker platform–both Docker Hub and Docker Engine.
And a fun diagram:
- theCUBE talks HP/Eucalyptus – nothing major or new, but some more.
- Google’s Jo Maitland on cloud, on theCUBE – while we’re at theCUBE, check out Jo Maitland on theCUBE. She does a good job going over some Google Cloud positioning (people want things as simple as possible, whether admin or developer) and the missed promises of OpenStack (they’re not compatible and its complex).
- TheNewStack #14 – Docker! – I missed today’s TheNewStack recording, but it looks like it was fun.
- Rackspace Ends Formal Evaluation of M&A Transactions; Focus Remains on Managed Cloud Market Leadership – well, that was sort of weird. Meanwhile:
Research Agenda Decisions
I have three options (OK, four) of what I should focus on in my analyst work in front of me and I’d be curious to hear your input:
- DevOps – we’ve done plenty of coverage here and there, but if you recall back in #028, we could do with a more rigorous and deep research agenda here.
- Software Development – when I was hired, this was an area that needed filling and I certainly would like to. As with DevOps, all of us fill it in well but we might could do with more focus on it.
- Plain of systems management, virtualization, etc. – while folks on my team cover APM, cloud platforms, and other areas, we don’t have a dedicated focus (again, with that rigor and depth I outlined for DevOps).
- Continue to be a be broad and cover all of the above, but with the more shallow depth that comes from broad coverage.
As I mentioned, at the team level we cover all the three items above. The question is what I should spend “all of my time doing.” In each of the three real options above, I could easily talk with only companies and end-users in those areas, spend “all my time” focused on researching and writing just one of them. My question to you, dear readers, is what you would (a.) find most valuable, and, (b.) what you think would be the best (criteria: commercially valuable, interesting, fun people to talk with, etc.) area for me to focus on (separate from of your needs).
I’ve equivocated many times solid answers for all four of the above, so outside feedback would be helpful.
Travel is starting up again, oh boy. I’m off to Boston later this week, Chicago next week, then HCTS (you can still get $200 off, see above!) in Las Vegas, BMC’s conference in Orlando, Paris for the OpenStack Summit, CA World in Las Vegas, and Toronto for a TechTarget speaking engagement. So far, beyond that, things look clear.
Fun & IRL
No fun today, just work.
My recent report on Rackspace’s DevOps services is up. For a flat rate of $5,000 a month on-top of your cloud services they’ll do all sorts of DevOps-y things for for you.
The full report is available for clients, but here’s the 451 Take:
In our studies on DevOps, we’re constantly finding that companies would like to decrease the time it takes to get new applications and features into production. In one of our recent DevOps studies, more than 50% of mainstream (that is, non-technology) companies wanted to deploy their applications more frequently, especially companies with more than 100,000 employees. While much of what is required to achieve the benefits of DevOps is about ‘culture’ change (changing processes and roles within companies), that’s always been an obtuse thing to implement. On the other hand, there are quickly evolving tools and best practices that are more straightforward. Rackspace is doing an admirable job of bundling these tools and practices into two services that aim to help companies do DevOps. This type of offering, of course, aligns nicely with Rackspace’s new ‘we’re not just another cheap cloud’ managed cloud positioning. The DevOps market is in the early stages, but exploring specialized offerings like this will be key for Rackspace in building out its ‘managed cloud’ portfolio and positioning.
If you’re not a client, why not try a trial?
All you’ll need is an idea and some free time. The platform and the infrastructure underneath will not be anything for you to ever worry about.
I think this is most people’s view of programming.