Rackspace Unfurls Managed Kubernetes Service

Rackspace has launched its first managed Kubernetes service, as part of its expanding hybrid cloud computing strategy.

Ramakant Pandrangi, vice president of product management for managed hosting and private clouds at Rackspace, says the IT services provider will offer a managed service based on a handful of distributions of Kubernetes running on public clouds and on-premises IT environments. Initially, the focus will be on the Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) from Amazon Web Services, the Anthos platform from Google and the Pivotal Container Service (PKS) from VMware, he says.

In some instances, however, Rackspace will manage an instance of Kubernetes based on a distribution curated by Rackspace should a customer require it, Pandrangi adds.

The managed Kubernetes service from Rackspace will incorporate a range of tools for managing Kubernetes environments, including open source Prometheus container monitoring software, Pandrangi says. In addition, Rackspace will work with customers to integrate Kubernetes clusters with legacy storage platforms from Dell EMC and NetApp, he notes.

Rackspace also plans to support Kubernetes running on either virtual machines or bare-metal servers. Most of the demand today revolves around deploying Kubernetes on top of virtual machines, but Pandrangi says there’s been a notable pickup in the number of customers also planning to deploy Kubernetes on bare-metal servers. In those situations, Rackspace intends to employ open source Ironic software that the OpenStack community has created to manage those platforms, he notes.

Pandrangi says Rackspace is also working toward embedding its managed service within any organization’s DevOps processes. The goal is to enable organizations to focus most of their time and effort on building applications while relying on Rackspace to manage Kubernetes across a multi-cloud environment. As part of that effort, Rackspace is also adding a Cloud Reliability Engineering Service Block, which provides access to a Rackspace infrastructure engineering team to help customers build out a cloud-native IT environment, along with an application programming interface (API) and data integration assessment service.

The managed Kubernetes service is part of a hybrid cloud computing strategy that spans both cloud-native and legacy monolithic platforms. Rackspace, for example, is also now supporting VMware Cloud on AWS, which is a managed service provided by VMware. Rackspace will complement that managed service by offering additional services that span both VMware Cloud on AWS as well as on-premises instances of VMware platforms, says Pandrangi.

Rackspace is betting that as IT becomes more complex to manage in the cloud-native era, more organizations will opt to rely on external service providers that have more expertise than the average internal IT operations team. It remains to be seen to what degree organizations will decide to rely more on managed services. However, as the pressure increases to build applications faster and more reliably, many organizations want to allocate a higher percentage of their IT budget to building applications. The challenge, of course, is determining to what degree relying on external managed service providers is truly less expensive than hiring a dedicated internal IT operations team.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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