Rackspace announces first managed services deal for Google Cloud Platform

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Rackspace has announced a partnership with Google Cloud to become its first managed services support partner.

The news, revealed at the time of Google’s Cloud Next event in San Francisco, represents an alignment between the two companies’ ‘obsession’ with customer service and support, Rackspace said. The two companies will collaborate on a new managed services offering for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) customers which will be made available later this year.

Rackspace already has extensive managed services capabilities for both Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) – so with Google the next cab off the rank it makes a natural step up. “The momentum around GCP is building, and as businesses move workloads to this platform, they’re looking for expertise and a support partner to help with that journey,” said Patrick Lee, Rackspace Google business general manager. “We will be able to help deliver value to joint customers and help them meet their evolving business needs.”

According to figures from 451 Research, adoption of Google’s cloud has ‘nearly doubled’ over the past 12 months. “The partnership between Rackspace and Google is a natural fit,” Michelle Bailey, chief research officer at 451 Research said in a statement. “Both companies have strong technical capabilities and the pairing of Rackspace’s strong service culture with Google’s Customer Reliability Engineering practice is an important step forward in providing enterprise-ready customer support capabilities on the Google Cloud Platform.

“We continue to see rising adoption of GCP globally, so there is real value to Rackspace in being the first to market with this type of managed services partnership that seeks to bring cloud-native capabilities to traditional enterprise customers and business-critical applications,” Bailey added.

In Rackspace’s Q216 results in August – the last before it became a private company with a $4.3 billion transaction from Apollo Global – CEO Taylor Rhodes said the firm had seen ‘strong demand’ for AWS cloud customers, alongside Microsoft and the OpenStack private cloud. The company noted 277 customers acquired on its AWS service over the previous nine months, with 60% of these choosing the higher tier managed services option.

“We plan to launch a bold marketing campaign to tell the world about the value we can deliver as the number one managed cloud services provider,” Rhodes told analysts in August, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “Businesses today are being told that the cloud is simple, that it’s easy to manage on your own, and that whatever the platform the vendor is selling or supporting is the complete solution for every workload.

“What these businesses are learning, however, is that different workloads require different platforms across public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers,” added Rhodes. “They are finding that the cloud is complex and fast changing, that they need help in managing it and that expert engineers are expensive and hard to find.”

According to industry figures from Synergy Research, AWS continues to hold 40% of the global public cloud infrastructure space – a minimal change from last year – while Microsoft, Google and IBM went up 5% to break the 20% threshold between them.

Picture credit: Rackspace Afterparty TechStars Boulder 2011, by Andrew Hyde, used under CC BY / Modified from original

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