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Rackspace Beta Tests Google Cloud Platform Managed Services

Rackspace VP Patrick Lee
Rackspace VP Patrick Lee

Managed cloud provider Rackspace is now beta testing Google Cloud Platform (GCP) managed services. The managed GCP offering includes access to tools, automation, expertise and best practices from Google-certified architects and engineers, as well as around-the-clock support, Rackspace Vice President of Google Cloud Patrick Lee wrote in a blog.

“The goal of managed GCP is to enable Rackspace customers to experience the best reliability, security, scalability and availability possible on Google Cloud Platform,” Lee said.

Rackspace’s overall strategy is to offer managed services for major cloud platforms, as well as certain cloud software platforms like Pivotal and OpenStack. With the GCP announcement, Rackspace has now officially partnered with all the major hyperscale public cloud platforms, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

If beta testing is a success, the company is targeting this fall for general availability of GCP services.

Customer Demand for GCP Services

The decision to launch support for GCP came, in part, is response to customer demand, according to Lee. Customers are increasingly asking Rackspace to support their workloads on the cloud platform or platforms of their choice, he wrote.

The company’s ongoing relationship with Google also played a role in the decision.

Google has chosen Rackspace as a managed services partner to provide Customer Reliability Engineering (CRE) support outside of Google’s walls. This means that Rackspace engineers will take on the task of making sure GCP customers’ applications run with the same speed and reliability as Google’s most popular apps, including Gmail and Google maps - a task Google usually handles with its own engineers.

The CRE partnership is expected to go live by year’s end.

Ups and Downs for Rackspace

Rackspace has faced some challenges and transitions in the last year, including an ownership change, layoffs and a CEO change.

Last year, Rackspace went private when it was acquired by Apollo Group for $4.3 billion. The deal was announced in August and closed in November.

In February, then-CEO Taylor Rhodes confirmed staff cuts, including 200 at company headquarters and a 6 percent reduction across other United States locations. Smaller international cuts were planned, too.

Rhodes resigned nearly three months later in early May, saying he had taken the company as far as he could, given his particular strengths and skills. He was succeeded by Joe Eazor, former CEO of EarthLink who has also held key roles at EMC, HP and EDS.

Later in May, Rackspace announced that it had acquired TriCore Solutions, a managed service provider (MSP) focused on Oracle and SAP applications.