Networking, MSP, Content

Rackspace Pitches Co-Managed, Multi-Cloud Security Services


Rackspace Technology has introduced Elastic Engineering for Security, which essentially blends multi-cloud migration services with various co-managed security services. The potential outcome: Customers can augment their own IT staff members with cloud, application and data security talent from Rackspace.

The security strategy involves so-called pods -- or small groups of Rackspace security employees who are assigned to specific customers. According to Rackspace, customers that leverage Elastic Engineering for Security gain:

  • An engagement manager;
  • a pod lead;
  • lead architect;
  • security engineer; and
  • a compliance expert.

Customers also gain "access to additional security architects and security analysts/penetration testers to work alongside customers’ teams," Rackspace said.

In addition to dedicated security pods -- i.e., small groups of employees -- the Rackspace Elastic Engineering for Security portfolio stack includes the following services and technologies:

  • Security Architecture & Engineering
  • Compliance Management & Support
  • Threat & Vulnerability Management
  • Risk Management & Remediation
  • Advanced Monitoring & Resolution for Security

Rackspace Managed Cloud Business Challenges

The new security services arrive roughly one month after Rackspace vowed to invest for growth -- even as the multi-cloud MSP confirmed 10 percent staff layoffs and more talent offshoring in July 2021.

The key takeaway: Rackspace sometimes hasn't met Wall Street's growth expectations since the business launched an IPO (symbol: $RXT) in August 2020. The latest quarterly financial metrics, which were announced in August 2021, include:

  • Revenue of $744 million in the second quarter of 2021, up 13% compared to $657 million in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Net loss of $37 million in the second quarter of 2021, compared to a net loss of $33 million in the second quarter of 2020.

Despite some of the growth challenges, Rackspace deserves credit for a dramatic business pivot. After Rackspace's OpenStack platform failed to emerge as a public cloud alternative to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, the company de-emphasized its own public cloud platform and pursued a multi-cloud managed services strategy. Fast forward to present day, and Rackspace no longer markets OpenStack, CEO Kevin Jones said on the company's August 11, 2021 earnings call.

The Rackspace pivot also involved multiple cloud-centric acquisitions, though ChannelE2E can't recall any M&A deals that specifically involved major cybersecurity-related tools, technologies or talent.

Rackspace Co-Managed Security Services: Talent and Perspectives

Still, Rackspace appears to have expansive security talent on staff.

Indeed, the company's global security experts hold more than 800 security certifications -- including more than 100 cloud security certificates from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other cloud providers. Those employees also hold Global Information Assurance Certifications (GIACs) in Cyber Defense, Digital Forensics & Incident Response, and Penetration Testing the company says. Nevertheless, Rackspace did not disclose specific security staff head counts.

Gary Alterson, vice president of security services, Rackspace
Gary Alterson, vice president of security services, Rackspace

In a prepared statement about the security services, Gary Alterson, VP of security services at Rackspace, said:

“Now more than ever it is critical for organizations to rapidly evolve and efficiently operationalize their cybersecurity capabilities. Businesses working with multiple security providers and partners are facing a growing execution and operational management gap. With Rackspace Elastic Engineering for Security, our customers have access to a dedicated partner that has both a deep understanding of their environments and expertise in managing the end-to-end security lifecycle.”

Rackspace Elastic Engineering for Security is available on all Rackspace Technology platforms, as well as AWS, Microsoft Azure, VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V.

Additional reporting by Sharon Florentine.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.