When it comes to which kind of technology best suits their needs, companies are spoiled for choice.
That’s where niche players such as Rackspace Hosting Inc. come in. Its expertise is in helping companies make sense of the bewildering array of solutions, narrow down the options and zero in on the one that works best for them.
Rackspace, a 15-year-old US-based open-cloud solutions provider, does quite a bit more, Ajit Melarkode, managing director for Asia-Pacific, told the Hong Kong Economic Journal’s EJ Insight.
“We work with a number of Chinese companies. They understand the extra things we bring in terms of expert advice,” Melarkode said.
He said the company’s support services border on the fanatical and clients like the fact that they’re tapping into its vast experience in the cloud computing space.
Among its key customers are Chinese firms seeking to expand overseas. Rackspace is targeting its recently launched hybrid cloud solution, the first such technology in Asia-Pacific, at these companies, offering them competitive cost.
“They trust us when they want to grow out of China and create a mark on the world,” Melarkode said. “They want to have a trusted partner they can rely on to host [their information]. When they go out of China, they tend to use a lot of Rackspace.”
Outside China, its clientele includes Asia Miles, Asia’s leading travel reward program, local group purchase website GoBuya.com, enjoyment sharing website Funshare.com, Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific Air, Britain’s Domino Pizza and global shopping website lightinthebox.com.
“Asia Miles chose Rackspace for its scalability and flexibility in hosting our social media applications and campaigns,” Asia Miles brand and digital marketing manager Grace Poon said. “It also gives us maximum adaptability in meeting our business needs and growth in the social landscape.”
Hybrid cloud is being offered alongside other solutions — public cloud, private cloud and dedicated servers. Rackspace offers expert advice on which technology best applies to a particular business model.
“As long as there is confusion in the market on what is right for what… that’s where we can help. We look at their applications and help them connect to different clouds,” Melarkode said.
With nine global centers, the company has more than 200,000 clients in over 120 countries. Sixty percent of Fortune 100 companies and 40 percent of FTSE 100 are among its clients.
High up there
Cloud technology gives users access to unlimited server power. With public cloud, they use shared servers, the most economical solution. With private cloud or dedicated servers of up to 256 gigabytes of RAM (random access memory), users have exclusive access to them, ensuring a higher level of security.
Hybrid cloud combines the three hosting services. This can work alone or in tandem with other solutions in any combination using a unified infrastructure, enabling businesses to tailor their architecture according to their unique applications and workloads.
When their websites have a sudden surge in visitor traffic, they can easily add more servers by using a private cloud or dedicated server to meet demand and then scale back to public cloud when traffic eases. Since users only pay for what they use, they avoid the upfront costs of the traditional computing model, Melarkode said.
The clouds are powered by Openstack, an open-source cloud operating system developed by Rackspace and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2010. The software is widely adopted worldwide by such companies as Yahoo Inc., Beijing Teamsun Technology Co. Ltd. (600410.CN) and Hewlett-Packard Co.
Rackspace reported net revenue of US$376 million in the second quarter, up 18 percent from the same period last year. It established its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong five years ago, doubling its staff numbers and office size this year.
– Contact the reporter at [email protected]