March 16, 2016

Rackspace Revamps Bare-Metal Cloud Computing

The technology, called OnMetal Cloud Servers, gives its customers the flexibility of the public cloud with dedicated servers to ensure high performance.

Rackspace Hosting Inc., released a new version of its own technology infrastructure this week. The OnMetal Cloud Servers are powered by OpenStack and uses bare-metal servers which are dedicated to one customer at a time and can be activated on-demand. Users pay per minute rather than purchasing a server outright.

Improved performance in cloud computing is like the difference between the internet speed of an otherwise sluggish Wifi connection versus an ethernet cord plugged directly into a computer.

The choice for enterprise organizations to opt for cloud computing which supports online infrastructure of websites or mobile apps is akin to renting an apartment rather than buying a house that needs time and maintenance. But apartments are shared spaces.

“One of the side effects of cloud computing was that fact that more of the infrastructure was shared. That sharing sometimes means you are competition for resources,” said John Engates, chief technology officer of Rackspace. “You can spin up and down cloud compared to the old days when we had dedicated hosting where you had an annual contract — but that equipment was dedicated to you.”

While on-metal servers are usually more expensive per minute of usage, it can be cheaper in the long-run if companies regularly rent extra cloud computing power to counter possible for slowdowns since it’s a shared resource, Engates said.

The first version of OnMetal Cloud Server technology was introduced in 2014. It was inspired by customer demand for speed and flexibility. The previous version was limited by geography. The service is now available in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

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