Rackspace’s Weston Says Hybrid is the Cloud of the Future

Graham Weston, chairman and co-founder of Rackspace

Graham Weston, chairman and co-founder of Rackspace

Instead of a one-size fits all Cloud, the Internet will have millions of specialized clouds.
That’s the assertion of Graham Weston, chairman and co-founder of Rackspace, the world’s largest hybrid cloud provider. He gave the keynote speech Wednesday morning at Innotech San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
“This is a cloud that fits itself to your application instead of your application fitting to the cloud,” Weston said.
Cloud computing, in which hardware and software are delivered as a service over the Internet, is becoming ubiquitous and will become as commonplace for companies as electric utilities in 20 years, Weston said.
“We believe the cloud is one of the most incredible innovations in our age,” Weston said. “We also need to understand its limitations.”
The myths are that every application works best on the public cloud, that the public cloud is cheaper and that no support is needed in the public cloud, Weston said. Cloud computing solutions have to be tailored to the specific needs of a company, he said.
San Antonio-based Rackspace is an open cloud company with more than 205,000 customers worldwide. It provides public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud and dedicated hosting.
And Rackspace, along with NASA, developed OpenStack; the open source cloud-computing platform that creates a standard system that meets the needs of public and private clouds of any size. Some refer to it as the “Linux of Cloud Computing.” Rackspace and NASA launched OpenStack in 2010.
“We now built a new standard,” Weston said. “This standard will be part of our everyday lives.”
Today, more than 150 companies have joined the project including Dell, HP, AMD, Intel, Linux, Red Hat, IBM, VMware and Yahoo!
This week, an OpenStack Summit is going on in Portland, Oregon. It kicked off on Monday and runs through Thursday with 3,500 people attending. That’s just six months after the OpenStack Summit held in San Diego last October. But the first Open Compute Summit was held at Rackspace’s headquarters in 2011.
“This little idea that started in San Antonio, Texas has taken on a life of its own,” Weston said.
Rackspace took software that its engineers spent years to develop and gave it to the cloud for everyone to develop, Weston said. That spirit of sharing fosters innovation and it’s why Linux operating systems power 85 percent of all servers, he said.
In the past, many companies had to choose between a public cloud, private cloud or dedicated hosting. Now, Rackspace is offering hybrid clouds powered by OpenStack that allow companies to tap into all three kinds of hosting.
For example, HubSpot, an inbound marketing software company, now uses Rackspace’s hybrid cloud solutions to supports its marketing toolset including blogs, analytics, social media, email and more.
With the hybrid cloud, HubSpot, with 8,600 customers, can now rapidly grow and change workloads as it expands its product offerings and its demands. HubSpot has reduced its costs and increased its efficiency as a result of a move to Rackspace’s hybrid cloud, according to HubSpot.
“Really this hybrid cloud is the next generation of the cloud,” Weston said.

Full disclosure: Graham Weston is co-founder of Geekdom and Geekdom is a sponsor of Silicon Hills News.

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