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Rackspace DevOps GM: "Very Organic For Our Customers"
Rackspace Launches DevOps Advisory Service

As we approach the upcoming @CloudExpo Silicon Valley, November 4-6, we find ourselves in an era of maturing cloud computing services, with lines beginning to blur among formerly discrete segments.

Among the things we're witnessing is a fuller integration of DevOps into the mix. Rackspace is one company in this discussion, having just launched its DevOps Advisory Service.

Rackspace Extends DevOps Service [story]

So we had a few questions for Prashanth Chandrasekar (pictured below), GM of Rackspace's DevOps Business Segment.

Cloud Computing Journal: What are the two or three key reasons your cloud customers are taking a DevOps approach these days?

Prashanth Chandarasekar: They are consuming DevOps Automation for several reasons.

The first is to shorten the time to market for their products and features and reduce bug fixes, that is, realize internal goals of deploying into production multiple times a day or week relative to where they are today. The only way to achieve this goal is to move to a DevOps model.

Second, they are experiencing high growth and need to automatically scale out their technology infrastructure.

Third, planning and preparing for future growth and ensuring that their technology infrastructure is agile and flexible, based on this future expected increase in their own user base, usage of their product, etc.

Fourth, they require deep , constant, and proactive monitoring of their application environment using tools like New Relic, StatsD/Graphite and Logstash, because they cannot tolerate any downtime or latency.

Finally, they want to fully exploit the cloud and cannot do so with a traditional SysOps/Sys Admin server-by-server management model.

CCJ: To what degree has cloud computing triggered a realization among your customers that they should move toward DevOps? And what are the key drivers: complexity, agility, striving to maintain competitive advantage?

Prashanth: It's very organic for our customers to move from first utilizing the cloud, experiencing all the on-demand, elastic properties of the form-factor to realizing that they need DevOps and Automation to fully exploit the full power of the cloud and meet their business objectives with respect to revenue and developer productivity.

Oftentimes, our cloud customers have already dabbled with DevOps tools to manage the complexity of their environments efficiently and realize they can leverage the expertise we provide through Rackspace DevOps Automation Service level to execute on the same DevOps-focused activities at scale on a 24/7 basis.

In other cases, customers have realized that they need to be more advanced internally-through enablement, organizational culture, etc.-to utilize DevOps tools. We launched DevOps Advisory Service to address this audience and to bridge them to utilizing DevOps tools as a defacto way to manage their cloud.

CCJ: Can you explain the expansion in stack environments a bit for our audience? That is, what was offered before, what's being offered now, and what is driving your expansion?

Prashanth: Based on the feedback from our earliest customers, they wanted to spin up their DevOps automation-enabled environments almost immediately on our cloud, and wanted to do the same on Windows based environments.

We took this feedback and built fundamental Linux and Windows stacks that represented our best-of-breed/best practice advice on Ruby, Python, PHP, Node.js, Tomcat and ASP and .Net (for Windows) that customers could access within an hour of working with us.

This allows our customers to have a working application that is completely automated up and running in remarkable speed.

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About Roger Strukhoff
Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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