Rackspace Wants To Take On Amazon's Cloud Computing Efforts
from the interesting-battles dept
Over the past couple of years, Amazon has successfully built up quite a business in commoditizing and renting out its server and process power through its Amazon Web Services efforts, such as S3 and EC2. These days, a lot of startups don’t even bother getting servers in a hosting facility, knowing they can just scale up on Amazon’s machines. That, of course, could represent a threat to the big hosting facilities, such as Rackspace. And while many thought the eventual competitors against Amazon in this space would come from the likes of Google or Microsoft, it looks like Rackspace is trying to be a bit proactive here. It just bought two companies and announced a competing web services platform. The two companies are Slicehost, which does virtualization, and JungleDisk, an online backup service that is built on Amazon’s S3 storage system.
The JungleDisk deal is particularly interesting, as Rackspace knows that JungleDisk users (myself included) are effectively all Amazon S3 customers. If it can offer an easy and convenient way to switch over, then it can take a bunch of customers away from Amazon and move them right over to its own platform. If you’re unfamiliar with JungleDisk, it creates a virtual mounted drive on your computer that connects to Amazon’s S3 platform. So, as long as you have internet access, you have an unlimited size hard drive that you can reach, where you pay based only on what you use. On top of that, it includes backup software (or you can use other backup software) so that you can regularly back up anything on your computer onto this network drive regularly. JungleDisk customers pay for the software, but the ongoing costs are all paid to Amazon. It’s actually quite useful (and crazy cheap compared to some other backup services). It would be interesting to see if Rackspace also allows a service to let you back up to both Rackspace and Amazon, so if one goes down, you still have access to the other. Either way, it looks like the competition in the so-called “cloud computing” space is about to heat up.