Rackspace Acquires Cloudkick

Rackspace Hosting today said it has acquired Cloudkick, a two-year old startup that offers tools to manage multiple cloud services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Cloudkick gives Rackspace a cloud infrastructure management tool and dashboard that allows systems administrators to manage and monitor a large number of servers. The dashboard lets admins manage hybrid cloud infrastructures spanning multi-tenant virtualized servers and dedicated hardware, according to the company.

Cloudkick said it serves 1,500 customers ranging from large enterprises to small startups and says its tools have already managed over 1 million servers. The addition of Cloudkick provides a critical tool for both Rackspace's own admins and those of its customers to help manage multiple clouds, said Rackspace CTO John Engates, in an interview. 

"It spans across environments, across clouds, and across different flavors of infrastructure," Engates said. "Now we have a ready-to-go set of technology and the people who built it to help continue to drive the evolution of that software that we can now integrate into the Rackspace cloud portfolio."

Rackspace will offer Cloudkick's dashboard to customers as well as for its own support people to administer the managed services it offers. Cloudkick customers have primarily used it to manage both their internal systems and cloud services of Rackspace and Amazon Web Services but also several other providers such as GoGrid, SoftLayer and Linode, among others.

The company said it intends to continue offering the dashboard to let customers manage servers of Rackspace competitors. "You will be able to continue to use it as a standalone product with a third party cloud if you want to," Engates said. "That will continue on for the foreseeable future."

Cloudkick will maintain its presence in San Francisco, where it will continue to build on its management software, Cloudkick CEO Alex Polvi said, in an interview. "We will continue to develop up the stack toward application monitoring," he said.

Engates said while Rackspace has its own tools, the growth of the cloud has necessitated more robust ways of monitoring and managing resources. "What's going on at Rackspace with the cloud is we are scaling beyond enterprise scale, much larger scale, we call it Web scale, and one of the things we found particularly powerful about Cloudkick is they built it for that very same level of scale," Engates said.

"As we grow and continue to add cloud customers, we don't want to hit a brick wall with these enterprise tools and I think Cloudkick helps us alleviate that concern and really gives us a platform that does scale, that does have cloud in its target as far as scale goes. That's a big reason we like this technology."

The acquisition marks the latest effort by Rackspace to offer hybrid cloud computing services. The company this week launched a service called Managed Cloud, which combines the best of its managed hosting services and public cloud offerings. Rackspace also this month launched CloudConnect, its hybrid service that allows customers to mix dedicated and cloud services.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.