What do you get when a major cloud hosting service and a cloud optimization service team up? This partnership can probably be considered a match made in cloud heaven.

A capable hosting infrastructure is considered to be the backbone of any cloud computing setup. Meanwhile, it's just the infrastructure that will ensure an efficient and responsive cloud deployment. To address these potential gaps, cloud provider Rackspace Hosting and Akamai Technologies have partnered to expand either company's portfolio.

Rackspace (news, site) will be offering Akamai Technology's (news, site) web acceleration and cloud optimization services as part of its hosting packages. Key features from Akamai services, like CNAME, SSL, CDN delivery for Rackspace's own Cloud Files and other acceleration services will be offered to clients as part of Rackspace's own portfolio of services. 

Lew Moorman, Rackspace president, cloud and chief strategy officer, recognizes the potential of this partnership in addressing the growing need for delivering feature-rich content, SaaS applications and dynamic web applications.

Having independently served hundreds of Akamai's customers, we are excited to streamline the customer experience on dedicated and cloud platforms with the leading cloud optimization services provider, all backed by our trademark Fanatical Support, Moorman says.

Reducing Latency for Efficient Global Deployments

Akamai's globally distributed network aims to minimize latency in delivering content and applications for just about any deployment (whether cloud or otherwise). Akamai's presence in 71 countries through 77,000 servers ensures customers a robust infrastructure that is scalable and secure. Akamai vice president for application and site acceleration, Willie Tejada, notes that the partnership will help raise awareness toward the benefits of cloud computing.

By combining two best-of-class solutions for application hosting and cloud acceleration, Rackspace customers can gain improved performance, security and reliability for their Web-based applications.

Demand for Cloud Computing

According to Gartner's Magic Quadrant, cloud computing will pick up in 2011, particularly with Infrastructure-as-a-Service models and web hosting converging eventually. By year end, IaaS will comprise 25% of the hosting market, IaaS potentially accounting for 100% in five years' time. Rackspace is said to have an advantage in terms of being able to handle anything from simple to complex cloud deployments, and with an excellent customer service track record. If anything, Rackspace's partnership with Akamai will further enhance its position as among the leading cloud hosting providers.

The partnership will entail Rackspace offering Akamai services either as an add-on or integrated within a packaged service. This starts with Akamai CDN being integrated into Rackspace's Cloud Files media storage and delivery service by second quarter of 2011. Apart from integrating Akamai services into Rackspace offerings, Akamai will likewise be included in Rackspace's own Fanatical Support customer service concerns.