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Rackspace News & Analysis

Hate Conference Calls? Maybe This SharePoint Pro Can Help

Anyone who is anyone in the SharePoint community has probably heard of Todd Klindt.

Klindt is a self-described professional computer nerd. He's held that title for about the past 15 years, and has focused on SharePoint about the past eight. "His love affair with SharePoint began one slow day at the office when he discovered SharePoint Team Services 1.0 on the Office XP CD that was holding up his coffee cup, and decided to install it. The rest is history," he writes on his homepage.

It's that kind of passion that fuels his many fans to tune into his weekly podcasts Monday at 8:30 CT. An eclectic collection of humor and insight, the podcasts pair Klindt's homespun Iowa charm with his deep understanding of technology.

Can You Name the 3 Leaders in the Public Enterprise Cloud Space?

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Put your money on hybrid cloud computing — and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Rackspace.

But be forewarned: Security (or lack thereof) is still a concern and one of the chief reasons for underuse of cloud resources.

The findings, contained in RightScale’s State of the Cloud Report for 2015, paint a picture of a technology space that is well established but still immature in some respects.

It also confirms that hybrid cloud deployments are the preferred path for enterprises movement to the cloud, which explains why leading vendors have invested so many resources into their hybrid cloud portfolio.

Blame People for Cloud Downtime Woes

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People are among the top concerns for public clouds. They make mistakes. And those mistakes lead to downtimes.

The findings come from CloudEndure's first survey of IT professionals in North America and Europe, "2014 State of Public Cloud Disaster Recovery."

Specifically, the 116 IT pros ranked human error is right up there with application bugs and network failures as the primary risks to system availability.

When Marketing Automation Meets Salesforce #Gilbane

The Boston-based WGBH Education Foundation relies on donations. It's a public media entity.

So it also relies on technology to manage donations. Salesforce CRM. Marketing automation tools.

Cate Twohill, senior director and managing partner of CRM services at the WGBH Education Foundation, has her hands on the pulse of the organization's digital network and management of its donors. It's a job that comes with challenges. It recently uncovered and corrected more than 80,000 duplicate donor profiles and must manage donor relationships in a way that powers engagement.

Rackspace Simplifies Deployment of Open Source Applications

Private cloud solutions offer a number of advantages to businesses. They’re deployed on site, which provides improved control and flexibility, yet they also have the cost and scalability advantages of a public cloud.

But there is often one big drawback. The companies that use private clouds often have to develop the apps they need to use them effectively from scratch, a considerable challenge.

In an effort to ease this burden, Rackspace this week rolled out a suite of free, single-click solution templates that customers can use to quickly deploy today’s most widely used open source applications. The templates allow customers to launch a production-ready application stack on the company’s private cloud.

Was Amazon Web Services the Winner in Xen Cloud Reboot?

information management, Was Amazon Web Services the Winner in Xen Cloud Reboot?

A cloud portfolio management provider has done some Monday-morning quarterbacking through cloud hosting customers affected by the recent Xen hypervisor problem and reboot for major cloud players. 

The winner?

If you go by Rightscale's numbers released today -- they surveyed about 449 customers of Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and SoftLayer -- Amazon seems to come out on top as the hosting companies worked to patch and reboot the potential issue announced Oct. 1.

Rightscale reported that of the 349 Amazon Web Services customers responding to Rightscale's Oct. 2-3 survey, 51 percent reported no application downtime as a result of the reboot, and another 21 percent reporting less than five minutes of downtime.

Of the 66 Rackspace Public Cloud users, 27 percent escaped with no downtime. Of the 42 SoftLayer Virtual Server respondents, 26 percent reported zero downtime. 

Meanwhile, 5 percent of AWS users reported more than one hour of downtime, while 13 percent for Rackspace and 17 percent for SoftLayer said the same.

(Rightscale also received 74 responses from organizations that used Xen in their internal data centers. Some respondents use multiple clouds, hence the total of more than 449).

Google Counters Office 365 Price Cuts With New Partnership

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Google has responded to Microsoft's price cuts of Office 365 for SMBs by launching a new partnership with Rackspace.

Rackspace is offering US customers fully managed IT services for the Google Apps for Work suite, which includes Gmail, Drive and Hangouts. It will also offer Rackspace's migration, deployment and account management services. 

Rackspace CEO: We Screwed Up During Cloud Reboot

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Rackspace's CEO didn't mince words in an email to customers yesterday. He admitted the company made communication mistakes as it worked this week to patch a security vulnerability affecting certain versions of XenServer, a popular open-source hypervisor.

Taylor Rhodes, CEO and president of the San Antonio, Texas-based public and private cloud hosting provider, said the problem ultimately forced a reboot for about a quarter of Rackspace's 200,000 customers.

"In the course of it, we dropped a few balls," Rhodes said. "Some of our reboots, for example, took much longer than they should. And some of our notifications were not as clear as they should have been. We are making changes to address those mistakes. And we welcome your feedback on how we can better serve you." 

Oops! Is Rackspace Rethinking its 99.99% Uptime Boast?

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Eleven hours and counting. 

It's been a long haul of public-cloud downtime for David Björkevik and his team at Schemagi, a Linköping, Sweden-based company that makes schedules for nurses and other healthcare personnel using advanced optimization techniques.

Schemagi is one of the Rackspace public cloud customers experiencing downtime because of a maintenance reboot scheduled by the San Antonio, Texas-based managed hosting provider that offers public and private cloud hosting services.

Rackspace posted an "urgent notice" early Saturday morning ET on its website notifying customers of cloud server reboots in light of a potential problem with its public cloud environment.

The news comes around the same time the company 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee for its new release of its private cloud software on its cloud computing open source OpenStack creation. 

As Cloud Pricing Tumbles, Rackspace Explores its Options

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Rackspace has long been the sweetheart of application developers and website owners. Its reputation for delivering “fanatical support” has made it an industry darling.

But what lives in the heart doesn’t always compute in the pocketbook, and that’s a problem when you’re a public cloud hosting company that competes against giants like Microsoft, Google and Amazon, among others. The aforementioned have cut prices and margins without getting hurt because of economies of scale.

Rackspace shares, on the other hand, have lost as much as 60 percent of their value in the past year. Needless to say, something has to improve, and it won’t likely be the price that the market is willing to pay for cloud hosting.

Robert Scoble: The Scobleizer Talks Life, Work and Technology

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelRobert Scoble — aka The Scobleizer — works at Rackspace, where he's building a community for people fanatical about the Internet called building43. But that just scratches the surface. Scoble has been making a name for himself on the Internet for a while now.

"There’s a really excellent about page over on Wikipedia about me. I didn’t write a single word about it, but I do watch to make sure it’s accurate," he told me.

So let's start there. He's best known for his (late great) blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technology evangelist at Microsoft. It earned him a mention in the Economist in 2005, which noted Scoble had become

a minor celebrity among geeks worldwide, who read his blog religiously. Impressively, he has also succeeded where small armies of more conventional public-relations types have been failing abjectly for years: he has made Microsoft, with its history of monopolistic bullying, appear marginally but noticeably less evil to the outside world, and especially to the independent software developers that are his core audience."

Rackspace Emphasizes Digital Marketing Infrastructure

Companies deploying digital marketing capabilities have the technology experts. And they have those who specialize in customer engagement.

On the surface, that's two "very different" disciplines, said Gerardo Dada, product marketing leader for open cloud provider Rackspace Hosting.

Rackspace wants to merge those two worlds and today announced the launch of a new practice focusing on digital marketing infrastructure needs, Rackspace Digital. The hybrid cloud platform, Rackspace said, will help marketers engage with customers via websites, portal/extranets, mobile apps or online stores.

Having an "online presence" is for marketers "becoming more important than ever," Dada told CMSWire.

Altiscale has the RX for Hadoop Headaches

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Hadoop isn’t easy.

Sure, there are vendors out there who will tell you that it is ... Just take this course or that exam. Work with us side-by-side as we “elephantize” your Enterprise, and presto you’re a pro.

No, you’re not.

Not yet, anyway. Regardless of what any of the 268,000 hits you get when you enter the term “Hadoop training” into Google happens to say. And it’s not that these folks are trying to mislead you — they’ve put their heads and their hearts into encouraging and enabling the widespread adoption of Hadoop.

It’s just that becoming a master at Hadoop (Wikipedia definition: open-source software framework for storage and large scale processing of data-sets on clusters of commodity hardware) takes time, experience, trial and error and enough opportunities to generate a continuous record of success. But that’s not all. As a new technology with a vibrant Open Source community, Hadoop keeps changing, so it’s hard to keep up.

SharePoint 2010 to 2013: Plan Content Migration Now #SPTechCon

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For organizations contemplating the upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013, there doesn’t seem to be a concrete answer to the “when” question. Upgrade now? Upgrade later? Upgrade at all?

Rackspace Debuts Private Cloud on OpenStack Grizzly

Rackspace Debuts Private Cloud on OpenStack Grizzly

 Cloud hosting company Rackspace has debuted its Private Cloud software on Openstack Grizzly, the latest version of the Openstack system, and the release adds virtual networks and active directory integration to the Private Cloud.

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