Rackspace has rebranded its Critical Sites service to Critical Application Services. With the rebranding it has extended the service to the open cloud and to its Adobe CQ web content management customers.

Critical Application Services

Rackspace does more than offer basic cloud infrastructure and related support services. It also offers application support to a number of enterprise customers. This was in the form of services known as Critical Sites. But as of today, that service has been rebranded to Critical Application Services.

Robert Fuller, VP of Global Enterprise Solutions for Rackspace, spoke with CMSWire about Rackspace's 15 years in the industry and how it differentiates itself on its "fanatical support". There's history behind the creation of Critical Application Services -- Rackspace has had a global engineering support team focused on enterprise technology for a while now and with a number of customers hosting critical applications and environments at Rackspace, it has been able to gain a lot of experience in web scale engineering and architecture. It also helps that Rackspace has a large community supporting the same services.

Critical Application Services includes the following services:

  • Web Scale Engineering (WSE) -- Customize implementations and ongoing optimization services for both the application and the infrastructure
  • Monitoring -- In the form of both Application Performance Monitoring and Advanced Infrastructure Monitoring
  • URL Monitoring -- The monitoring of both static and synthetic URLs

Fuller pointed out that one of the keys to Rackspace's service offering is that it provides proactive support. So Rackspace doesn't wait for something to go wrong to start working, the team proactively monitors the applications and environments and adjusts as necessary to prevent problems.

Bringing Adobe into the Picture

Rackspace is no stranger to Adobe's web content management platform -- CQ5. It supports a number of Adobe partners' (e.g. Acquity Group, SapientNitro and Razorfish) implementations of CQ already. Before though, these partners supported the application themselves.

Now, Critical Application Services supports Adobe CQ application and infrastructure, so these Adobe partners and Adobe customers can focus on what they do best -- manage the customizing of the platform and the customer relationship, leaving the technical details to Rackspace.

We have maintained a longstanding relationship with Rackspace and are excited about the launch of Critical Applications Services for Adobe CQ. Rackspace’s new application support offer, specifically designed for CQ, will expand the scope of support and deployment options we can offer our customers using the platform. It’s a great offering for companies looking to implement and derive value on CQ very quickly.” -- Kevin Ellenwood, vice president, shared services, Acquity Group

Rackspace was trained by Adobe to properly support the CQ web content management platform. It worked with both Adobe and joint partners to establish a responsibility matrix between all of them. Fuller indicated that it was a great experience working with Adobe and that the two companies had very similar views regarding the value of performance and their customer's experience using the platform/environments.

The Critical Application Services team offers the following for Adobe CQ:

  • Set up of Adobe CQ development, test, staging and production environments for both perpetual and cloud-based licenses (this includes Adobe's Cloud Manager which runs in the Rackspace open cloud)
  • Installation and configuration of Adobe CQ services including Author, Publisher, Dispatcher services and Web application servers
  • Management of patches, upgrades and infrastructure expansions.

Loni Stark, Adobe Director of Product, Solution and Industry Marketing, echoed Fuller's commitment to the new partnership, saying that Adobe customers can be confident their environments are being properly supported by Rackspace. Note that Rackspace is one of several options for cloud environments that Adobe recommends.

Rackspace Pricing

To give you a rough idea of pricing for an Adobe CQ environment within Rackspace, Chris Zagorski, Rackspace Director of Application Services gave us a few details. Pricing obviously depends on the number of CQ services and servers that are installed, but you are looking at a base cost of US$ 5k per customer and then various pricing from there such as US$ 50/device, US$ 495 for a Web App and US$ 100 for each CQ service. The bigger the environment, the more you will pay.

If you have a high availability (HA) configuration with Rackspace, it offers a 100% up time guarantee for your production platform -- dedicated or cloud and two times the service level.