Rackspace is capitalizing on the trend for organizations to mingle with the masses while working in its own cozy little cloud. The company announced that it is making enhancements to RackConnect, the hybrid cloud solution it introduced late last year.

We Love the Cloud. Wait Who Are All of These Other People

Cloud computing has democratized the availability of sophisticated technology solutions. Before cloud computing, high availability and capacity computing, enterprise search, content management and many other solutions were mostly relegated to organizations with large IT departments with comparable budgets.

However, what may be a dirty little secret is that even the cloud isn’t a one-size-fits-all free-for-all. An increasing number of organizations have decided they want all the benefits of the cloud like elastic scaling without the drawbacks of the other people. Before you start yelling about the 99 percent, this isn’t a case of digital elitism. 

Many organizations house sensitive data and do not want to move it externally. In fact, some are restricted by regulations or laws from doing so. The hybrid cloud provides an alternative for these organizations. Hybrid clouds allow adopters to mix the use of private and public clouds to host their technology portfolio. Now you can have your cake and eat it, too.

RackConnect, Now Better

In November 2010, Rackspace introduced its hybrid cloud product, RackConnect, targeted at the growing hybrid cloud market. RackConnect allowed customers to leverage Rackspace cloud and dedicated hosting in a single solution.

Like all first generation products, however, there was room for improvement. Rackspace is now rolling out several enhancements based on customer's feedback over the last year. Key improvements include:

  • Automatic server configuration -- RackConnect now automatically configures and connects to the dedicated environment when they are provisioned. New servers can also be added to load balancers instantly. 
  • Increased visibility of network security policies, cloud and dedicated configuration details. This information is now accessible on the Rackspace customer portal making it more efficient for customers to monitor server details.
  • More security features -- Rackspace added the ability for a customer to configure network security policies, including physical firewall and cloud server-based software firewalls, without having to wait for Rackspace’s managed server technicians to apply the changes. This is definitely a win for RackConnect customers.
  • A number of new options like a hybrid targeted more at small and medium businesses, which Rackspace terms the “cost effective hybrid.” It provides a dedicated firewall to protect cloud-servers with a physical server for the database.

Rackspace enhancements promises to strengthen its position in the growing hybrid cloud computing market. Other vendors will likely follow suit with similar offerings.