Rackspace Hosting – which is trying to position itself as the alternative to Amazon when it comes to cloud computing and which is one of the big suppliers of traditional hosted servers – has partnered with Akamai Technologies to help speed up application performance on its clouds.
This is not the first time that Rackspace has partnered with a content delivery network (CDN) provider to speed up access to its cloudy infrastructure. A little more than two years ago, when the Rackspace storage cloud was developed by a separate subsidiary called Mosso and was still known as CloudFS, Rackspace inked a CDN deal with Limelight Networks to front-end the Rackspace storage cloud. That deal put Rackspace on par with Amazon's S3 storage cloud and its CloudFront CDN, which came out of beta in November 2008.
Under the deal between Rackspace and Akamai, Rackspace customers using its Cloud Files storage cloud will eventually be able to use Akamai services, such as CNAME DNS load-balancing, SSL encryption, and CDN (which caches content from a site across 77,000 Akamai servers spread around 71 countries) to boost the performance of their cloudy storage. Rackspace itself had 63,996 servers and 118,732 customers as of the end of September 2010.
Rackspace will resell Akamai products and services as part of the deal, too, with the goal of letting Rackspace customers to get whatever they need from Akamai from their primary vendor but have one throat to choke it down located in San Antonio, Texas.
The Cloud File storage cloud is getting Akamai acceleration first, but Rackspace says that it also plans to add Akamai products to its dedicated hosting, cloud, and hybrid hosting offerings – either embedded in the services or as add-ons. These other Akamai products will be available through Rackspace starting in the second quarter.
Financial details of the relationship between Rackspace and Akamai were not disclosed. Sources at Rackspace say that the Limelight Networks CDN is still available for cloudy infrastructure, but that it will be phased out over time. ®