Rackspace launches ‘Kubernetes as a service’ offering, acquires agency RelationEdge

A couple of interesting pieces of news from Rackspace; the company has launched a ‘Kubernetes as a service’ offering, as well as announcing the acquisition of digital agency RelationEdge.

The service, which will become available on Rackspace Private Cloud later this month, with planned support for public clouds later this year, is more affirmation of the rise of the container orchestration tool. At the start of this month, KubeCon and CloudNativeCon saw a truckload of announcements about Kubernetes, from certified courses to vendor support – and the latter is evidently key here.

Rackspace sees the problem thus. The application container software market will grow significantly in the coming years to almost $3 billion by 2020 – citing figures from 451 Research – meaning a gap will appear for those wishing to effectively manage Kubernetes environments on their own.

Like the company already does with public cloud providers, Rackspace wants to ease headaches organisations may have. Through the service, customers will be able to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters across private and public clouds, as well as managing ‘day 2’ operations – updates, upgrades and patching in other words – and providing enterprise-grade security.

Rackspace also says customers will save up to 50% with its Kubernetes as a service, as opposed to running the environments themselves.

“We’re making the most modern infrastructure consumable by every enterprise,” said Lee James, Rackspace CTO EMEA in a statement. “With Kubernetes as a service, we are providing the industry’s simplest Kubernetes consumption model by delivering it fully configured, tested and validated at enterprise scale with the managed cluster services customers need to effectively run their applications.

“Rackspace’s combination of operational experience and open source expertise, coupled with the security, improved economics and a fully managed Kubernetes offering available on leading public and private cloud technologies, helps companies accelerate their digital transformation,” added James.

The acquisition of RelationEdge plays more into another of Rackspace’s themes: enterprise application management. Industry watchers will recall Rackspace acquiring TriCore last year, in what was virtually incoming CEO Joe Eazor’s first announcement. RelationEdge has expertise as a Salesforce platinum consulting partner – perhaps an odd choice therefore, but Rackspace said the acquisition would ‘expand [the company’s] ability to be a preferred partner for managing a customer’s complete application portfolio through continuous transition to modern technologies, including SaaS applications.’