Rackspace adds management to cloud offering

Rackspace will offer advice on how to best use cloud computing as well as update operating systems and applications for users

Rackspace has added managed services to its cloud offering, joining some of its smaller competitors.

Rackspace is now offering its cloud customers additional services including monitoring, troubleshooting and advice on how best to use cloud computing, it said.

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Customers can choose from a few different options for support. They can opt to get alerts about issues that crop up and authorize Rackspace to troubleshoot problems immediately.

Rackspace will also stay on top of installing updates and patches for popular operating systems and applications, including MS Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise 64-bit, Ubuntu 10.4, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4, Apache, MySQL, PHP, .Net/IIS, and Microsoft SQL Server Standard Edition 2008 R2.

World Triathlon Corp., which organizes the Ironman races, is already using Rackspace's managed cloud offering and said in a statement that it values the professional insight from Rackspace on how to best use the cloud.

Other cloud providers serving enterprises also offer such managed services. Logicworks, for instance, offers support services including application monitoring, firewall security, intrusion detection, load balancing and disaster recovery to users of its InfiniCloud infrastructure-as-a-service offering.

NaviSite and BlueLock are also cloud service providers that offer management services.

Many of the providers say that they aim to help enterprises move to the cloud without having to learn all the expertise required to efficiently use such a hosted service.

Some of the providers say that their managed services set them apart from Amazon, which paved the way for public cloud services but is known for offering a low-cost, no-frills service.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's email address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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