After quite a while at YouGov, I’ve started a new position at Rackspace working on the Cloud DNS team! Specifically, I’m working on Designate, a DNS as a Service project that is in incubation for OpenStack. I’ve had an interest in OpenStack for a while now, so I feel extremely lucky I have the opportunity to join the community with one of the founding organizations.
One thing that has been interesting is the idea of the Managed Cloud. AWS focuses on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Rackspace also offers IaaS, but takes that a step farther by providing support. For example, if you need a DB as a Service, AWS provides services like Redshift or SimpleDB. It is up to the users to figure out ways to optimize queries and tune the database for the user’s specific needs. In the Managed Cloud, you can ask for help and know that an experienced expert will understand what you need to do and help to make it happen, even at the application level.
While this support feels expensive, it can be much cheaper than you think when you consider the amount of time developers spend becoming pseudo experts at a huge breadth of technology that doesn’t offer any actual value to a business. Just think of the time spent on sharding a database, maintaining a CI service, learning the latest / greatest container technology, building your own VM images, maintaining your own configuration management systems, etc. Then imagine having a company that will help you set it up and maintain it over time. That is what the managed cloud is all about.
It doesn’t stop at software either. You can mix and match physical hardware with traditional cloud infrastructure as needed. If your database server needs real hardware that is integrated with your cloud storage and cloud servers, Rackspace can do it. If you have strict security compliance requirements that prevent you from using traditional IaaS providers, Rackspace can help there too. If you need to use VMWare or Windows as well as Open Stack cloud technologies, Rackspace has you covered.
I just got back from orientation, so I’m still full of the Kool-Aid.
That said, Fanatical Support truly is ingrained in the culture here. It started when the founders were challenged. They hired someone to get a handle on support and he proposed Fanatical Support. His argument was simple. If we offer a product and don’t support it, we are lying to our customers. The service they are buying is not what they are getting, so don’t be a lier and give users Fanatical Support.
I’m extremely excited to work on great technology at an extremely large scale, but more importantly, I’m ecstatic to being working at a company that ingrains integrity treats its customers and employees with the utmost respect.