After releasing Windows Cloud Servers last month, Rackspace is now focussing on getting .NET developers use their cloud. When they released their Windows cloud servers, I was skeptical of developers moving to their servers instead of using Azure platform.
In my opinion, their Windows based offerings may fill the gap in catering to their existing customers. Increasingly, we are seeing many SMBs taking a hybrid approach to their infrastructure needs and Windows Cloud Servers fills in to meet the needs of such customers. Since their pricing is not competitive compared to Amazon EC2 Windows Instances, I don’t foresee any large scale migrations from Amazon. Moreover, any serious Windows shop will use Azure from Microsoft than Rackspace. The only way Rackspace can gain marketshare is through their agressive and reliable support.
In order to increase adoption, Rackspace is taking the path of empowering users so that they can easily deploy to Rackspace cloud from the tools they are already comfortable. Rackspace today announced the availability of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Plugin For Rackspace Cloud. Built by a Microsoft Certified development shop, Neudesic, this plugin will offer a birds eye view of Rackspace cloud inside Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. According to Rackspace, this toolkit provides a new level of abstraction, making it easier and faster than ever for .NET developers to create and deploy applications to Cloud Servers for Windows.
With this plugin, developers can also tap into Rackspace cloud API and perform certain operations like
- Launch, reboot and fully control all servers
- Rebuild servers from images and create custom images
- Schedule application backups
- Upsize and scale server configurations as needed
- Manage and share IP addresses
Microsoft developers will like this idea of having an option to control their cloud deployment from within the Visual Studio tools. Amazon offers a toolkit for Eclipse but they don’t offer anything for Visual Studio users. This gives an opportunity for Rackspace to lure those developers who are either vary of Azure offerings or want to have a non-Microsoft alternative. I still see it as Rackspace’s attempt to retain their existing Windows Server users than lure new developers to their cloud. If you are a developer and you like Rackspace cloud over Azure, please share your thoughts and I would love to listen to it.
Update: relevant video by Robert Scoble.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Microsoft and Rackspace team up for simple .NET app deployment to the Cloud (building43.com)
- Rackspace fills out its Windows cloud story (zdnet.com)
- Rackspace.NET (rackspacecloud.com)
- Rackspace Offers Windows Cloud Servers (cloudave.com)