Rackspace adding new data centre, expecting rapid growth
Rackspace is on a journey towards becoming the number one managed cloud company, according to ANZ general manager Angus Dorney. And those aspirations are taking a big leap forward with Rackspace planning to launch a second data center in Australia in early 2015.
"We have one live [data center] and we will be going live with a second disaster recovery specific facility within the first half of this year," says Dorney. "We have agreed which data center that will be. It will be a Rackspace operated facility".
Dorney would not reveal which city or state the facility would be in but, given that they already have a presence in Sydney, it would seem logical that the second facility would be in Melbourne or Brisbane. This would address the need for low latency and where the bulk of their ANZ customers are located.
This would be the tenth data center in Rackspace's global network and the first country, outside the United States, to boast two Rackspace data centers.
"There's strong demand in the enterprise market for geo-redundancy in Australia. As a result, we'll be opening a second facility in the first half of this year."
The new data center will be a boost to the already significant growth Dorney is expecting.
"This is a priority growth region for Rackspace, in terms of people, in terms of data centers", he says. "The investment from Rackspace is very much flowing into this market. The market we're playing in, the Australian cloud market is growing at something in the order of 25% and 30% a year. Our historical performances in this market and our projected performance moving forward is significantly higher than that market growth rate".
In what is an increasingly cluttered and competitive market, Dorney told us Rackspace's opportunities will come from differentiating themselves from the likes of AWS and Microsoft Azure. Whereas those offerings are well suited for businesses that are looking for a pure platform as a service, Rackspace sees themselves as offering a more complete end-to-end service.
A significant part of this is their partner and channel strategy.
"We have very well developed partner program," says Dorney. "Our partners fall into three main categories. We have reseller partners, strategic partners that we partner with to go to market together, and we have referral partners".
Dorney says that that Rackspace has a very strong connection - that he described as 'high touch' - with partners able to earn commissions that are described by Dorney as being "comparable" to other channel and reseller programs in the market.