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Rackspace Continues its Quest to Support Everyone Else’s Cloud

February 11, 2016, 5:20 PM UTC

Rackspace, which offers its own public and private clouds but is trying to make a business out of supporting other clouds as well, expanded that practice this week .

It will now bring it’s self-proclaimed “fanatical support” to Red Hat (RHT) OpenStack clouds, which rely on Red Hat Enterprise Linux as their foundation.

OpenStack is an open-source cloud framework, meaning that it is backed by many tech vendors from IBM (IBM) and Cisco (CSCO) to Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Red Hat. Basically, its backed by everyone but Amazon (AMZN) Web Services, Microsoft (MSFT), and Google (GOOG).

Does Rackspace’s Future Lie in Supporting Someone Else’s Clouds?

Rackspace (RAX) along with NASA were the original OpenStack pioneers.

OpenStack’s appeal is based on that broad adoption by many companies. That alleviates customers’ fear of getting locked into one provider. But that broad support also meant lots of confusion about just how compatible all these versions of OpenStack really are.

See how Amazon took over cloud:

Rackspace’s contention is that there are many customers that start down the OpenStack path before realizing that it’s a lot harder to set up and run than anticipated. Then Rackspace can swoop in to configure and run that cloud for them either in their own server rooms, in a third-party data center, or on Rackspace equipment.

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“The barriers to adoption of OpenStack are complexity and lack of talent,” Darrin Hanson, vice president and GM of OpenStack Private Cloud Solutions told Fortune. “We have a very prescribed view of how it works and we run 100s of thousands of nodes across public and private clouds. Our team has managed through all that complexity.”

This whole “we will support the world” mantra started last spring when Rackspace’s CEO Taylor Rhodes hinted that it would apply its support-and-service talents to non-Rackspace clouds. It has since announced support and management services for Microsoft Azure public cloud and for Amazon Web Services.