Rackspace announces Cloud Servers for Windows

Rackspace will bring its Cloud Servers offering to Windows shops in an attempt to take on Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2.

The Daily Cloud

Rackspace expands Cloud Servers to Windows
Rackspace's Cloud Servers offering is now available on Windows, so businesses that use Microsoft Windows and Microsoft .NET (and for some reason have neglected both Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2) will have access to Rackspace's scalable cloud computing environment.

Pricing for Rackspace's latest offering comes in at $0.08 an hour for 1 GB of RAM and 40 GB of disk space. That's a premium of $0.02 over comparable Linux offerings. Competitor (and frontrunner by a large margin) Amazon Web Services charges a $0.035 premium for its Windows instances, so this is a deliberate provocation by cloud upstart (but hosting expert) Rackspace.

Rackspace has already been in the news for launching the OpenStack project with NASA and announcing its growing cloud revenues, so this is another feather in the cap of the burgeoning cloud provider.

New Zimbra management appliance runs on vSphere
Virtualization giant VMware has launched a new virtual appliance designed to run on its vSphere platform. The Zimbra Collaboration Suite Appliance is an enterprise-level email and collaboration system aimed at reducing the cost and complexity of infrastructure management.

It is a "VMware-optimized" version of Zimbra that John Robb, vice president of sales and marketing, said will satisfy the modern landscape of IT needs. Such needs can be complex, Robb said, and include making the product work for users seeking online and offline capabilities and administrators looking for automatic updates, fast access, and multiple data storage options for privacy.

Zimbra customers include heavyweights like Comcast and Bechtel, which want the illusion of cloud computing applications for their users along with the reality of fine control over data, Robb said. He concedes that the application isn't exactly a Gmail-killer, but says it competes where Software as a Service (SaaS) falls down.

"Eighty percent of my market is on old email systems," Robb said. "If Zimbra can deliver Web-based control and easy deployment inside the enterprise, it can demonstrate the same level of simple accountability as a per-seat, per-month SaaS offering, with the added benefits of full control. If I have that [virtualized application] portability I have true cost control."

Capgemini hosts SAP in the cloud
Capgemini, one of the world's largest IT service providers, has achieved certification to provide and manage SAP applications through its cloud computing delivery platform. SAP apparently put Capgemini through a rigorous cloud boot camp to make sure it was worthy of hosting SAP's more mission-critical apps. It seems like Capgemini passed with flying colors.

Anyone working with Capgemini's cloud services will now have access to SAP's customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications in the cloud, along with technical support straight from SAP itself.

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