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Should I use Rackspace Fanatical Support?

For organizations lacking in-house cloud expertise, managed cloud services like Rackspace Fanatical Support could be a way to fill that gap.

Rackspace Fanatical Support is Rackspace's cloud management and support service that applies the concept of sharing resources to cloud administration. The idea behind the service is that Rackspace's cloud professionals act as an extension of your IT department, managing your Rackspace, Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure cloud resources for you. 

According to Rackspace, its Fanatical Support team includes more than 3,000 cloud engineers. Also on the team are business development consultants, system engineers, support technicians, support specialists, billing specialists and representatives of the Rackspace Professional Services and Data Center Operations groups.

Rackspace says its Fanatical Support service -- which customers can access either by phone, email or online chat -- is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Customers can choose different levels of support, including "Managed" and "Intensive."

By focusing on cloud support, Rackspace and other specialty management service providers tap into the benefits of division of labor and specialization. They invest in training their staff and building automation tools at levels that would not be cost-effective at lower levels of use.

Organizations that lack sufficient staff or the right skill sets, but want to move to the cloud, should prepare for a difficult climb. They could compete with other employers to hire cloud administrators, but the most experienced and knowledgeable candidates will command high salaries and, no doubt, have their choice of jobs. We are in a seller's market when it comes to cloud administration skills.

Another option is to develop cloud expertise in-house. This takes time, but is often a sound strategy. In the short term, organizations could supplement staff with consultants that are familiar with cloud architecture to help with design and start teaching in-house staff through implementation. Another alternative is to contract out cloud administration -- and this is where services like Rackspace Fanatical Support for AWS and Rackspace Fanatical Support for Microsoft Azure come into play.

If you are new to managing a cloud environment, or do not have sufficient staff to manage your cloud resources, you could easily deploy poorly designed and inefficient compute, storage and network services. Using a managed service that includes design review and implementation support could pay for itself in terms of savings in cloud charges. If you do not have time to recruit or train staff, then consider a managed service like Rackspace Fanatical Support -- at least until you develop your staff or hire the team you need. 

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