As software as a service has risen to gain the
attention of more business customers and solution providers, plenty of service
providers have cropped up with offerings that solution providers could private-label
to their customers.
Hosting provider Rackspace has been no exception, rolling out a hosted e-mail
service and then a hosted Microsoft Exchange service. And now the company is
taking that a step further, launching two new hosted storage offerings. A
hosted Microsoft SharePoint offering is also in the works and expected to
launch in December.
An estimated 60 percent of Rackspace’s overall business comes from channel
partners, according to Pat Matthews, general manager of the Rackspace Email and
Apps division, and that number is higher in the Email and Apps division—probably
65 to 70 percent, he says. Rackspace’s e-mail offerings have enjoyed some
success, with about 1.3 million paid e-mail users on the system and then about
150,000 users on the hosted Microsoft Exchange offering.
That success, in a market that seems hungry for hosted storage amid rumors that
Google may be about to announce a "G-Drive" service, has led
Rackspace to expand its offerings.
"We are moving from an e-mail-focused strategy to a much broader
one," says Matthews.
The hosting and cloud computing company has added Rackspace Cloud Drive, a file storage application, and Rackspace Server
Backup, an online server backup application.
Rackspace says Rackspace
can facilitate collaboration in an increasingly distributed world because it
enables storing and sharing of files among employees. In addition, companies
can access and manage data from both inside and outside of the office, and synchronize
desktop folders with a cloud-based network drive across one or more computers.
Rackspace Cloud Drive also enables companies to back up data to the
Rackspace cloud and then restore it in the event of a hardware failure. Plus it
protects data with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)-256 encryption using a
key controlled by the customer, according to Rackspace.
Rackspace Server Backup is a cloud-based online server backup application that
lets customers back up their Mac, Windows or Linux PC data to the cloud. It
also uses AES-256 encryption.