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Rackspace Inc. is a managed cloud computing
company based in Windcrest, Texas, USA, a suburb of San Antonio, Texas. The company also has offices in Australia,
the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Israel, The Netherlands, India, and Hong Kong, and data
centers operating in Texas, Illinois, Virginia, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Hong Kong. The company’s email and apps division operates
from Blacksburg, VA; other offices are located in Austin, Texas and San Francisco, California. History In 1996, Richard Yoo started a small Internet
service provider called Cymitar Network Systems out of his garage apartment in San Antonio,
Texas. The company began doing application development
work in addition to offering basic Internet access and web hosting. In 1997, Yoo brought on Dirk Elmendorf. When the company began to develop Internet
applications as its primary business, the company was re-formed as Cymitar Technology
Group. As Cymitar Technology Group grew, Patrick
Condon was recruited from California and joined the team in 1998. Coincidentally, all three of the company’s
founders were students at one time at Trinity University in San Antonio. Although the founders began as application
developers for end users, they found that most companies did not either know how or
want to host their applications. The founders wanted to focus on application
development–not hosting–but they were unable to find an opportunity to outsource
the hosting work. Eventually, the founders realized that it
would be better to create a product to serve the hosting need and launch it as a company. Rackspace was launched in October 1998 with
Richard Yoo as its CEO. Although most hosting companies focused on
the technology end of hosting, Rackspace created its “Fanatical Support” offering to focus
on service and support. On March 28, 2000, Rackspace received funding
through Norwest Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. George J. Still, Jr., Managing Partner at
Norwest, subsequently joined the Board of Directors. Business model
Rackspace has two primary lines of business — Cloud Servers and Dedicated Servers. Rackspace helps design, build, and operate
workloads across both environments depending on the individual needs of the customer. Cloud Servers
The Managed Infrastructure service level provides a core set of services necessary to set customers
up in the cloud, including architecture advice, security assistance, and code development
assistance. The Managed Operations support level provides
all Managed Infrastructure services plus additional proactive support. Dedicated Servers
The Managed service level consists of on-demand support where proactive services are provided,
but the customer can contact Rackspace when they need additional assistance. The Intensive service level consists of proactive
support where many proactive services are provided, and customers receive additional
consultations about their server configuration. Highly customized implementations generally
fall under this level of support. Involvement with other companies
Rackspace launched ServerBeach in San Antonio in January 2003 as a lower-cost alternative
for dedicated servers designed for technology hobbyists who want flexibility and reliability. Richard Yoo was a catalyst in the startup
of ServerBeach. A bandwidth and colocation provider, Peer
1 Hosting, purchased ServerBeach in October 2004 for $7.5 Million. Peer 1 Hosting entered the UK managed hosting
market in January 2009 and the ServerBeach brand now competes directly with the UK arm
of Rackspace, run by Dominic Monkhouse, former managing director of Rackspace Limited. In October 2006, Mosso Inc. was launched,
which experimented with white-labeling hosting services. Eventually, the division became the foundation
for the Rackspace Cloud Computing offering. On October 1, 2007, Rackspace acquired Webmail.us,
a private e-mail hosting firm located in Blacksburg, VA. Originally branded as Mailtrust on May 20,
2009, it became part of the newly formed Email and Apps division of Rackspace. On October 22, 2008, Rackspace acquired Slicehost,
a provider of virtual servers and Jungle Disk, a provider of online backup software and services. Expansion into the Asia Pacific Region
The company is experiencing growth in the Asian marketplace. The Asian office is a natural step in Rackspace’s
expansion outside the U.S. and London to cater for worldwide customers’ needs in Hong Kong
/ China. Rackspace selected Hong Kong as the Asia Pacific
regional office in part because of its reputation within the global business economy, its IT
infrastructure, multiple telecommunication providers and rich talent pool. Rackspace also solicited feedback from its
current customer base in the Asia Pacific region, and the majority of those respondents
confirmed their preference for doing business in Hong Kong. In the news
In 2008, Rackspace moved their headquarters from a building once occupied by Datapoint
Corporation to the then-unoccupied Windsor Park Mall in Windcrest, Texas. Rackspace’s Chairman, Graham Weston, owned
the Montgomery Ward building in the mall until 2006, when it was sold to a developer. The city of Windcrest purchased 111 acres
south of the mall to create a residential and retail complex. The facility is located next to Roosevelt
High School, and many Roosevelt students intern at Rackspace. The Fortune magazine’s “Top 100 Best Companies
to Work For 2008” placed Rackspace as #32 the first year that Rackspace applied for
consideration. The company was praised for its transparency. Regular “Open Book” meetings are held where
the top level leaders share in-depth financial information with all employees. In 2011 and 2013, the company was named as
one of the top 100 places to work by Fortune. On August 8, 2008, Rackspace opened for trading
on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “RAX” after its initial public offering
in which it raised $187.5 million. The initial public offering included 15,000,000
shares of its common stock at a price of $12.50 per share. The IPO did not do well in the public market
and lost about 20% of its initial price almost immediately. At around 3:45PM CST December 18, 2009, Rackspace
went down. Rackspace experienced an outage for customers
using their Dallas-Fort Worth data center – including those of Rackspace Cloud, again. This time, many high profile sites decided
to make alternate plans at other hosting companies to avoid future problems. On September 8, 2010, Rackspace received national
attention when they decided to discontinue providing web hosting service to one of their
customers, Dove World Outreach Center. This was in reaction to Dove World’s pastor
Terry Jones’ plan to burn several copies of the Qur’an on the anniversary of the September
11th attacks. Rackspace claims that this violated their
company policy. This move came under criticism, notably from
Terry Jones himself, who described it as an “indirect attack on our freedom of speech.” Others questioned the appropriateness of Rackspace’s
action, stating that there is “absolutely no reason for web hosts to have an editorial
policy, and this only gives Jones more attention, and makes him look more persecuted.” On June 3, 2011, Rackspace intervened in an
application by Queensland host Rack Servers to trademark its business name in Australia. On May 26, 2013, Author Bill Schley’s book
‘The UnStoppables’, which was inspired by the culture at Rackspace, became a New York
Times bestseller. On May 15, 2014, Rackspace hired Morgan Stanley
to evaluate strategic options including selling to or merging with other technology companies. Acquisitions
On October 22, 2008, Rackspace announced it was purchasing cloud storage provider Jungle
Disk and VPS provider SliceHost. On February 16, 2012, Rackspace acquired SharePoint911,
a Microsoft SharePoint consulting company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Other acquisitions include: Cloudkick, Anso
Labs, Mailgun, ObjectRocket, Exceptional Cloud Services, and ZeroVM. Worldwide
Rackspace serves customers worldwide and has offices in the USA, Australia, United Kingdom,
The Netherlands, Switzerland, Israel, India, and Hong Kong, and data centers in the USA,
Australia, United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. Rackspace is registered in the UK as Rackspace
Ltd. and as of 2013 employed approximately 900 people, at an office and a rented data
center. The company opened a fourth UK data center
in Slough, Berkshire in the second quarter of 2008. Some organizations served by Rackspace’s UK
web hosting services include Confused.com, Vue, Renault, online publication The Register,
Huddle, Funny or Die, Metacafe, Suicide Girls, and net connect. Rackspace Benelux in Amsterdam opened its
offices in October 2007. It won several customers such as LogicaCMG,
Exact Software and CapGemini. Rackspace Australia in Sydney opened its offices
in March 2009. It won several customers and partners such
as Westfield Holdings, Wotif.com, Sage Australia, Xero, Netstarter and Market Boomer. Awards
In 2014, Rackspace was ranked 29th in the Fortune 100 list of best companies to work
for in the US. Starting from 2007, Rackspace has appeared
on that list for 6 out of 7 years. Rackspace UK has also appeared in The Sunday
Times best employers’ awards for each year between 2007 and 2013. The UK division of the company has also been
a part of the “Great Place To Work” rankings for 9 consecutive years from 2004, coming
in 4th place in 2013 & 6th in 2014. OpenStack In 2010, Rackspace contributed the source
code of its Cloud Files product to the OpenStack project under the Apache License to become
the OpenStack Object Storage component. In April 2012, Rackspace announced it would
implement OpenStack Compute as the underlying technology for their Cloud Servers product. This change introduced a new control panel
as well as add-on cloud services offering databases, server monitoring, block storage,
and virtual networking. References External links
Official website

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