Wednesday, 19 September 2018 12:55

Rackspace can be your organisation's Yoda, says general manager

Rackspace ANZ general manager Darryn McCoskery Rackspace ANZ general manager Darryn McCoskery

Rackspace has the opportunity to be the leader in multi-cloud, as well as the number one managed cloud provider, the company's recently promoted ANZ general manager Darryn McCoskery has told iTWire in an exclusive interview.

Rackspace promoted McCoskery to the role of general manager for Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.

His background in the enterprise market — McCoskery was previously APAC regional vice-president at CSC — is a good fit with Rackspace's strategy, he said.

That strategy is to provide enterprise clients with everything from advisory services to ongoing management in a multi-cloud environment.

The ANZ business is "in alignment" with the global operation in this regard, he says, and in some respects its smaller size means it can make faster progress.

McCoskery stressed that Rackspace did not act as a broker when it came to multi-cloud implementations. Rather, it helped customers achieve desired business outcomes.

The company would not necessarily offer an opinion about the relative suitability of the various cloud providers unless the customer asked for one, he explained.

"There are many reasons why customers want to use a particular cloud," he said, so Rackspace's role was to understand what they wanted to achieve and then help them reach the desired outcome.

And even though containerisation helps with the portability of workloads across different clouds, organisations may see business value in using facilities provided by a particular platform that outweigh the commercial issues, he said, pointing out that lock-in could occur at any layer of the technology stack.

Sometimes customers — or more specifically, key members of their staff — showed unconscious bias towards a particular provider, but Rackspace was used to working in a variety of situations, he says.

Customers turned to Rackspace for guidance on their journey through cloud migration and digital transformation, and were looking for technical expertise, particularly when it comes to security-related issues.

Rackspace understood each cloud, and coud help achieve equivalent security when on-premises workloads were migrated to the cloud, whether the customer just wanted assistance while the system was being architected or if it wanted Rackspace to take care of the whole project including building the system and managing it on an ongoing basis.

The company's QA practices provide multiple layers of checks and balances that involve suitably accredited staff, McCoskery said. All builds went through this process before they were made available to the customer.

Appropriate QA could sometimes cause a backlog, but a system's performance, scalability, security and other factors have to be checked before it goes into production.

"Our customers employ Rackspace to do that," he said.

Furthermore, its round-the-clock security operations centre was there to "protect, defend and respond" as necessary.

People want "a safe pair of hands," McCoskery said. "We do this every day for our customers", and Rackspace's scale meant it could deliver benefits that it claimed made a real difference to organisations, such as in terms of cost, speed and ease of use.

"Even Luke Skywalker has Yoda to turn to," be observed.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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