By Jason Rook
Azure is sure growing up fast. Just a few years ago we were anxiously awaiting the big Spring IaaS release. All of us Azure historians refer to those days as the “PaaS-Only Era.” Now we have customers using Data Lake to analyze petabytes of data and IoT Suite to connect millions of sensors— and we even have customers running 20 Core Red Hat VMs, in production… and supported! The days of PaaS-only are long gone, and we don’t see this innovation slowing down any time soon. It’s quite exciting to be a part of this increasingly rapid transition, continuously striving to be one step ahead for our customers.
A few months ago we recognized a trend where more and more of our customers reached a threshold that forced them to ask not only what’s next in Azure features, but also what’s next in terms of support and operations methodologies. Our customers began asking for the same level of ongoing datacenter management that they were used to in the onprem world. Customers make the transition to Azure because they are in the business of doing their business. They are bankers, doctors, software makers, power distributors, you name it. They are not datacenter builders, OS patchers or server sitters. However, those things are still important. Perhaps a bit different in the cloud, but there is still a need for operations and support.
So we began a quest to find the best possible option for our customers that need high-end, 24×7 support but with serious Azure expertise. Ironically, at the same time we began our quest, some 1200 miles away the world’s best— or as they would say, Fanatical— support company began a quest to find someone with DNA-level passion around Microsoft Azure. Rackspace was looking for a group of experts that could help satisfy their customers’ thirst for guidance and assistance with getting to Azure. When we found each other we instantly knew that 10th Magnitude’s expertise and experience with helping customers build and deploy game-changing solutions in Azure matched perfectly with Rackspace’s Fanatical Support for Azure.
With this partnership we are now able to help a customer not only design and build an architecture for their solution, but also build that solution for optimal ongoing Fanatical Support. The Rackspace Fanatical Support for Azure model is flexible enough to allow 10th Magnitude, Rackspace and the customer to construct the perfect fit for the customer’s business needs.
Another great benefit of this partnership is that we are now helping existing Rackspace customers take advantage of Microsoft Azure without giving up the Rackspace support that they love. For example, the opportunity for US-based companies to leverage global data centers is increasing. Microsoft Azure provides a massive global footprint of data centers that can be used to meet a number of needs such as compliance with local regulatory requirements or scaling to get data closer to the end user. Customers who want to take advantage of Azure’s global reach can now do so, but still have Rackspace Fanatical support. We also have customers who love their Rackspace relationship but want to move into a hybrid scenario that includes their datacenter, a Rackspace datacenter and now an Azure datacenter. By partnering with Rackspace we are enabling this hybrid scenario for customers, allowing them to take advantage of Azure hybrid cloud strength but with the assurance of Fanatical Support.
We can all pontificate about what the next era or eras of Microsoft Azure will be. Believe me, we have a growing group of Azure engineers that love to do just that, especially over craft beer. However, we can all agree that more Azure innovation is coming which will inspire even more customers to get out of their datacenters and deeper into their businesses.