Rackspace promises Aussie datacentre


blog If you talk to US-based companies about hosting providers, they’re likely to rabbit on and on about the unholy dominant duo of the US market: Amazon and Rackspace. Amazon. Rackspace. Rackspace. Amazon. It gets to be a bit repetitive at times. If you’re not with one, you’re with the other. Or both. And now both are (reportedly) expanding into Australia.

Like Amazon, Rackspace recently opened an Australian office and starting hiring local staff. Like Amazon, Rackspace has already notched up some Australian customers. And also like its eternal rival, Rackspace’s appeal to Australian customers has been somewhat limited by the fact that it doesn’t have any Australian infrastructure. But as iTNews reports today (we recommend you click here for the full article), all that may be about to change, as Rackspace follows Amazon in yet another way: Australian infrastructure. The publication quotes Rackspace chief operating officer Mark Roenigk:

Roenigk told iTnews this week that an Australian data centre was “a possibility in the next year”. “As you know, we have a sales office in Australia, and we will open a data centre in Australia in the next 12 to 18 months.”

Now Rackspace is a little more than a pure hosting company. I would say that, like a handful of companies in Australia such as Hostworks, the company doesn’t really specialise in the commodity web hosting hosting space but pushes up more towards the premium area; delivering managed service and cloud-computing type services, and even Software as a Service platforms such as Sharepoint.

If it does invest in its own datacentre infrastructure in Australia (probably becoming a tenant in a facility such as that offered by Global Switch rather than deploying its own physical facility, it could become a strong local player; bringing a maturity to the hosting and cloud infrastructure market which is still somewhat lacking locally, with most rival companies in the space still gradually working out the technology back-end to make this kind of service scalable.

Of course, we’ve heard various promises and speculative hints about Australian datacentres from a number of global companies over the past few years. There was Amazon.com. There was Salesforce.com. There was Netsuite. And even Telstra has expressed its desire to host Microsoft cloud infrastructure on shore. None of this has eventuated so far; it will be interesting to see whether Rackspace can be the global cloud provider to break the trend. We await the outcome with bated breath.

Image credit: Whrelf Siemens, royalty free


  1. I would pressue the would be doing this because of the patriot act, which allows the USA government to access any data stored anywhere in the USA. Doesn’t the patriot act extend to data held by American companies irrespectective where the data is help. I would guess this would probably cause a legal argument over just who owns data when the data is being stored on server that is owned by someone else.

  2. Rackspace are the world leader in Hosting and Australia is a poorly serviced country for most IT services, go figure.

    Re the Parrot Act, yes Parrot because I hear lots of noise but no sensible comments about the practical implementation of the Act.

    A response to my question to Rackspace on the Act.

    “The United States Patriot Act is a law directed at terrorism and the most serious of criminal acts. As such, it has no impact on the activities of our law abiding customers in Australia, New Zealand or any other country. Rackspace respects and follows the laws of each of the countries in which it operates. It is Rackspace’s policy that it will not access, transfer or deliver data stored on servers by Rackspace’s customers in response to any government authorities other than a valid and lawful court order or search warrant from appropriate law enforcement officials from the country in which the servers are physically located.” — Alan Schoenbaum,  General Counsel of Rackspace Hosting

    • That’s a classically disingenuous statement from the counsel, at best.

      What / whom ever the law may have been ” . . . directed at . . . “, the simple fact is once a law is on the books it can, and will, be used against anyone who breaks the letter of the law. Not the intent, not the spirit, and certainly not the direction; but the letter. Witness Al Capone’s famous tax evasion arrest and subsequent imprisonment. Or the more recent Kim Dotcom episode.

      Likewise, a ” . . . valid and lawful court order or search warrant from appropriate law enforcement officials from the country in which the servers are physically located . . .” would indeed include requests made under the Patriot Act for servers located in a US jurisdiction.

      But, of course, the counsel knows all this.

  3. I would like to know what is driving them to hit our market now… My guess is that it is because they can see the viability skyrocket with the NBN coming, not to mention they face potentially strong competative pressure from Australian innovators who were previously finding it hard to complete locally against the international market. DOes this though process have any likelyhood of validity?

  4. This is rubbish, know the Head of Sales here Mark Randall well and certainly No plans..

    Plans for Rackspace is focus on Asia, China. They want emerging growth markets.

    Australia is saturated and reason Aussies use Rackspace is price of Bandwidth, not Rackspace so called Fanatically support which is just a marketing term.

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