Rackspace cloud–competing on performance

I’m a big admirer of Amazon’s cloud offering. They’ve done a great job of building a service that it seems just about every startup wants to use, and I like the way they repeatedly drive down prices.

What I don’t like, however, is that they are just about the only game in town. Competition provides a great incentive for companies to improve their services and whilst there is much to like about Amazon there is always room for improvement.

So, I was pleased to read this morning that Rackspace Cloud is coming on strong, and expected to account for $250-300m of their $1.2bn revenue this year. Their positioning is to compete on performance and service rather than price, and I think that will be attractive to lots of companies. Website speed is an increasingly important to delivering a good user experience and a good percentage of our companies are currently running projects to reduce page load times, many of them hoping to get down to the 200-500ms range.

Equally pleasing is that Microsoft and Google are also stepping up their efforts to compete with Amazon’s cloud services.