When Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX) announces Q2 2012 results on Aug. 7, we could gain a look at how Rackspace's cloud strategy is performing vs. Amazon Web Services and other big public cloud providers.

Rackspace specializes in Fanatical Support for cloud partners and customers. But Amazon Web Services in June 2012 introduced expanded free support to all customers, and cut prices on premium support plans. I don't think Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) can really match Rackspace's support-driven culture, but Amazon's support moves for AWS certainly caught the attention of some developers and CIOs.

Rackspace Milestones


So how is Rackspace's own cloud business performing? We'll get the answers on Aug. 7 during the earnings call. But even before the call, Rackspace has taken several channel-friendly steps this quarter. For example:

  • First, the company launched a Partner Leadership Council and gathered members in June 2012. During the discussion, partners focused in on Big Data, analytics, SaaS and VDI opportunities.

  • Rackspace also expanded its Cloud Tools Marketplace, a key destination where partners and customers can check out management tools, management platforms, and more.

  • Rackspace on Aug. 1 officially launched its open cloud, powered by OpenStack (an open source cloud platform).  That milestone came after Rackspace's Q2 closed. But Rackspace's comments about OpenStack on the earning's call could provide clues about how the company plans to differentiate from rivals in the months and quarters ahead.


Talkin' Cloud will be sure to attend Rackspace's earnings call for more updates on Aug. 7, after U.S. markets close.