Rackspace Creates Portal for Cloud Computing Tools

Rackspace is launching its Cloud Tools portal, designed to bring together the various tools built using Rackspace's cloud API to make it easier for customers to find what they want and for partners to gain better access to Rackspace's customer base. The move comes a few weeks after Rackspace, which competes against the likes of Amazon.com in the burgeoning cloud computing space, rolled out a public API for its cloud computing platform.

Just weeks after releasing a public API designed to make it easier for customers to manage their cloud deployments, Rackspace is rolling out a portal that better organizes the myriad tools and applications built by partners for its cloud computing service.

The Cloud Tools portal not only will make it easier for Rackspace Cloud users to find and use these tools, but it also will give partners greater access to Rackspace's customer base, according to company officials.

The portal, announced Aug. 25, organizes the various tools and applications into four categories: monitoring and reporting, development tools, system management, and client software. In the portal, customers can look at screenshots, review products and watch videos of the products in use. If they want to download any of the tools, they can access the partner Websites through the portal.

"This tool-sharing service, along with our commitments to collaborate with the community to build an open cloud, lays the foundation for a large ecosystem," Jim Curry, vice president of corporate development at Rackspace, said in a statement.

The Cloud Tools portal currently offers a range of products from about 20 partners, including RightScale's cloud management offerings, Cyberduck's open-source file browser for Mac OS X and Mixpanel's interaction analytics tool. Rackspace officials said they expect other partners to add their products to the portal.

Rackspace, which competes with the likes of the Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) platform, also has created a section in the portal called "From the Community," where independent software developers can publish their tools that were built with Rackspace's cloud APIs.

Some tools are free while others can be bought from developers.