Rackspace launches cloud app partner portal

Rackspace on Tuesday rolled out Cloud Tools, a repository of partner tools, applications, and services for cloud computing.

This is a guest post from Larry Dignan of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Rackspace on Tuesday rolled out Cloud Tools, a repository of partner tools, applications and services for cloud computing.

The marketplace puts apps and tools into four buckets:

  • Monitoring and reporting;
  • Development tools;
  • Systems management;
  • And client software.

Cloud Tools is more of a portal approach than an app store. Developers and partners set their own pricing, but Rackspace links out to other vendors to close any deals. With the move Rackspace is looking to bolster its ecosystem and play matchmaker between its customers and developers. Cloud Tools users can see screenshots, rate applications and see demos before downloading.

Rackspace has 15 partners participating in the effort including RightScale, Cyberduck, Cloudkick, Sonian and others. Rackspace divides contributors into strategic partners and the community, an unmanaged ecosystem. Rackspace works closely with strategic partners on joint applications. "Strategic partners fill a gap that we don't offer today," said  Jim Curry, VP of corporate development at Rackspace.

Curry contrasted Rackspace's marketplace with AmazonWeb Services' effort, which features a large unmanaged community. Rackspace is taking a hybrid approach. RightScale CEO Michael Crandell said his company will offer its cloud management platform on Rackspace's portal and said he anticipates increased traffic. RightScale also participates on Amazon's partner site.

Also see: Rackspace goes for it: Plots infrastructure buildout; Notches enterprise wins