IT Services and IT Consulting

San Antonio, Texas
United States

Rackspace Technology® is a leading end-to-end hybrid, multi-cloud, and AI technology services company. The company can design, build, and operate its customers’ cloud environments across all major technology platforms, irrespective of technology stack or deployment model. Rackspace® partners with its customers at every stage of their cloud journey, enabling them to modernize applications, build new products, and adopt innovative technologies.

Building a GCP-centric program

Rackspace provides managed service offerings that support customers across private cloud, public cloud, and multi-cloud infrastructure. The company prides itself on being a one-stop shop for its customers, supporting them post-migration and providing services to act as a foundation for their cloud journey. 

Although Rackspace partners with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), in recent years, Rackspace has seen an increase in multi-cloud adoption—and, more specifically, Google Cloud Platform (GCP)—among its customer base. Some of its customers run primarily on GCP; others run on one of the other clouds but have a small GCP footprint. From experience working with infrastructure teams and engineering leaders, Rackspace has found that customers are more open to running on multi-cloud environments, particularly to leverage each cloud for a specific initiative or use case. When it comes to GCP, Rackspace’s customers invest in Google Cloud’s data suite to increase business agility.

As a result of this accelerated GCP adoption, Rackspace set out on a mission to build a GCP-centric cost management and optimization program. In the fall of 2022, Akshay Jituri, Cloud Cost Optimization Specialist, embarked on building out this new program.

Finding the right solution

Despite GCP having a vast ecosystem and natively providing management tools out of the box, Rackspace’s customers had difficulty visualizing their cloud cost and usage across different data sources. Beyond visibility, they also wanted to know whether the data can be acted on. Jituri explained, “There was not a single pane of glass unless a customer decided to invest dedicated effort, time, and money into building an intrinsic dashboard leveraging Looker and a combination of other GCP services.”

Rackspace supports customers with varying amounts of cloud spend and dedicated personnel for cost management. According to Jituri, “Out of every 100 Rackspace customers consuming managed cloud operations, less than 10 have a dedicated FinOps approach.” Therefore, Rackspace’s imperatives include ensuring that, through the company’s managed service, customers find the value they are looking for in terms of cost visibility and optimization.

Like many organizations, the team at Rackspace considered whether or not they should build their own tool, leverage an existing tool, or purchase a new tool. Having spent two years on the AWS side of the business, Jituri had a good understanding of the cost management landscape to begin his search. 

Reflecting on the decision to find a new solution, Jituri remarked, “We have other tools that we use to support different cloud functions within Rackspace. Initially, we tried piggy backing off of them, as we already had access, but from our first-hand experience, we saw that no tool could deliver the results we wanted on GCP. They simply were not created with GCP in mind.”

Discovering Ternary

When the Rackspace team began their quest, they did not anticipate finding any GCP-focused tools in the market. Then they discovered Ternary.

From the get-go, Ternary had a much cleaner understanding of how GCP works. We realized [the Ternary team is] not just doing this on the side to be a multi-cloud provider. They intrinsically know what it requires.

Akshay Jituri, Cloud Cost Optimization Specialist at Rackspace Technology

Ultimately, Rackspace chose to partner with Ternary because of the platform’s user experience. “We’ve had the experience of working with and trying out quite a few tools in this process, but the way the Ternary GUI works is pretty simple and very well laid out,” Jituri said. “Everything is absorbable for the customer or the user, more palatable. We’ve seen that the time it takes for us to enable customers has not been as long as we were anticipating.” 

Key capabilities that Rackspace customers find particularly useful include querying data to answer questions, proactively detecting anomalies, implementing cloud case management workflows, and creating custom labels (e.g., environment, region, application, etc.). Drilling into the importance of label management, Jituri noted that “one of the biggest issues we see throughout clouds in general, everywhere, is tagging and labeling.” He emphasized the need for “nuanced control” over how those labels are being used, as well as what kind of consistency they have. “Ternary’s label management has helped us and our customers cut down so much back and forth between engineering teams regarding upkeep,” Jituri said. Rather than cleaning up tagging hygiene, the Rackspace team and their customers can now focus on generating insights.

Measuring success

Rackspace has received positive feedback and engagement from its customers using Ternary. Whether customers have one point of contact for cost management or a dedicated team, they benefit from having a single pane of glass to provide visibility into their cloud consumption. “Customer feedback is the primary measure of success that we track internally regarding tools,” Jituri shared. “The fact that our customers are engaging with the platform, asking questions, and providing feedback proves that the uptake is good.” 

Furthermore, the partnership with Ternary benefits the Rackspace organization as a whole. Within the company, business units that do not use Ternary directly are beginning to engage with Jituri and his team.

You can see the positive effects propagate through other teams at Rackspace. Ternary has allowed my team to better answer questions internally to, let’s say, sister teams.

Growing the partnership

Ternary has formed a strong foundation for this partnership, built on trust and integrity. The team at Rackspace has particularly enjoyed working with the Ternary Customer Success team. As Jituri noted, “It’s been good to have a partner who’s been very prompt in responding, or has been very clear in terms of communication or setting expectations, which has helped us. That’s probably been one of the personal bests of working with Ternary.”

Looking forward, beyond cloud cost visibility, Rackspace’s customers are starting to move toward FinOps adoption, with a focus on determining what kind of business intelligence they can derive from their data and how they can execute on that information. As Rackspace continues to onboard GCP customers to the Ternary platform, both companies are excited for this partnership to grow and flourish. 

Jituri summed up the partnership experience this way:

Ternary is a very well-thought-out cost management platform for GCP—one of the best, from what I’ve seen in the market, and from a feature set standpoint. Ternary is also a very good relation to have overall, if you’re in the GCP business.