After VMware also Rackspace wants a piece of Amazon cloud computing business

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Last month at VMword 2008 VMware announced its new vision all about cloud computing.
It seems clear that VMware wants a piece of the cloud computing business that Amazon built all alone with its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

We’ll see if VMware aims at building something like EC2, very unlikely indeed, or if the major goal is just to replace the Xen virtual machines in EC2 with the ESX ones.

In any case VMware is not the only one that wants to attend this party: RackSpace, the huge US hosting provider that launched its IPO in August and that it’s papering the web with advertising, just acquired Slicehost, a small hosting provider that uses exclusively Xen virtual machines as on-demand virtual private servers for its 15,000 customers.

Also RackSpace offers virtual machine based VPS using VMware Infrastructure but so far the company never mentioned the product as part of a cloud computing strategy. With Slicehost it’s different:

Cloud Servers — This new hosting solution, which will deliver on-demand server capacity to businesses of all sizes, will leverage key technology developed by Slicehost, which uses Xen virtualization software. Slicehost will remain as the company’s developer brand, creating innovative new features driven through shared intellectual property in conjunction with development initiatives from Rackspace. As part of the announcement, Slicehost also announced new, larger slices for high performance computing, lower prices as well as IP sharing for high availability computing.

Just like Amazon, Slicehost only offers Linux as guest OS for its slices. So now that RackSpace entered the space, Amazon has one more reason to introduce the much awaited Windows guest OSes.

Who’ll be the first to offer hosted VDI?