rackspacex_0Managed hosting and cloud services provider Rackspace recently announced that it will start phasing out the hosting service it offers via Slicehost, a cloud hosting company Rackspace acquired in 2008, in favor of open source hosting alternatives.

The Slicehost user forum posted a letter that Rackspace VP of product Mark Interrante sent to existing customers outlining the shift. In it, Interrante writes of an overall shift on the Internet to IPv6 to addressed exhaustible IP addresses and how the hosting and cloud services industry is embracing OpenStack as a more scalable, open-sourced cloud operating system.

 ….after Slicehost joined Rackspace in 2008, Slicehost technology was used to power the Rackspace Cloud Servers product. With two brands, two control panels and two sets of Support, Engineering and Operations teams it has been a challenge to keep development parity between the products. In order to prepare for the next set of advancements in Cloud Computing, driven by the industry changing shifts I mentioned above, we will convert current Slicehost accounts to Rackspace Cloud Servers accounts over the next year. Converting from Slicehost accounts to Rackspace Cloud Servers accounts will enable you to prepare for IPv6, and give you access to Cloud Files, the Cloud Files CDN Powered by Akamai, and Cloud Load Balancers.

The move is not surprising since Rackspace announced it was backing OpenStack as a cloud platform strategy last summer. For IT professionals, assuming the migration from Slicehost platforms is as seamless as Rackspace intends to make it, features should be comparable—if not enhanced—and in the long term the scalability and flexibility of open-source cloud architecture should prove favorable.