Before today, Cloud Big Data was pretty much a self-service solution for customers.

Most cloud providers offer a platform and APIs, leaving customers to architect and build their ecosystem. And that works for a lot of companies, especially those with smaller, proof of concept or job-based workloads, or for whom value is a chief concern.

But here at Rackspace, we kept hearing from many customers — and would-be customers – looking for a managed Big Data experience in the cloud.

And because Fanatical Support includes listening to our customers, we’re pleased to announce Managed Big Data, which will extend our existing white glove support for dedicated into the cloud.

That means expert resources to help with architecting and building clusters, data ingestion and migrations. It means 24x7x365 monitoring and support, including alerts, patching and upgrades. It means help interfacing with MySQL, MongoDB and Elasticsearch.

Best of all? It’s an added service, with no added cost.

Cloud Big Data will still be available as self-service, but now, our Big Data experts have your back if you need it when it comes to the back-end technology — allowing you to focus on the strategic part of your business.

We found that sometimes, companies considering spinning up Big Data in the cloud for proof of concept or testing would bypass that step because they felt more comfortable with a fully managed solution.

Now, with Managed Big Data in both the cloud and dedicated, they can get assistance spinning up a small POC environment in minutes on the cloud, giving them faster time to insights rather than waiting to start the POC for weeks, while the dedicated solution is provisioned. During that time, customers can work through their POC and potentially have their application ready to go, so when the dedicated solution is ready, we can help them migrate to full deployment.

We’ll be talking about Managed Cloud Big Data at Strata+Hadoop World this week in New York. Come by our booth — it’s #209 — and see the tools Rackspace is creating to make Big Data easy, fast and fully managed.

That includes our new Help Me Choose tool, which, in three easy steps and as little as five minutes, allows customers to spin up their first Hadoop cluster.

The tool walks you through a short series of questions including data size, workload type, and what you want to do with your cluster once you’re done. Once complete, you’ll be presented with a few preconfigured options tailored for your workload as well as an estimated price, so you can understand the OpEx associated with your project. After that, you simply click the ‘Configure Cluster’ button and wait for your cluster to spin up.

We’ll also be demonstrating our new sentiment analysis tool, which should be available by the end of this year. It’s a basic application that, with a few edits, will allow companies to customize it for their specific search terms, to provide insights into their data.

Also, don’t miss Rackspace’s own Nirmal Ranganathan, who will present ‘Faster Time to Insight Using Spark, Tachyon and Zeppelin’ on Thur., Oct. 1 at 2:05 p.m. at location 1, E15.

If you can’t make it to New York, please join our joint Hortonworks webcast on Oct. 14.

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