Rackspace is hoping to help businesses create more private cloud environments through its new Private Cloud as a Service (PCaas) offering.

The firm has worked with VMware to create a service that can put cloud servers and storage in ‘most’ data centres – whether that’s Rackspace sites, a business’s own data centre, or a colocation facility.

According to Rackspace, this will help companies enjoy the advantages of both cloud and on-premises strategies. For instance, Rackspace says, customers will be able to hit their digital transformation targets in a ‘faster, more successful and more affordable’ way, while also meeting data sovereignty requirements and improving performance.

Scott Crenshaw, executive vice president, private clouds at Rackspace, said: “Today marks a new era for the VMware cloud market. For the first time, enterprises can have a fully managed VMware private cloud as a service located wherever their users need it.

“Customers receive public cloud-like services, with the ease of migration, security, performance and economic advantages of private clouds.”

Rackspace believes that there are three main advantages of its new offering: availability, an easier migration process, and cost.

Availability is better, it argues, because the service can be put in place in different data centres around the world. Cloud migration is easier for companies through the service because of its high SLAs, 15-minute response time to tickets, and 24/7 expert support. Finally, it says that companies who have used its PCaaS offering have seen 39% savings versus building and operating private clouds themselves.

Deepak Mohan from IDC argues that the offering is necessary because of changing demands. “Enterprise IT expectations have evolved. The market increasingly demands flexibility in cloud deployment models, to address varying workload and organizational needs,” he said.

“The Rackspace Private Cloud is a response to this need – bringing together a mix of hosted and owned deployment models.”

Others argue, though, that the need for private cloud is limited. With computing moving towards serverless functions, AI and managed data services, Yaron Haviv, founder of data platform Iguazio, said: “There’s room for private cloud in the market, but only if it behaves like a real cloud for developers building apps, with data services and a comprehensive cloud-based user experience.”

According to the RightScale State of the Cloud Report for 2018, private cloud usage is on the up, with adoption in enterprises rising from 72% to 75%. However, the report also stated that businesses are focussing increasingly on public cloud.