back to article CenturyLink said to have pondered Rackspace buy

US telco CenturyLink is said to be considering an attempt to acquire Rackspace, according to Bloomberg. The newswire's report is sparse: nobody is saying anything concrete and folks familiar with the situation are the source. Let's try to guess what's afoot here. CenturyLink already operates a 57-strong global bit barn …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something missing

    "World class support processes"? Well, that's about half the story. In fact those processes themselves are worthless without the world class engineers Rackspace employs to implement them. The personnel issue is one that's often -- correction, almost always -- overlooked in these kinds of acquisitions. The pattern has been repeated too often for anyone whose head isn't in the sand (or somewhere much darker) to deny: Big player acquires small but rocking upstart with a stratospheric reputation for customer service, then either lays off or drives out all the best talent, leading to the acquired business division's fall into obscurity amidst a reputational implosion of biblical proportions. But at the end of the day the CEO of the acquiring firm can comfort himself with the knowledge that there's no one (left) in the company that is more important than him.

  2. W. Anderson

    From Innovation to stone age operation

    While it has been a struggle for RackSpace to compete effectively against the behemoths of Amazon, Google, RedHat, Microsoft and a few others in the commercial Cloud Services space, their acquisition by Centurylink would be a total disaster for their Openstack infrastructure venture, since Centurylink is purely a telecomm dinosaur with little or no understanding , fundamental knowledge or experience, and particularly no appreciation or respect  what-so-ever for Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) concept, development model or licensing, even in business.

    Centurylink is ambivalent and resistant to even providing services to business clients running Linux or BSD UNIX-like OS, or Mozilla Firefox browsers to web services access. Very recently, a potential customer for their "Small Business” packaged services learned that Website development from the company was Microsoft ASP.Net based, with no provision for any of the more popular and robust Drupal Apache/PHP/mySQL or Python based Web Content Management (WCMS) solutions. Thjs type draconian mentality is fraught throughout the company.

    Much like HP botched their WebOS purchase technology ventures, Centurylink is likely to drive Rackspace culture and innovation into oblivion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From Innovation to stone age operation

      I think we can sum up most peoples experience of CenturyLink as - "god awful" when being polite.

      They're probably looking to confuse their already ridiculous offering range further.

      They're super rigid and once you get past the management speak you see the dark pit of despair that CLS rule over (and their love of offering "professional" services the second you step slightly outside of their "standard offering")

      Piss poor networks in the uk DCs (no notification when systems frequently drop packets and no ability to monitor network devices yourselves), piss poor storage, expensive offerings (ram upgrades costing 10s of thousands over contract terms), etc etc etc.

      And god damn does it take them forever to get new products onto their "managed" platform - RHEL 7 is no where to be seen on the horizon even for testing purposes.

  3. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    What they said --^

    What they said --^. CenturyLink's DSL also drops (for 30 seconds to 5 minutes) at least 4 or 5 times a week. It's not the copper, if you get service from a competitor (who has their own DSLAM across the street from the phone company central office here), it may go down once every 6 months.

    As for Rackspace... I've heard about their zeal to buy them up. I'm not sure what to think, though, because CL has come out and said competing on price is a race to the bottom (which it probably is), so they aren't going to even try. Their current price is like 4-8x the price of their competitors, and they have no plans to lower prices. How will they compete then? Well.... who knows. Their one big asset is that fiber optics, and they have made no mention of, say, providing below-average-cost transit to attract bandwidh-using customers. They seem to think they will just be able to market (way above normal cost) services to their existing DSL customers, despite the poor reliability of the DSL. Will they keep Rackspace together or rip them apart? I don't know.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like