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Action for Children Gets Closer To Users Through Big Data Insight On Rackspace Open Cloud

Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX), the open cloud company, today announced that it has been selected by Action for Children to help the organisation tackle big data challenges and scale up its IT infrastructure on demand.

Action for Children is one of the UK’s largest and most prominent charities. It has been looking to re-engineer its data operation and position itself for the future. Key objectives included cost effective management of web traffic spikes and better data analysis to provide deeper insights into customers and fundraising activities.

The organisation needed to retain a portion of dedicated hardware on site to host sensitive data. However, it decided to create a hybrid solution incorporating open cloud hosting to provide the agility to accommodate data spikes.

“With Rackspace we knew that we could achieve true public, private and hybrid portability. Additionally, by using an open platform such as Rackspace Open Cloud, we could take a long term approach, ensuring that we avoided vendor lock-in around pricing or technology roadmap restrictions. This gives us the freedom to keep innovating, moving to new technology solutions and models as they are developed,” said Darren Robertson, Digital Communications – Data Scientist for Action for Children.

Economies of Scale

Action for Children also needed to ensure that its website could cope with major spikes in traffic. For example, when Stephen Fry tweeted about the charity, five million followers were encouraged to visit the website. This type of activity can crash a website if the right kind of backbone is not in place.

“Moving to the cloud completely eliminates the expensive processes required to support these spikes in the past. Rackspace provide us with the ability to scale up and down according to demand while managing costs,” said Robertson. “We need to be able to scale quickly at any time of night or day and, unlike Rackspace, few vendors provide the support to lets us operate this way. This is why I am glad that we have planned our big data cloud-based future roadmap around the Rackspace open cloud platform.”

Deriving Insights from Big Data

Action for Children needs to understand and manage the needs of multiple stakeholders including customers, donors, fundraisers and potential foster parents. Years of interactions with these groups has left the organisation with vast data sets. Rackspace is helping Action for Children manage this ‘big data’, combining the speed and affordability of cloud computing with advanced software, to provide more accurate and extensive insights than traditional data analysis.

These insights are enabling the charity to create a bespoke online experience for its diverse user groups. “We needed to be able to personalise the web experience for each user so that we don’t, for example, ask students and multinational CEOs for the same kind of donation. We are following Rackspace’s roadmap for big data so that we can engineer a new level of contextual user awareness into the way our IT system works,” continued Robertson.

“Action For Children has adopted an open cloud computing platform for future flexibility which will support current big data innovation challenges," said Taylor Rhodes, Managing Director, International, Rackspace. “The organisation will now increase its ability to monitor and analyse where it is having the most positive impact regionally, so we are confident that Action for Children’s next steps forward will reap benefits for the organisation as a whole and for those it seeks to help.”

About Rackspace

Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX) is the open cloud company, delivering open technologies and powering more than 197,000 customers worldwide. Rackspace provides its renowned Fanatical Support® across a broad portfolio of IT products, including Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. The company offers choice, flexibility and freedom from vendor lock in. Rackspace has been recognised by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company and is featured on Sunday Times list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Rackspace was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner Inc. in the “2011 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting.”

About Action for Children

About Action for Children is a national charity delivering services that respond to the local needs of children, young people, their families and communities. Action for Children works in local communities with over 50,000 children and young people through 600 projects across the UK (as at 1st December). The charity specialises in working with children and young people whose families need support, who are in care, who are disabled or who experience severe difficulties in their lives. The Action for Children vision is of a world where all children and young people have a sense of belonging, and are loved and valued; a world where they can fulfill their potential and experience the joy of life.

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements concerning expected development, performance or operational results related to any particular customer or customers of our customers associated with our hosting solutions or other products and services; any other statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include issues relating to the performance of a customer’s configuration caused by forces outside of the control of Rackspace; changes in the economy, technological and competitive factors, regulatory factors, and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, filed with the SEC on November 7, 2012. Except as required by law, Rackspace Hosting assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

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