About RPC-VMware

RPC-VMware offers you the ability to expand data center capacity without the need for further investment in physical assets. With direct access to the VMware APIs, you can use your existing scripts and the same VMware and third-party tools to manage the hosting VMware environment, improving agility by reducing long procurement lead times and ensuring that you meet new business demands while maintaining control.

RPC-VMware is a dedicated, per-customer instance of the VMware software-defined data center (SDDC) stack. Rackspace provides the following components:


Rackspace manages and maintains the RPC-VMware services and infrastucture resources. Any changes to the settings or configuration of the services, networking, storage, and compute systems must be requested by opening a ticket with Rackspace Support.


As RPC-VMware is a Rackspace-managed service, some settings and access rights are reserved by Rackspace. Customers should be aware of the following items that might differ from self-managed SDCC instances.

  • Customers might not be granted administrative access to vCenter or other parts of the RPC-VMware system.
  • Customers might not be granted access to change advanced settings related to certain parts of the RPC-VMware system. Requests by customers to have certain settings altered might be refused.
  • Rackspace must be able to place ESXi hosts in maintenance mode automatically in order to patch the RPC-VMware system. Any configuration that is created by a customer which prevents this (including, but not limited to, DRS rules, guest OS clustering, VM device passthrough, CPU affinity, and so on) might be altered or removed.

If you need to configure any settings which might impact the ability to automatically place ESXi hosts in maintenance mode, contact your Customer Success team before attempting to apply any configurations. In most cases, Rackspace can help you implement your requirements in a fully supportable manager in RPC-VMware.

The list above is not exhaustive. If you have specific access rights requirements, contact your Customer Success team.

VMware vSAN

VMware vSAN is an enterprise-grade, hyper-converged, software-defined storage solution optimized for VMware virtual machines (VMs) that is natively embedded in the vSphere hypervisor. vSAN provides service-level and policy management at the VM and VM disk (VMDK) levels, provides performance quality of service (QoS) capability at the VM level, and allows enterprise-grade scalability for capacity and performance without the need for a large upfront investment.

vSAN enables the use of the RPC-VMware environment to manage and provision storage through self-service and to offer role-based self-service access to other users within the organization. vSAN allows the storage policy to be set for availability, performance, and QoS at the VM and VMDK levels, while eliminating the concept of logical unit number (LUN) volume and redundant array of independent disks (RAID) to make storage provisioning and management simple for use by a VMware administrator. In addition, vSAN also allows for integration into VMware vRealize Operations™ and VMware vRealize Automation™ to provide end-to-end SDDC manageability and service delivery.

VMware NSX

VMware NSX is the network virtualization platform for the SDDC, delivering the operational model of a VM for entire networks. With NSX, network functions, including switching, routing, and firewalling, are embedded in the hypervisor and distributed across the environment. This effectively creates a network hypervisor that acts as a platform for virtual networks and services.

Like the operational model of VMs, virtual networks are programmatically provisioned and managed independently of underlying hardware. NSX reproduces the entire network model in software, enabling any network topology–from simple to complex multi-tiered networks–to be created and provisioned in seconds. Users can create multiple virtual networks with diverse requirements, leveraging a combination of the services offered via NSX to build inherently more secure environments.

VMware vRealize Operations

VMware vRealize Operations manages performance use and capacity visualization of the Rackspace-hosted virtualized infrastructure. vRealize Operations End Point Operations Management provides additional visibility into the guest OS layer and monitors in-guest services on its supported VMs.

vRealize Operations collects and analyzes information from multiple data sources and uses advanced analytics algorithm to learn and recognize the normal behavior of every object it monitors. Through dashboard views and reports, customers can view details to make informed decisions in the following areas:

  • Issue resolution and root-cause analysis
  • Environment health and advanced warning of potential issues
  • Capacity management and forecasting

vRealize Operations uses management packs to collect, analyze, and present data from many VMware and third-party data sources, which provides a holistic view of the RPC-VMware infrastructure and workloads.

RPC-VMware versus Server Virtualization

RPC-VMware offers an extended level of control to customers in comparison to Rackspace Server Virtualization. The following chart illustrates the high-level differences between Server Virtualization and RPC-VMware. If you want to learn more about the VMware Server Virtualization offering, see the VMware Server Virtualization Customer Handbook. For detailed advice on selecting the correct solution for your needs, contact your Customer Success team.

FeatureVMware Server VirtualizationRackspace Private Cloud Powered by VMware
Managed support for VMware stack and underlying hardwareYesYes
Managed Guest OS-layer support (For example, OS patching)YesNo
Hosted catalogsNoCustomer Provided OS, and Rackspace Provided OS with Host based licensing (Optional)
Access via APINonevSphere® API, NSX API, vSAN API, vRealize Operations Manager API, and vRealize Automation API (Optional)
Access via GUIMyRackspace® Web PortalvSphere® Web Interface, vRealize Operations Web Portal, and vRealize Automation Web Portal (Optional)
Single-tenant vSphere hypervisorsYesYes
Storage optionsLocal disk, DAS, SAN, Dedicated EMC SAN, and NetApp NASSAN, Dedicated EMC SAN, NetApp NAS, and VMware vSAN
Networking optionsBrocade, F5, and CiscoBrocade, F5, Cisco, and NSX Software-Defined Networking
Service level optionsManaged and Intensive SLAIntensive SLA
Compatible with VMware vRANoYes
Capacity planningRackspace assistance providedVMware vROps included
Availability in customer’s or 3rd party data centerNoYes

RPC-VMware Spheres of Support


Note: If you need specific information on support in RPC-VMware, see the RPC-VMware FAQ.

RPC-VMware is provided as a Rackspace-managed service. Rackspace backs up, monitors, patches, and upgrades the management services on the customer’s behalf.

Although RPC-VMware is a managed service, the customer has the extensive ability to use the SDDC. Therefore, there are two parties involved in fully supporting the customer’s RPC-VMware environment:

  • Customer (including any in-house IT resources)
  • Rackspace support experts

The following table lists the areas that are managed by Rackspace and the areas that are managed by the customer:

Managed by Rackspace
Manage service VMs and appliances
HardwareManage delivery of equipment

Procure, inventory spare parts, and break-fix equipment

Rackspace Dedicated Server (hypervisor)

Rackspace Fully Managed Dedicated NAS

Rackspace Fully Managed Dedicated SAN

Rackspace Fully Managed Shared SAN
NetworkArchitecture design, review, and consultation

Configure physical routing and switching equipment

Allocate public and private IP blocks for guest OS VMs

Manage physical firewalls

Manage physical load balancers

Manage physical intrusion-detection systems

Monitor bandwidth consumption

Troubleshoot network connectivity

Manage physical firewall rule set (co-managed with customer)
MonitoringConfigure and respond to infrastructure monitoring (ping and port)

Configure and respond to RPC-VMware services monitoring
SecurityMaintain RPC-VMware security


AreaManaged by Customer
VirtualizationVM troubleshooting

Remote administration of VMs
NetworkIP management of IP blocks assigned for all guest OS VMs

Manage physical firewall rule set

Manage VM DNS

Configure and manage overlay networks (NSX VXLAN)

Deploy and manage virtual edge devices (NSX edge gateway)

Configure NSX distributed firewall
MonitoringProvide, configure, and respond to monitoring of the OS and applications on compute VMs

Monitor for capacity utilization and request additional capacity in advance
Operating SystemsProvision guest OS

Ensure OS licensing compliance

Patch OS
SecurityMaintain security specifications for VMs


With specific regard to backups, Rackspace:

  • Backs up RPC-VMware management components daily by an image-based backup solution or by using VMware-provided backup mechanisms for individual components.
  • Determines when it is necessary to restore management service components from backups. Backups for VMs that the customer creates are not provided unless the optional MBU for RPC-VMware Service is purchased.

With specific regard to monitoring, Rackspace uses the following combination of tools to monitor events:

  • Web service monitors are created to ensure that any web services associated with RPC-VMware are available. If they become unavailable, the monitoring service prompts Rackspace virtualization engineers to investigate and resolve the issue.
  • Ping monitors ensure hypervisor availability and alerts Rackspace virtualization engineers when devices don’t respond to ping requests.
  • Monitoring services configured to inspect vCenter.

Spheres of support for external data centers

Rackspace teams perform the hardware troubleshooting at the customer or 3rd party data center and have partnered with hardware vendors for hardware replacement.

Software troubleshootingRackspace support team
Server hardware replacement4-6 hour mission critical support from vendor
Network hardware replacement4 hour call to repair from vendor
On-site troubleshooting at datacenterCustomer’s datacenter team (if in place), or co-location datacenter support teamRackspace support team

Service Relationships

Roles and responsibilities for RPC-VMware services are detailed in the following responsibility assignment matrices, or RACI charts.

RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed. Each letter represents a level of task responsibility. For the purposes of this RACI chart, the letters represent the following roles and relationships:

  • Responsible - The person who actually carries out the process or task assignment and is responsible to get the job done.
  • Accountable - The person who is ultimately accountable for the process or task being completed appropriately.
  • Consulted - People who are not directly involved with carrying out the task, but who are consulted and might be a stakeholder or a subject matter expert.
  • Informed - Those who receive output from the process or task or who have a need to stay informed.
Service Level ActivitiesRackspaceCustomer
Account Management and Tooling
Provide named Service Delivery Manager (SDM) | R, A | C, I Resource | |
Standard account reportingR, AC, I
Identify opportunities for cost and performance optimizationR, AC, I
Provide opinions and best practices around account architecture, security, and resiliencyR, AC, I
Understand business objectives and current | R, A | C, I challenges | |
Schedule and conduct deep-dive discovery sessionR, AC, I
Understand systems SLAs, RTO, PPO requirementsR, AC, I
Design and Architecture
Define architecture options to be considered | R, A | C, I
Agree on high-level design (HLD) architectureC, IR, A
Generate high-level application/logical diagrams for proposed architecture(s)R, AC, I
Generate detailed infrastructure schematics for proposed architecture(s)R, AC, I
Create solution design documentR, AC, I
Design for high availability and security-first approachR, AC, I
Design for sizing, scalability, and performanceR, AC, I
Infrastructure Implementation
Deployment of physical private cloud | R, A | C, I infrastructure (network, storage, compute) | |
Configuration of vSphere virtual networkingR, AC, I
Configuration of NSX virtual networking with Rackspace Advanced Managed ServicesR, AC, I
Configuration of NSX virtual networking and security without Rackspace Advanced Managed Services (1)C, IR, A
Deployment of images outside of Rackspace Spheres of Support (SoS) (3)C, IR, A
Configure and test WAN connectivity for management VPNR, AC, I
User acceptance testing (UAT) and sign off environment deploymentC, IR, A
Implementation of ongoing change management for infrastructure componentsR, AC, I
Add-on Services
Managed Backup as per Rackspace SoS | R, A | C, I
Guest OS Services as per Rackspace SoSR, AC, I
vRealize Automation deployment and service monitoring as per Rackspace SoSR, AC, I
vRealize Automation configurationC, IR, A
vRealize Business deployment and service monitoring as per Rackspace SoSR, AC, I
vRealize Business configurationC, IR, A
Essential Disaster Recovery as per Rackspace SoS (2)C, IR, A
Managed Disaster Recovery as per Rackspace SoS (2)C, IR, A
Deployment and management of Rackspace standard | R, A | C, I monitoring services | |
Deployment of vRealize Operations monitoring infrastructureC, IR, A
Configuration and customization of vRealize Operations monitoring infrastructureR, AC, I
Ticketing and Alerting
24x7x365 access to Fanatical Support for | R, A | C, I Rackspace standard monitoring services, | | including initial responses, escalations, and | | troubleshooting of incidents within Rackspace | | response time, SLA guarantees | |
Ongoing definition, management, and maintenance of Rackspace standard monitoring platform, including the definition of alert triggers, thresholds and remediation instructions, initial response, escalation, and troubleshootingR, AC, I
Installation and configuration of all VMware | R, A | C, I infrastructure-level patching via the VMware | | Cloud Foundation lifecycle management service | |
  1. Security responsibilities are shared between Rackspace and the customer.
  2. The customer is responsible for validating work Rackspace is performing around backup and replication activities. Rackspace is not liable for ensuring integrity of the customer’s data. Regular testing and validation of backed up data should be a part of the customer’s ongoing diaster recovery and business continuity planning.
  3. For more information about the SoS, see RPC-VMware Spheres of Support.


This section describes the various licensing options for RPC-VMware.

VMware licensing

All VMware licensing for RPC-VMware must be purchased from Rackspace. VMware licenses for RPC-VMware are installed during provisioning.

Windows OS licensing

You can provide your own Windows OS licenses or purchase a Windows Data Center license from Rackspace. If you purchase host-based OS licensing from Rackspace, it can be activated with the Rackspace Key Management Server (KMS). The Rackspace KMS server is accessible only by systems hosted with Rackspace. Contact your Rackspace Account Management team for more information.

Red Hat OS licensing

You can provide your own Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) OS licenses or purchase a RHEL host-based license from Rackspace. If you purchase host-based OS licensing from Rackspace, it can be activated with the Rackspace Red Hat Network (RHN) server. The Rackspace RHN server is accessible only by systems hosted with Rackspace. Contact your Rackspace Account Management team for more information.

Application licensing

The customer must provide all application licensing.