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Rackspace Unveils iPad Cloud App

Rackspace has released an iPad application that subscribers of the company's cloud services can use to monitor and manage servers.

iPad teardown shot, via the FCC.
(Click for larger image and for all 17 iPad teardown photos. )

Rackspace Cloud Pro leverages the iPad's touch-screen interface in enabling customers to turn on backups for a server, create new servers from backups, manage back-up scheduling, and re-boot, rename, resize and delete servers.

The application is available as of Tuesday at no additional charge through iPad-maker Apple's iTunes store.

"It’s amazing to think about how the iPad tablet and (Rackspace) Cloud servers can lower the entry barriers for Web start-ups everywhere because they no longer have to make large investments in hardware to get their businesses going," Mike Mayo, developer of the Rackspace application, said in a statement.

Other features of the iPad app include a panel on the login screen that shows users the current system status of the entire Rackspace Cloud and displays the U.S. and U.K. Rackspace support numbers. Cloud Pro also enables developers to ping the public IP address for a Cloud server to test its responsiveness.

Mayo built the iPad using the application programming interfaces Rackspace offers to customers to build features and functionality to enhance its cloud services, the company said. Rackspace has open sourced the specifications of its APIs for its cloud servers and files under the Creative Commons 3.0 license.

"Our goal is to allow our customers to be able to choose the services, applications, databases and OSs they want to use in a non-proprietary environment without the fear of being locked into one particular cloud," Lew Moorman, president and chief strategy officer for Rackspace Hosting, said.

The Rackspace Cloud service provides hosting for Websites, applications and storage. The company launched its database-as-a-service in December, which made the vendor a stronger competitor against other cloud suppliers, such as Amazon and Oracle. Rackspace charges 2 cents an hour for an entry-level server and the database service.