Two of the larger players in the cloud computing infrastructure arena are joining forces.

Rackspace Hosting, one of the country’s largest data center hosting operators, and Akamai Technologies, a provider of Internet acceleration services, announced they will partner to offer customers a joint cloud hosting portfolio.

Under the partnership, Rackspace will essentially integrate and package Akamai’s Web acceleration and cloud optimization technologies with its hosted cloud offerings. Rackspace will also resell a range of Akamai site and application acceleration services to its customers, saying the goal is to create “a one-stop shop for hosting, cloud, and acceleration services.”

“The next decade presents new opportunities for two industry leaders, Rackspace and Akamai, to better help customers succeed with their cloud strategies, especially around feature-rich content, SaaS applications and dynamic Web sites,” Lew Moorman, president and chief cloud strategy officer for Rackspace, said in a statement.

Akamai’s technology is designed to reduce latency and provide high network availability through its network of 77,000 servers in some 71 countries. While primarily known for providing Web site acceleration, the company sees the rise of cloud computing as a major new market for its technology.

The companies said plans call for Akamai services to be sold in conjunction with Rackspace cloud hosting services beginning in the second quarter of 2011. Rackspace will include Akamai’s offerings as an add-on or embedded suite. The first initiative will involve Akamai’s content delivery services being integrated with Cloud Files, a Rackspace service that provides online storage for files and media.




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