Visitors will now be able to browse the latest tools, search for features, rate the tools and post comments.

Rackspace Hosting, a web hosting company, today announced the launch of Cloud Tools, an online service for sharing tools, applications and services built by the company's strategic partners and independent developers for The Rackspace Cloud. This announcement further signals Rackspace's commitment to an open cloud, and to supporting the cloud ecosystem. The new site aims to match customers with companies and independent developers building services on The Rackspace Cloud platform that expand the functionality and openness of cloud computing.

The company says that the Cloud Tools site catalogues and applications created on The Rackspace Cloud are in four categories: Monitoring & Reporting, Development Tools, System Management and Client Software. It avers that visitors will now be able to browse the latest tools, search for features, rate the tools and post comments. For specific tools, users can view screenshots and user ratings, review user feedback and watch demo videos before being directed to the strategic partner's website for download. Cloud Tools also highlights a ''From the Community'' section offering independent developers a way to publish their tools built using The Rackspace Cloud APIs and make them readily available to customers.

According to the company, the Cloud Tools, available today, features tools from companies such as RightScale, providing its Cloud Management Platform for enterprises, Mixpanel, a startup providing real-time user interaction analytics, Cyberduck, providing an open source file browser for Mac OS X that supports Rackspace Cloud Files, and tools from fifteen other partners and developers including: Beanstalk, Cloud Mobile, Cloudkick, Django Cumulus, Elastic Rack, enStratus, jclouds, Jungle Disk (a Rackspace subsidiary), LibCloud, Olark Live Website Chat, rPath, SOASTA, Sonian, Vanilla, Zeus, and several more projects from the community. Other companies and developers have indicated that they are planning to make their tools, applications and services available in the coming weeks. Some tools are free while others can be purchased for a fee established by the developer, says the company.

It further adds that it offers a suite of services, Cloud Servers, Cloud Sites and Cloud Files designed to help companies minimize the hassles, high costs and complexities associated with scaling dedicated hardware.

''At Rackspace, it is a real priority to constantly seek out new opportunities to connect our customers with quality services,'' said Jim Curry, Vice President of Corporate Development, Rackspace Hosting. ''This tool-sharing service, along with our commitments to collaborate with the community to build an open cloud, lays the foundation for a large ecosystem. With the recent release of our APIs, we've seen an influx of interest in developing applications for our cloud computing offerings and we're pleased to announce that such applications can be featured in our new Cloud Tools site.''

''The Rackspace Cloud is an excellent solution for scalable, on-demand computing, backed by Rackspace's renowned customer service,'' said Michael Crandell, RightScale CEO. ''Rackspace's commitment to helping drive success for their partners by leveraging their substantial customer base makes them a smart choice for cloud developers. We are thrilled to be a part of The Rackspace Cloud's growing cloud ecosystem and to helping Rackspace customers reduce the complexity of cloud computing with the RightScale Cloud Management Platform.''

''As developers we are always looking for outstanding platforms to publish and promote the tools and applications we create and Cloud Tools is just that,'' said Paul Querna, Contributor, Libcloud project. ''As a testament to its commitment to an open cloud, we look forward to further collaborating with The Rackspace Cloud and the rest of the developer community on tools introduced on the site.''