In a letter to its customers, Rackspace VP of Product Mark Interrante has announced that Slicehost, the IT hosting company Rackspace acquired in 2008, will be shut down within 12 months.

Interrante gives the complexities of managing “two brands, two control panels and two sets of Support, Engineering and Operations teams” as the underlying driver behind the move. Managing one product will give the company a greater chance of succesfully coordinating the shift from IPv4 to IPv6 as well as the development of OpenStack Technology.

Rackspace will migrate all current Slicehost customers to Rackspace Cloud Servers accounts.

More to follow, email below:

I would like to start a dialogue about our plans for the Slicehost™ product over the next year.  This email is meant to provide an overview of our thoughts, but we would like to continue the conversation directly with our customers in the forums.

The first of these shifts is the internet’s change from running primarily on IPv4 to IPv6, a completely separate addressing format. This is our industry’s way of dealing with an exhaustible supply of precious resources (IP addresses) that have become scarce.

Embracing openness and collaboration in the creation and consumption of IT is the second of these shifts. This year has seen major announcements regarding the OpenStack™ technology, a massively scalable cloud operating system, along with Open Data Center, a data center design process modeled after open source software projects.

How do these changes impact your account with Slicehost?

As you know, after Slicehost joined Rackspace in 2008, Slicehost technology was used to power the Rackspace® Cloud Servers™ product. With two brands, two control panels and two sets of Support, Engineering and Operations teams it has been a challenge to keep development parity between the products. In order to prepare for the next set of advancements in Cloud Computing, driven by the industry changing shifts I mentioned above, we will convert current Slicehost accounts to Rackspace Cloud Servers accounts over the next year.

Converting from Slicehost accounts to Rackspace Cloud Servers accounts will enable you to prepare for IPv6, and give you access to Cloud Files, the Cloud Files CDN Powered by Akamai, and Cloud Load Balancers.

Naturally, this decision has not been easy. There has been extensive planning, and will continue to be more, to ensure this change is as seamless as possible for everyone.

I understand this is big news, and I want to give us a chance to discuss it over the coming weeks and months. I will make certain that information is communicated to you. Most immediately, to help continue this conversation, we have created a new section within the forum