The public cloud's heyday has passed, and enterprises should focus on hybrid cloud investment. So say executives at Rackspace (RAX), the OpenStack-powered cloud hosting vendor. And if deals like the one Rackspace just announced with Fidelity Investments to build an OpenStack cloud is any indication, Rackspace's vision is on the mark. Here's the scoop.

On Wednesday night, Rackspace CTO John Engates and Fidelity Technology Group VP Keith Shinn spoke at the GigaOM Structure Conference in San Francisco to announce the collaboration between the two companies (video below). According to Shinn, Fidelity hopes the deal will help it transition the private cloud it currently maintains, which is already based largely on OpenStack, to a hybrid cloud platform. He added that OpenStack proved attractive because "we like the community behind it, and the broad support."

Rackspace is seizing on the deal to pitch the growing importance of OpenStack-based hybrid clouds more generally. In a blog post, Engates discussed the Fidelity partnership within the context of particular solutions that only the hybrid cloud can offer:

And as the cloud has taken a hold in the enterprise world, new needs have emerged. A one-size-fits-all public cloud isn’t the answer for every business or every workload. There’s a demand to run the cloud where you want, how you want and in the right combination to be the perfect fit for your application. That’s the hybrid cloud.

Engates was also keen to emphasize that, the way Rackspace sees it, being open—through technologies such as OpenStack—is also key to building the successful hybrid cloud of the future.

It may be a bit premature to proclaim the death of traditional public clouds (or wholly private ones, for that matter). But now that many enterprises have gotten a grip on what the cloud actually is, and what it can do for them, a move toward more complex and flexible hybrid infrastructures that meet a more diverse set of needs only makes sense. Fidelity is hardly an outlier in pursuing this type of goal with Rackspace.