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Rackspace is using OpenStack to build out its own Cloud Block Storage service, butting up against Amazon's EBS and offering cheaper standard storage and much faster SSD storage.

The Cloud Block Storage (CBS) service offers "consistent and reliable" performance for file systems, databases or other storage intensive applications, Rackspace says. It comes in either standard (SATA) or SSD (high-performance) versions. It is intended for large amounts of everyday storage, says the firm, adding that it is infinitely scalable and comes with a simple pricing model. The standard (SATA) CBS service is for archiving, a high number of large files and/or small to medium websites.

The SSD version is for self-managed MySQL data bases, MongoDB, Cassandra, and web caching and indexing. The company says that the product can achieve high performance "without the need to RAID 0 (stripe) volumes together, providing significant savings in cost and complexity."

Rackspace says CBS customers:

  • can attach multiple volumes of up to 1TB each of block storage to Cloud Servers and
  • detach and re-attach storage between compute nodes in seconds.

CBS pricing is $0.15/GB/month for standard storage, $0.70/GB/month for SSD storage, and $0.10/month for snapshots. There is no charge for IO and RackSpace says: "There is no cap on IO and users do not have to specify IOPS numbers, as they do with competing solutions." Are you listening Amazon?

Amazon's Elastic Block Store, which has been suffering service problems - details here - has a standard volume charge of $0.10/GB/month and $0.10 for a million IOPS. A Provisioned Volume service, with predictable IO performance, is $0.125/GB/month and $0.10 per provisioned IOPS/month. Snapshots to Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) cost $0.125/GB/month.

Greg Arnette, the CTO at email services start-up Sonian gave a strong hint that Sonian will either use or offer CBS, saying: "For our customers, the capacity to effectively archive large amounts of email data is critical to their business ... We are excited that Rackspace is now providing a new block storage alternative service for running our large scale email archiving deployments.”

Cloud Block Storage joins Cloud Databases as part of Rackspace’s storage products portfolio and is available now in the US and UK. ®

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