Mosso, the cloud hosting unit of Rackspace, today announced a new storage offering, CloudFS. The service, which is in private beta, is the latest in a flurry of new cloud computing services. CloudFS is notable for its awareness of the competitive threat posed by Amazon’s utility computing platform.
A growing number of hosting customers are splitting their operations, using their primary host for their web site and applications, and Amazon for storage. CloudFS is positioned as an alternative to using S3, with usage-based billing at competitive prices, according to Mosso.
“The use cases will be very similar to those for S3,” said Jonathan Bryce, a co-founder of Mosso. “At least one of our beta customers is using S3, and they’d like to move (their storage) over to us.” That’s the plan for MailTrust, the enterprise email service Rackspace acquired last year. Mailtrust has been using S3 since 2006 because Rackspace didn’t have a similar offering, but now plans to transition to CloudFS.
When the CloudFS service is launched, Rackspace and Mosso customers will benefit from free local transfers between CloudFS and their managed hosting servers. Like S3, CloudFS will be ideal for customers with large amounts of less frequently accessed files and data.
CloudFs is not likely to open for public beta until the third quarter, when it will be available to Mosso and Rackspace customers, and also as a stand-alone service. CloudFS helps round out the Rackspace service platform, which now includes Rackspace for managed hosting, MailTrust for enterprise e-mail services, and CloudFS for storage. Rackspace announced last week that it plans to go public through an IPO.
“This is going to be a business class offering,” said Bryce. “This isn’t just for hacker developers. Our enterprise customers have been asking for this type of offering.”
The storage platform will be accessed via a ReSTful web services API and language-specific API’s (.NET, Java, PHP, Ruby, Python). competitive storage, bandwidth and transaction pricing. Current plans target the pricing for storage to start at $0.15 per gigabyte, upon release, including replicated copies for data protection.
“Rackspace is focused on developing the most comprehensive array of hosting capabilities available today. With the changing landscape of the industry, there’s no longer just one way to do it,” said John Engates, CTO, Rackspace Hosting. “Customers’ needs are expanding, and one of our key initiatives right now is making web-scale computing as value-added and as easy as possible. We believe that linking storage