Rackspace unveils cloud storage service

Web-services-based online storage service will allow software developers to store, backup and access files and content for their applications

Rackspace this week unveiled a Web-services-based online storage service that will allow software developers to store, backup and access files and content for their applications. The new CloudFS service will be available later this year through the company's Mosso hosting division.

CloudFS will support applications built using any of several programming languages, including Java, Microsoft .Net, PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails, said John Engates, chief technology officer at San Antonio-based Rackspace.

CloudFS is priced at 15 cents per gigabyte, along with undisclosed bandwidth usage charges for customers not using other hosted Rackspace offerings. CloudFS will also include transaction and storage fees based on counts of data writes and reads per object stored online, added Engates. He declined to disclose the amount of the fees.

Rackspace said it is in the process of signing up 100 companies to take part in a limited beta-test program for the service. A second beta-test phase for all comers will begin sometime during the third quarter.

CloudFS will be available as a stand-alone service or as part of other Mosso services, which include e-mail hosting.

Engates said CloudFS is designed for customers building high-end enterprise applications that require an unlimited storage pool. The offering is targeted at developers and businesses building Web sites, portals, Web 2.0 applications, social networking media and software-as-a-service applications, he noted.

Randall Minter, CTO and founder of Qrimp said he is beta-testing the service to determine whether it provides stronger performance and data-transfer rates compared with Amazon.com Inc.'s S3 service, which is his company is using now.

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