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September 5, 2012
The open source channel’s answer to proprietary cloud solutions has become more compelling with the announcement of a new object storage service from DreamHost that offers full compatibility with other popular APIs. It already has some open source partners talking. Here’s why.
The new service, called DreamObjects, is based on Ceph, the open source distributed storage system. It will compete with proprietary alternatives such as Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) Cloud Files and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) S3.
DreamHost developers are placing heavy emphasis on the benefits stemming from the new service’s open source base, which they say will facilitate lower per-Gigabyte pricing for the service and ensure greater flexibility to users. In the words of DreamHost CEO Simon Anderson:
DreamHost is on a mission to give every content creator, entrepreneur and developer the freedom to create on the Internet. We do this by launching and supporting awesomely engineered, super-flexible, and über-value web and cloud services, and DreamObjects is definitely in this illustrious category.
Qualitative values such as greater flexibility are in the eye of the beholder, but quantitatively, DreamObjects does indeed appear attractive from a cost perspective. With a simple, flat-rate pricing plan of 7 cents per Gigabyte of data stored and another 7 cents for each Gigabyte of data transferred, it compares favorably to Rackspace’s 10 cents per Gigabyte, and to Amazon’s S3, which charges up to 12.5 cents per Gigabyte of storage and 12 cents for data-out up to the first 10 Terabytes.
Amazon’s prices become lower thereafter, of course, which may make S3 a better choice for larger organizations with huge amounts of data. But DreamHost comes out on top for many usage scenarios.
Also noteworthy are the partnerships being built around DreamObjects. Intank, which provides support services for Ceph, has signed on in support of DreamHost’s newest endeavor. Meanwhile, Canonical highlighted DreamObjects’ integration into an Ubuntu-based cloud platform at the Linux Foundation’s CloudOpen conference late last month.
This latest offering from DreamHost thus helps to integrate the open source channel even more tightly around the cloud, taking advantage of the strengths of the various stakeholders. For now, Amazon and Rackspace may enjoy greater mindshare and marketshare in this area, but that may not remain true forever.
Christopher Tozzi started covering the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis in 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” is forthcoming with MIT Press.
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