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Cloud Block Storage: An Overview

Rackspace recently launched a product called Cloud Block Storage, and many people are curious to find out exactly what it can do. I think, however, you probably have a good idea about what it is already; so before we talk about the cloud, let’s talk about your home computer.

If you are like me, you take pictures of your kids or videos of your dog and save them to your computer at home. Eventually, you fill up your hard drive so you have to either go to a store or online to buy a new hard drive to replace your old one. Now you have extra space to fill with more pictures and videos.

In the Rackspace Cloud, you have a cloud server with a hard drive that eventually would run out of space. Prior to Cloud Block Storage, there was no way to buy an extra hard drive, instead you would have to buy a whole cloud server. While this new instance would include a bigger hard drive, it would also include extra memory and CPU power that you might not need, but would have to pay for to get that extra hard drive space.

Cloud Block Storage solves this problem because you can buy virtual hard drives in the cloud that can be used by any next generation Rackspace Cloud Server powered by OpenStack. The Cloud Block Storage drives are like any other hard drive; they show up as a new device and you can format them with any file system that you want to use. Furthermore, you can backup the Cloud Block Storage drives to our Cloud Files product to give you the security of knowing that you have a backup and that you can create new volumes based on that backup.

In the next post, Chuck will talk about some of the options for Cloud Block Storage including Standard volumes (SATA) and SSD drives. Check out this page to find out how to get started with Cloud Block Storage on the Rackspace Cloud powered by OpenStack.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Chuck Thier.

Chuck Thier, a Racker for six years, is a software developer who has worked on several Rackspace products, including Cloud Files and Cloud Block Storage. Chuck was on the ground floor of open-sourcing Cloud Files for OpenStack Swift.


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