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Happy Birthday Cloud Block Storage!

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We launched Cloud Block Storage into unlimited availability a year ago and we now have thousands of customers using the product. The team that designed Cloud Block Storage wanted to create a different kind of block storage in the cloud. When we spoke with our customers about what they wanted in a cloud block storage solution, the feedback focused on three areas:

  • Reliable and more consistent performance
  • Simpler experience and pricing
  • Choice between standard volumes for more disk space or SSD volumes for higher disk I/O performance

A year later, we believe we’ve been successful in meeting our customers’ expectations and also in delivering on our goal to create a different kind of block storage solution. Within months of launching Cloud Block Storage, we quickly exceeded 1PB of storage for SATA volumes and the majority of our top customers are now running high-I/O workloads like MongoDB and Cassandra on SSD volumes.

Design Decisions

Let’s take a quick look at the some of the key product design decisions that helped us accomplish these goals:

Engineered for reliable and more consistent performance:

  • Cloud Block Storage provides persistent storage to augment Cloud Servers’ local persistent storage.
  • Raid10 backed storage nodes with hot spares provide extreme protection against volume failures.
  • A minimum volume size (100 GB) limits the number of customers competing for resources (IOPS) on each storage node.
  • Data plane segmentation means that should a Cloud Block Storage node failure occur, it happens at the volume level, not at the region.
  • A smart scheduling algorithm spreads individual customers across multiple storage nodes. Customers have the option to configure a software RAID mirror to protect their volume data even further.
  • Built from scratch using commodity hardware, open source and OpenStack software technologies that were designed for cloud architectures.

Cloud Block Storage was designed from the ground up with simplicity in mind:

  • Simple pricing. One price for SATA, one price for SSD, no charge for IOPS.
  • No need to track ongoing IOPS usage or pre-calculate the IOPS you will need. If you need hundreds of IOPS, use SATA. If you need thousands, use SSD.
  • Simple and intuitive Control Panel experience. Create up to 1 TB of new storage in as little as three clicks from the time you log into the Control Panel.

Designed to give customers choice of standard volumes or SSD volumes for higher performance:

  • Access to hundreds or tens of thousands of IOPS.
  • No need to RAID multiple volumes for high performance – choose SSD instead.
  • Use SATA, SSD, or both to customize your storage to fit your application needs.

Lower Cloud Block Storage Prices

To celebrate Cloud Block Storage being one year old and to further our goal of more reliable, simple and flexible block storage in the cloud, we are lowering Cloud Block Storage pricing for both standard and SSD volumes! If you are a current Cloud Block Storage customer, you will automatically receive the new pricing on the applicable effective date.

Cloud Block Storage Standard Volumes (click to enlarge)

Cloud Block Storage SSD Volumes (click to enlarge)

For additional pricing information, check out our Cloud Block Storage pricing pages here: Dallas, Chicago, and Northern Virginia, London and Sydney. Note: the US and UK website pricing pages will be updated on Friday, November 1.

We have learned a lot from our customers this past year and will be making a number of exciting announcements over the next several months. We’re thrilled about our Cloud Block Storage offering and how it is benefiting our customers, and we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays in the future.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Jerry Schwartz.

Jerry is a Senior Product Marketing Manager focusing on our cloud storage and managed storage portfolios. He joined Rackspace in 2007 and was the Product Manager for our Microsoft applications including SharePoint, Exchange, SQL and the Windows Server operating system. He has worked in the Rackspace Cloud since 2010 shaping many of Rackspace’s cloud offerings including Cloud Files, Cloud Block Storage, Cloud Backup, and Cloud Servers.

Jerry is a loyal Texas Longhorns fan and received his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Outside of Rackspace, you will likely find him on a jet ski at one of the lakes around San Antonio.


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  • Samantha

    Is RAX Cloud Block Storage opensource yet?

    • Jerry Schwartz

      Cloud Block Storage takes advantage of the OpenStack Cinder API
      for volume management. Our storage nodes interface with Cinder using an API
      we’ve developed in-house called LUNR, which we plan to open source in 2014. For additional information on OpenStack Cinder, check out: https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Cinder

      Jerry

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