So DreamHost did the clever thing again. They joined Ceph, an open-source project to deliver distributed storage efficiently, which is at the core of their cloud-based services. Basically they’re doing something similar to Amazon: they already had the technology — the core of which was open-source anyway — and started thinking how to offer cloud-based services on top of it. First was DreamObjects, but two weeks ago they also announced DreamCompute (which is basically the competing product to Amazon’s EC2), a cloud-based virtualisation technology, which naturally runs on top of more open-source software — namely, OpenStack. I haven’t tested it out myself (I’m on the waiting list!) so I cannot say how well it performs.
What is important for developers is that Ceph supports the Amazon S3 API (as well as the Swift/Rackspace API),while OpenStack supports the EC2 API. Cleverly done, don’t you think? This means that developers are not stuck to their favourite provider, i.e., Amazon. They can port their applications to different providers — so long as these use open-source cloud solutions that support the same protocol calls.
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