Cloud provider Rackspace has launched a new open source data storage system for its customers.

The Cloud Block Storage system is powered by the non-proprietary OpenStack system to provide attached storage in the cloud, to support file systems, databases and other input/output intensive applications.

A standard drive option for everyday storage is available, and a solid state drive (SSD) offering can also be used for higher performance. There is a flat pricing structure for both options with no charge for I/O, and they are available for cloud servers powered by OpenStack.

"The explosion of data over the past few years has placed greater demands on our customers, presenting them with a variety of new storage related challenges," said John Engates, CTO of Rackspace.

"We developed Cloud Block Storage to deliver consistent performance in the cloud, with scalability and a very simple pricing model that gives customers the flexibility they require to meet their unique business needs."

With Rackspace Cloud Block Storage customers can attach up to 1 Terabyte of additional storage to cloud servers.

The price is 12p per gigabyte per month for standard volumes, and 56p per gigabyte per month for SSD volumes.

OpenStack compatible APIs allow customers to avoid proprietary implementations, said Rackspace.

Cisco demonstrated its own support for OpenStack earlier this month with the release of a free distribution of the open source cloud management platform, which it will package other services on top of, including virtual networking and high-availability features.