DreamHost is targeting Amazon S3 customers with the launch of its new DreamObjects cloud storage service. Designed with Internet entrepreneurs and developers in mind, the new public cloud storage service has been priced as low as 2.2 cents per gigabyte for a customer's first year of subscription.

The web hosting provider first jumped into the realm of cloud computing last year when it inked cloud deals with web security firm CloudFlare and network virtualization provider Nicira. It's interesting to see what three-quarters of a year can do for a cloud up-and-comer. Now DreamHost is throwing down the gauntlet and trying to lure Amazon S3 customers away to its new cloud storage service, which it claims comes in at a lower cost than the Amazon Simple Storage Service.

It's not the first time DreamHost has taken a direct marketing initiative against Amazon, of course. In October, DreamHost launched DreamCompute at the OpenStack Summit. DreamCompute was immediately positioned as a challenger to Amazon EC2. Like the new DreamObjects, DreamCompute was developed to target Internet entrepreneurs and developers.

DreamHost is already boasting thousands of end-users on DreamObjects, which first entered beta back in October 2012. Not a bad way to start out, for sure. To kick things off, DreamHost is also offering customers a 30-day trial and 100 GB of storage and 100 GB of bandwidth free for the first month.

"We believe that the current generation of innovators and content creators will thrive and prosper in an environment where feature-rich, reliable cloud storage can be utilized for pennies per gig," said Simon Anderson, CEO of DreamHost, in a prepared statement.

Pricing is where things get convoluted, but that's hardly out of the ordinary for cloud storage services. Yes, DreamHost is promising prices as low as 2.2 cents per gigabyte, but it doesn't start out quite as cheap. Standard pricing is 7 cents per gigabyte of storage and 7 cents per gigabyte of transfer bandwidth. Lower prices are achieved only with longer-term commitments. However, all pre-paid storage plans will be discounted 50 percent for the first year of service, which can bring the price down to 2.2 cents per gigabyte. Does that mean the lowest price after the heavy discounting is 4.4 cents. We'll have to wait and see what DreamHost offers customers in a year's time.

For now, though, there's a new cloud storage service on the market that is trying to tackle the Amazon kingpin.