Objects Storage as a Service

 In Technical


Object Storage – Introduction

Object Storage manages data as Objects as opposed to other storage models like file systems which manage data as files and block storage which manages data as blocks. In Object storage, Object can be of any type and it is exposed through Http. Each object typically includes the data itself, a variable amount of metadata, and a globally unique identifier. Object storage provides highly available, distributed, eventually consistent storage in a commodity hardware with Advanced control. Objects storage is also referred as Internet Storage as it provides URI for all objects to be accessed through internet


The increase in adoption of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS model, increases the adoption of Object Storage as a service as this is one of the important component used in the Cloud solution architecture.

Object Storage Use Case

The typical use cases for the Objects Storage are

  • Backup
  • Log Management
  • Image or Catalog management
  • Snapshots
  • DR
  • Document management
  • File Sync or Archival management
  • Data Analytics
  • Video streaming
  • Static Web Site hosting (Only some of the object storage products enable this feature)


Object Storage – Products/Platforms

There are multiple Products/Platform which provides Object Storage Software. Here are the list of Products/Platforms which offer Object Storage as a Service

  • Openstack Swift
  • Ceph
  • Riak CS
  • Cloudian
  • Artisan Object based Cloud Storage


Here are the list of Public Objects Storage as a service providers and their platforms

Cloud Service Provider Object Storage Platform
Amazon Web Services S3 Proprietary
Rackspace Cloud Files Openstack Swift
HP Object Storage Openstack Swift
Softlayer Object Storage Openstack Swift
Internap Openstack Swift
Nephoscale – Object Stor Cloud Storage Openstack Swift


Openstack Swift

Openstack Object Store project , code named swift is gaining lot of momentum as lot of Cloud service providers use Swift for providing Object Storage as a service. Swift is one of the core project in Openstack. It’s built for scale and optimized for durability, availability, and concurrency across the entire data set. Swift is ideal for storing unstructured data that can grow without bound. Swift can also use Ceph as a backend for both Object Storage and Block Storage.


SWIFT Features

The latest version of Swift supports the following features

  • Versioned writes
  • CORS
  • ACLs
  • Arbitrarily large objects
  • Static website hosting
  • Signed, expiring URLs
  • Custom metadata
  • Bulk operations
  • Multi-range requests
  • Globally distributed clusters
  • Upgrades with no user downtime
  • Smooth cluster capacity adjustment with no downtime
  • StatsD integration
  • Flexible auth and identity integration
  • Seamless failure handling
  • Quota management
  • Support for high concurrency

Openstack Swift can be installed as a standalone service to offer Object storage as a Service irrespective of the Cloud platform. The next blog will talk about how to install and manage a standalone swift to provide Object Storage as a service.

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