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Cloudian - A Helpful Glossary About Object Storage

What is Object Storage?


This storage type goes by multiple names and can also be called:

  • Object storage: The underlying technology for S3 compatible storage is object storage. Over the years, multiple APIs have been used to access object storage, but the S3 API is now the most common.

  • Cloud storage: Most large-scale cloud storage today is object storage, and most of it employs the S3 API.

Why is Cloudian S3 Compatible Storage?


  • The term “S3 compatible” means that the storage employs the S3 API as its “language.” Applications that speak the S3 API should be able to plug and play with S3 compatible storage.

  • A growing number of applications now support this storage type (storage "language"), thus benefitting from its unique attributes.

What makes S3 such a successful storage technology?


This storage type goes by multiple names and can also be called:

  • Scale: Designed to grow limitlessly within a single namespace

  • Geo-distribution: A single storage system can span multiple sites

  • Cost: Purpose-built to run on industry-standard servers, thus benefitting from the volume and efficiencies of that industry

  • Reliable data transport: The only storage type invented in the age of the Internet, S3-compatible storage is built to manage and move massive data volumes over WAN

What is the S3 API?


  • S3 compatible storage is built on the Amazon S3 Application Programming Interface, better known as the S3 API, the most common way in which today data is stored, managed, and retrieved by object stores

  • Originally created for the Amazon S3 Simple Storage Service (read about the API here), the widely adopted S3 API is now the de facto standard for object storage, employed by vendors and cloud providers industry-wide.

Apart from Amazon, is Cloudian the only company using the S3 API?


  • Cloudian specializes in S3-compatible storage, but other examples of applications and devices the now employ the S3 technology are

    • Rubrik, Veeam, Commvault, Splunk, Pure Storage, Adobe, VERITAS, Hadoop, NetApp, EMC, Komprise

    • and more.

What are the benefits of S3 Storage "On-premise"?


Today, there are 5 key reasons to deploy S3 compatible storage in your data center:

  • Scale: S3-compatible solutions are designed to scale in a single namespace and if needed to an exabyte. Grow your storage without adding workload.

  • Performance: Hardware is in your data center for low latency and high bandwidth.

  • Control: Data is behind your firewall, so you consistently apply security and control access.

  • Cloud compatibility: S3 is compatible with cloud storage, so you can employ cloud when you need it, without disruption. Capitalize on the growing ecosystem of S3 compatible applications. Seamlessly move data and applications from on-prem to cloud.

  • 70% less cost than public cloud: With industry standard hardware, these solution deliver the greatest value: less cost per GB and higher density. Also, no ingress/egress fees.

Are all S3 Compatible Storage API Equal?


  • Compared with established file protocols such as NFS, the S3 API is relatively new and rapidly evolving. Among object storage vendors, S3 API compliance varies from below 50% to over 90%. This difference becomes material when an application — or an updated version of that app— fails due to S3 API incompatibility.

  • Cloudian is the only object storage solution to fully support the S3 API. Launched in 2011, Cloudian’s many years of S3 API development translate to the industry’s highest level of compliance and compatability.

Why does employing the S3 API make an object storage solution flexible and powerful?


  • Standardization in S3 Compatible Storage: With Cloudian, any object written using the S3 API can be used by other S3-enabled applications and object storage solutions. The existing code works "out of the box".

  • Maturity: The S3 API provides a wide variety of features that meet virtually every need for an object store. End users planning to deploy object stores can access the plentiful resources of the S3 community — both individuals and companies.

  • Rich Feature Set: The S3 API is the only storage “language” created in the era of the internet. The other common storage protocols (SMB and NFS) were created prior to the internet’s meteoric growth, and therefore did not factor in the needs of this infrastructure. As a result, only the S3 API includes features such as multi-part upload that make it easy to reliably transfer large files over dodgy WAN links.

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