Object Storage Service in Alibaba Cloud

When we talk about Object Storage or Object based storage, what is meant is a computer data storage architecture that manages data as objects. This is opposed to other storage architectures like file systems which manages data in a file hierarchy, or block storage which manages data as blocks within sectors and tracks.

Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service (OSS) is another offering from Alibaba Cloud. It is an encrypted, secure, cost-effective, and easy-to-use object storage service that enables you to store, back up, and archive large amounts of data in the cloud, with a guaranteed reliability of 99.999999999%. The OSS comes with suite of RESTful APIs that allows access to the storage anywhere over on the Internet. It also empowers you with the capability to elastically scale the capacity and processing capability. Also, you can choose from a variety of storage types in order to optimize the storage cost.

There are benefits that you can draw, but the top tangible ones are –

  • Ease of use
  • High Reliability
  • Powerful Security Measures
  • Cost Effective

The top features of OSS that makes it great are as follows –

  • Support for various types of storage – In today’s world there are hardly any application that has only one type of storage need. Alibaba cloud understands that and thus offers various types of storages and they are as follows –
    • Standard – When the need is of High-performance, highly reliable and highly available. The features are –
      • Applicable in service scenarios that are characterized by high throughputs, hot files, and frequent access
      • Persistence: 99.999999999%
      • No Minimum storage periods.
      • Application scenarios: Mobile applications, large websites, picture sharing, popular audio and video
    • Infrequent Access – These are OSS instances that are characterized by relatively low storage costs and real time access. The features of these storages are as follows –
      • Applicable in service scenarios that support real time, infrequent data access
      • Persistence: 99.999999999%
      • Minimum storage period: 30 days
      • Application scenarios: Mobile devices, backup of applications and enterprise data, monitoring data, online storage applications
    • Archive – These are OSS instances that support long-term archive data storage at the lowest unit price. The high-level features are as follows –
      • Applicable to service scenarios that are subject to data recovery wait time and have requirements on data storage period
      • Persistence: 99.999999999%
      • Minimum storage period: 60 days
      • Application scenarios: Long-term archive data storage, medical imaging, video materials

So, when do we use OSS? Well, below are some common places when you can use it –

  • Audio and Video data – When our business has streaming needs, be it live or VOD. OSS supports audio streaming and video streaming and offers great quality even if the files are of huge size without compromising on the responsiveness of the application.
  • Data Lifetime Management – If you need to keep tab of the object lifetime and control them as per your business need, OSS helps you achieve that through the lifecycle policies. If the data is required later, you have the ease to an Infrequent Access with ease.
  • Not only that but you can also manage the lifecycle of the objects. It enables you to either delete the data that is considered expired as per the OSS lifecycle policies. In case you feel that data might be required later for auditing purpose or some other analysis, the life cycle management allows you to transition the data to Infrequent Access (IA) with the same ease.
  • RESTFulness – With the stateless protocol and over standard operations, REST systems aim for fast performance, reliability, and the ability to grow, by re-using components. This always comes with the advantage of being easy to manage and be up to date without affecting the system as a whole, even while it is running.
  • Image Processing – OSS supports format conversion and generation of thumbnails. Common operations like cropping, watermarks and scaling are also available and easy to achieve. It supports a wide variety of formats like jpg, png, bmp, gif, and tiff.
  • Authentication & Authorization – it supports features like – STS, URL, whitelist, anti-leeching, and RAM account.

Still in doubt? How about Direct Data Transfer for the mobile apps to the Alibaba OSS with all the authentication in place and as effective and strong. So no more having to go through the Application server and doing it. Isn’t that a huge advantage?

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