About Oracle Storage Cloud Service

Oracle Storage Cloud Service is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) product, which provides an enterprise-grade, large-scale, object storage solution for files and unstructured data.

Oracle Storage Cloud Service vs. Other Storage Solutions

Storage is a fundamental requirement for any enterprise application workload. Traditional storage solutions pose certain scalability, performance, and management challenges that Oracle Storage Cloud Service helps you overcome.

  • With direct attached storage, such as the hard disk drive in a laptop, the operating system underlying the applications manages data storage, retrieval, and organization through a file system, which is a schema that the operating system uses to organize data on locally attached disks. Direct attached storage provides provide convenient, low latency, durable storage. However, because storage capacity is spread between isolated devices, direct attached storage does not scale well.

  • In network-attached storage (NAS), the storage device is physically separate from the servers hosting the applications. To the application hosts, the storage device is available as a network drive. A network file system on the storage device manages data storage, retrieval, and organization. NAS enables applications running on multiple hosts to share storage. It provides centralized management of storage resources and high performance over a local network. But this architecture is feasible only within a limited geographical area, and it offers limited room for scaling. Like in directly attached storage, in NAS as well, applications rely on the underlying operating system and the network file system of the storage device.
  • Block storage enables applications such as OLTP databases that have high IOPS (input/output operations per second) requirements to store and retrieve data efficiently, by bypassing the host operating system and interacting directly with virtual block devices. Chunks of data are stored in blocks, each with an address, but with no other metadata. Applications decide where data is stored, and they retrieve data by calling the appropriate block addresses directly. Block storage optimizes storage for IOPS and block-based access and provides POSIX-compliant file systems for Oracle Compute Cloud Service instances. It is limited in terms of scalability and does not support the definition of granular metadata for stored data.

  • Object storage provides an optimal blend of performance, scalability, and manageability when storing large amounts of unstructured data. Multiple storage nodes form a single, shared, horizontally scalable pool in which data is stored as objects (blobs of data) in a flat hierarchy of containers. Each object stores data, the associated metadata, and a unique ID. You can assign custom metadata to containers and objects, making it easier to find, analyze, and manage data. Applications use the unique object IDs to access data directly via REST API calls. Object storage is simple to use, performs well, and scales to a virtually unlimited capacity.

Oracle Storage Cloud Service provides a low cost, reliable, secure, and scalable object-storage solution for storing unstructured data and accessing it anytime from anywhere. It is ideal for data backup, archival, file sharing, and for storing large amounts of unstructured data like logs, sensor-generated data, and VM images.

Features of Oracle Storage Cloud Service

Oracle Storage Cloud Service is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) product, which provides an enterprise-grade, large-scale, object storage solution for files and unstructured data.

You can use Oracle Storage Cloud Service to back up content to an offsite location, programmatically store and retrieve content, and share content with peers. The following are the features of the service:

  • Object storage: Oracle Storage Cloud Service stores data as objects within a flat hierarchy of containers.
    • An object is most commonly created by uploading a file. It can also be created from ephemeral unstructured data. Objects are created within a container. A single object can hold up to 5 GB of data, but multiple objects can be linked together to hold more than 5 GB of contiguous data.
    • A container is a user-created resource, which can hold an unlimited number of objects, unless you specify a quota for the container. Note that containers cannot be nested.
    Custom metadata can be defined for both objects and containers.
  • Replication within the primary data center: All objects or containers created in Oracle Storage Cloud Service are replicated to three separate machines within the primary data center. If one of the three machines fails, at least two copies of the object or container will continue to be available.

    Note that by default, data is eventually consistent across the machines in the data center. When an object or container is created or modified, it is not replicated instantaneously to the other two machines. Until the replication is completed, a container or an object's data may not be consistent across the three machines. Over time, all changes to all objects or containers are replicated, and the data becomes consistent across the three machines.

    To ensure that objects written to Oracle Storage Cloud Service are immediately consistent across all storage nodes, include the X-Consistency-Level header with the value Strong in the request. For more information, see Ensuring Object Consistency Across Nodes in a Data Center.

  • Automatic error detection and healing: Object copies are actively scanned for data corruption. If a bad copy is found, it is replaced with a new copy.
  • Fine-grained read/write access control to containers: Read and write access to an object is controlled by its container. Each container can be assigned its own read and write access control lists. By default, access to a container and its objects is private, but read access can be made public if required.
  • REST API and Java library interfaces: The primary method for accessing Oracle Storage Cloud Service is through a RESTful web service. The service can be accessed from anywhere over the Internet, at any time, and from any device. A Java library that wraps the RESTful web service is also available. No special hardware is required to start using the service. See Accessing Oracle Storage Cloud Service.

Architectural Overview

The Oracle Storage Cloud Service architecture is highly available and redundant. It provides support for external access methods, including customer applications, Java SDK, and REST clients.

When objects are stored in Oracle Storage Cloud Service, the data is replicated three times to separate systems within the same data center. This replication strategy ensures that stored object data can survive hardware failure. There can only be one Oracle Storage Cloud service instance per identity domain.

The following diagram presents an architectural overview of the Oracle Cloud Storage Service: