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 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 enables 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 on 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 data center

All objects or containers created in Oracle Storage Cloud Service are replicated to three separate storage nodes in the data center. If one of the three nodes 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 nodes in the data center. When an object or container is created or modified, it is not replicated instantaneously to the other two nodes. Until the replication is completed, a container or an object's data may not be consistent across the three nodes. Over time, all changes to all objects or containers are replicated, and the data becomes consistent across the three nodes.

Automatic error detection and healing

Object copies are actively scanned for data corruption. If a bad copy is found, it is replaced, automatically, with a new copy.

Fine-grained read/write access control to containers

Read and write access to an object is controlled via access control lists for 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 (that is only the user who created the container can access it), 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, which is based on OpenStack Swift. For information about feature differences between Oracle Storage Cloud Service and OpenStack Swift, see Interfaces to Oracle Storage Cloud 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.

Global namespace URL to access the service

Regardless of the data center where your service instance is provisioned, you can access Oracle Storage Cloud Service by using a global namespace URL (see About REST URLs for Oracle Storage Cloud Service Resources). Requests sent to the global namespace URL are routed to the data center where your service instance is provisioned.

Low-cost data archival

In metered accounts, you can create containers of two storage classes, Standard (default) and Archive. You can use Archive containers to store large data sets that you don't need to access frequently, at a fraction of the cost of storing data in Standard containers. Note that to download data stored in Archive containers, you must first restore the objects. The restoration process can take up to four hours depending on the size of the object. A few features, such as dynamic large objects, bulk upload and deletion, and server-side COPY are not supported for Archive containers. The specific differences are highlighted in the sections that describe the affected features. Archive containers are ideal for storing data such as email archives, data backups, and digital video masters. For information about the pricing and other terms for the Archive storage class, go to https://cloud.oracle.com/storage?tabID=1406491833493.

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 across three storage nodes in the 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 Oracle Cloud Storage Service: