General FAQs

Object Storage is phoenixNAP’s completely new offering which overcomes NAS’ shortcomings when dealing with massive data storage. If you have massive chunks of unstructured data, it doesn’t make sense to tie it to a single physical location attached to a single pathway anymore. This is where Object Storage steps in, with its unique architecture.

Object storage uses a robust flat-file structure that stores data in containers (often called “buckets”) and retrieves data according to its unique identifier. There is no need to know the location of the data, and one object is never placed inside of another object.

Object storage is:

  • Flexible – Each object is assigned a unique identifier, and it exists at the same level. There are no subdirectories and there is no need to know the physical location of the data.
  • Globally Accessible – Objects are easily accessible by anyone via HTTP.
  • Efficient – Data and metadata are stored separately.
  • Infinitely Scalable – Store as much data as you need. You can scale up to multi petabytes of data if necessary.
  • Secure – Object storage simplifies data protection by providing more metadata than traditional storage.
  • Cost-Efficient – You pay for the resources you use.

When we talk about object storage we talk about storing objects, not files. An object is made up of a file and its associated metadata and unique identifier/key.

OSS Objects

Every object has its own unique identifier, which permits the user to find the data without needing to know its location. Storage requests are made through an HTTP/S using a REST API interface. Operations are conducted via HTTP PUT, GET, POST, DELETE, and HEAD requests.

Access is available via NFS and CIFS as well. Contact our NOC team if you want to use CIFS and NFS protocols. (May incur additional fees.)

API Command Result
GET Download an object and its metadata
PUT Creates a new object or bucket (for object, specify data and metadata)
DELETE Delete an object or bucket
HEAD Retrieves metadata
POST Creates or updates metadata

PhoenixNAP offers its Object Storage Service with interconnection between our three main sites:

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Ashburn, VA
  • Amsterdam, NL

File-level plugins (CIFS/NFS) are available.

Object storage is a single system that spreads across several locations, thus there are multiple administration points and complex replication schemes. Administration of data is conducted over an HTTP interface.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The REST-ful interface is:

  • Fully S3 Compatible – Our RESTful interface is entirely S3 compliant.
  • Encrypted – Server side encryption where the server manages encryption keys and client side encryption as well.
  • Well Connected – Minimum of 40 Gb per second of connectivity into the OSS per location.
  • Multi-Tenant – Easily manage multiple users.

Traditional block-and-file storage suffers from limited scalability due to its hierarchical structure. It is still the most widely used method of storing data, but for some businesses, object storage is the ideal solution.

Block-and-File Storage
As the number of files and users grow, block-and-file storage gains complexity and it takes more effort to find a particular file. At some point, this hinders performance greatly as the system reaches its file-limit. Another issue is planning your long-term capacities. If you get it wrong, you might end up overpaying for idle resources or need further capacities sooner than you thought.

Object Storage

  • Easily Accessible – No need for software that will read the data. You can enable URL access, so that files can be publicly accessed via web browser.
  • Unlimited Metadata Fields – You can have virtually any number of metadata fields associated to a single file.
  • Secure – Adjust storage policy and read/write permission for each bucket and object.

With object storage, you have loosely federated individual chunks of data. Data is based on its own rules, not on the rules of physical storage. This gives more control over data, as there is no limit of metadata fields, and makes object storage ideal for unstructured content, such as multimedia files and large files in general.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Data can be anything from a news article photo to a 1 TB-large 4K video.

Use Case #1 – App Service
Continually distributing multimedia content to users requires a lot of storage and, if successful enough, your needs for storage will outgrow your initial capacities. It’s difficult to assume your future needs. This means that if your assumptions are off, you either don’t get the storage you need or you end up overspending for excess capacity. And every time you expand your capacities, your service may experience downtime. Not a good thing if you are running a business.

Use Case #2 – Backup Your VMs and Archives
Object storage is a great fit for data sets that aren’t updated often. Users who are not leveraging a supported backup utility (Veeam, R1Soft) can leverage the S3 interface for their backups. You will need to utilize a backup software such as CloudBerry Backup.

Use Case #3 – Enterprise File Sharing: Unstructured Data Sets
Running a business demands having all sorts of unstructured data, such as medical images, engineering documents, videos, and other large files. At some point, it’s difficult to keep track of it all and almost impossible to find an individual file, not to mention the difficulty of securing unstructured data. Object storage effortlessly makes sense of unstructured data due to its organization. Every object is retrieved with its unique identifier, while its associated metadata provides additional information. Utilize an S3 compatible file sharing application and you’re all set.

Use Case #4 – Hosting a Static Website
Object storage is a very suitable environment for hosting a static website that will scale automatically to meet your traffic demands. Public users will then be able to access all of your bucket’s content via web browser. (A static website presents the same content to all visitors, there is no content personalization based on cookies or other such means. A static website does not use server-side scripting.)


When hosting a static website, you will need to provide an Index and Error document.

Object storage is unsuitable for data sets where files are modified frequently. There is no guarantee that a retrieve request will return the most recent version of the data.

Yes. To open the Object Storage console from within the Client Portal:

  1. Click Manage
  2. Select the Object Storage link under the Combined Functions heading. This opens the Object Storage Service login page.
  3. Enter your credentials and click Login.