June 21, 2021 By Riz Amanuddin 3 min read

What is IBM Cloud Object Storage File Access and how can it help you migrate data?

Customers may have data on network-attached storage (NAS) systems that isn’t accessed often. Moving it to IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS) can provide a more cost-effective way to store the data.  

IBM Cloud Object Storage File Access has a built-in migration tool that can migrate data from the network-attached storage to IBM COS and allow applications to continue to access the data in the same manner as if it was hosted on the NAS. This frees up space on the NAS for data that is being actively used.


IBM Cloud Object Storage File Access allows applications that are written to access data on file systems to now access that data in IBM COS. This comes with all the benefits of COS — a globally shared, scalable, reliable repository that is very cost-effective.


IBM Cloud Object Storage File Access (IBM COS FA) has a built-in discover and migrate engine. By using this engine, you can discover file servers, create migration jobs and then migrate selected files to IBM COS.

Benefits include the following:

  • No need to use tools like RoboCopy, TreeSize or rsync
  • Keep data in sync while migration is taking place
  • Maintain current file and folder structure
  • Preserve file access and permissions, and
  • Throttle bandwidth for migration 

On this last point, if you have to migrate many files and your migration jobs are taking a long time, you can throttle bandwidth during working hours and go full speed at night.

The IBM COS FA solution provides direct to object storage write capabilities to efficiently utilize the available network capacity and allow for scalability. This solution provides fast and reliable ingestion of file data to be archived into IBM COS.  

IBM COS FA includes a centralized management console (IBM Cloud Object Storage File Access Portal) that makes it possible to effectively manage a very large number of connected File Access Gateways.

IBM has introduced IBM COS FA to allow our clients to “drain the NAS” as part of their IT modernization or hybrid cloud initiatives. This software-defined storage solution enables enterprises to discover and migrate infrequently accessed files and active archiving workloads from existing NAS devices to COS — on-premises or in private or public IBM Cloud. It helps lower the cost of storage for a variety of file-archiving use cases, including video surveillance, medical imaging, media asset preservation and more.

IBM COS FA is a virtual edge caching appliance that provides a standard file protocol (SMB and NFS) interface to enterprise applications to store and retrieve infrequently accessed files on IBM COS. The solution leverages block-level, source-based de-duplication and compression to accelerate data transfer over high latency connections, making it an ideal solution for long-term archiving needs from distributed locations.


For enterprises who are concerned about data privacy, security and compliance, the IBM COS FA solution meets a variety of international regulatory standards, including the GDPR, and its cryptography is FIPS-140-2 certified. It can be deployed entirely within a customer’s firewall, or it can leverage the IBM Cloud Object Storage public service. In either case, enterprises can rest assured that their data is fully secure as it is encrypted at rest and in motion and, in case of any suspected data breach, it can be shredded remotely. The solution also provides an ICAP antivirus integration option and infinite snapshots of file shares to recover from cyber-security incidents including ransomware attacks. 

Learn more

To learn more about IBM Cloud Object Storage features and how your organization can benefit from the underlying capabilities please visit our product page

For more information on object storage technology, see “What is Object Storage?

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