What is it?

IBM Cloud Object Storage is a storage service that can be used to store unstructured data and is designed for high durability, resiliency and security.  The data is accessible using SDKs or using the IBM user interface.

What can I do with IBM Cloud Object Storage?

You can use IBM Cloud Object Storage to access your unstructured data via a self-service portal backed by Restful APIs and SDKs from anywhere in the world. Depending on your needs, you can use it as a repository for backup & recovery, archive, media content repository, data lake for analytics and as your storage service for cloud-native applications.

How secure is my data in IBM Cloud Object Storage? 

IBM Cloud Object Storage is highly secure. Initially, only the bucket and object owners have access to the service instance they create. It also supports user authentication to access to data. You can use access control mechanisms such as bucket policies to selectively grant permissions to users and applications. You can securely upload/download your data to IBM Cloud Object Storage via SSL endpoints using the HTTPS protocol.

What kind of data can I store in IBM Cloud Object Storage?

You can store any kind of data such as images, videos, documents etc. in any format.

How much data can I store in IBM Cloud Object Storage?

The total volume of data you can store is virtually unlimited. Please refer to pricing on the cost structure.

How is my data organized in IBM Cloud Object Storage?

Information stored in IBM Cloud Object Storage is encrypted and dispersed across multiple geographic locations. This service makes use of the distributed storage technologies provided by the IBM Object Storage System.

How is my data organized in IBM Cloud Object Storage?

Information stored in IBM Cloud Object Storage is encrypted and dispersed across multiple geographic locations. This service makes use of the distributed storage technologies provided by the IBM Object Storage System.

Does IBM Cloud Object Storage service offer a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?

Yes, please refer to IBM Cloud SLA here

How many buckets can I provision?

You can provision 100 buckets per Cloud Object Storage service instance. If you need to provision more than this limit, contact customer support.

Is there a size limit on the Object I can upload and store?

You can provision 100 buckets per Cloud Object Storage service instance. If you need to provision more than this limit, contact customer support.

Is there a size limit on the Object I can upload and store?

When using the API the objects can be as large as 10TB. When using the IBM Console, Objects can't exceed 200MB to upload.  All object keys need to be no more than 1024 characters in length, and it's best to avoid any characters that might be problematic in a web address (e.g. =, ?, <, etc.) There is no practical limit on the amount of storage you can use in a single storage instance, or a single bucket for that matter. Each bucket can hold billions of objects.

How do I decide between regional and cross-region to store my data?

Regional resiliency is for low latency and your data is distributed across three IBM data centers within a single region. Cross region resiliency is for mission critical availability and your data is stored in three IBM data centers across three or more different regions. Cross region offers geographic resiliency and is available across multiple endpoints. Consider your application needs to decide between the two.

How do I decide what geographic location to store my data in?

You may want to consider several factors, in addition to deciding between regional and cross-region:

  1. You may want to pick a location that is remote from your other operations for redundancy.
  2. You may want to pick a location to address legal and regulatory requirements.
  3. You may want to consider various pricing options.
  4. You may want to pick a location based on your desire to reduce data access latency.

Can I use IBM Cloud Object Storage even though I am not located in US?

Yes, you can. You can use IBM Cloud Object Storage from anywhere in the world. You just have to choose the location where you want to store your data when you create a bucket.

What storage classes does IBM Cloud Object Storage offer?

  • Standard: Designed for storing frequently accessed data, providing higher performance at lower cost for use cases such as collaboration, analytics, active content repositories, and sync-and-share applications. Ideal for data that is accessed multiple times a month.
  • Vault: Use for storing your less-frequently accessed data for functions such as tape replacement, backup and disaster recovery. Ideal for data that is accessed once a month or less.
  • Cold Vault: Use for storing data that is minimally accessed for use cases such as archiving, digital asset preservation and long term-backup for compliance. Use for long-term retention of data that needs minimal access.
  • Flex: Designed for workloads with unpredictable data usage patterns, for example, cloud-native applications or dynamic websites where data is “hot” today and “cold” tomorrow. This service has a cap on the combined capacity and retrieval charge, so you cost-effectively access and use your data as often as you need.

If I want to store my data using Vault or Cold Vault storage class, do I need to create another account?

No, the storage classes are defined at the bucket level. Simply create a new bucket that is set to the desired storage class.

Can I change the storage class on a bucket? For example, if you have production data in ‘standard’, can we easily switch it to ‘vault’ if we are not using it frequently to reduce costs?

Changing of storage class requires you to manually moving or copying the data from one bucket to another bucket with the desired storage class.

How secure is my data?

IBM Cloud Object Storage is highly secure. Initially, only the bucket and object owners have access to the cloud object storage service instance they create. The Service supports user authentication to access to data; you can use access control mechanisms such as bucket policies to selectively grant permissions to users and applications. You can securely upload/download your data via SSL endpoints using the HTTPS protocol.

How can I control access to data stored in IBM Cloud Object Storage? 

You can use the following access controlling mechanisms to secure your data: 1. Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies - IAM enables organizations with multiple employees to create and manage multiple users under a single Bluemix account. With IAM policies, companies can grant IAM users control to their Cloud Object Storage buckets; 2. Access Control Lists (ACLs) - With ACLs, you can grant specific permissions (E.g.WRITE, READ) to specific users for an individual bucket.

How durable is IBM Cloud Object Storage?

IBM Cloud Object Storage is designed to provide 99.999999999% durability of objects over a given year. In addition, the data is spilt using Dispersal Algorithms (IDAs) into unrecognizable “slices” that are distributed across a network of data centers, making transmission and storage of data inherently private and secure. No complete copy of the data resides in any single storage node.

Does IBM Cloud Object Storage provide encryption at rest and in motion?

Yes. Data at rest is encrypted with automatic server side Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption and Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA)-256 hash. Data in motion is secured by using built-in carrier grade Transport Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer (TLS/SSL) or SNMPv3 with AES encryption.

What is the typical encryption overhead if a I want to encrypt my data?

Server side encryption is always ON for customer data and encryption is not a big portion of the processing cost of Cloud Object Storage.

I am a non-CPA (Custom Private Addressing) customer, how can I use IBM Cloud Object Storage over Direct Link?

  1. Client connects to Direct Link Business-as-usual; 
  2. By default, Direct Link clients cannot access Cloud Object Storage on the private services network, they will have to create route on their vRouter to traverse private network to reach private end-point for Cloud Object Storage on the services network;
  3. Client needs to provision 1x or 2x Vyattas; 
  4. Use Cloud Object private endpoints to access IBM Cloud Object Storage.

How much does IBM Cloud Object Storage cost?

IBM Cloud Object Storage is designed for you to pay as you go without any minimum cost. Please refer to pricing section for details.

How is IBM calculating and tracking my Cloud Object Storage usage?

Cloud Object Storage offers four different storage classes - Standard, Vault, Cold Vault and Flex. For each of storage classes, some or all of the the following metrics are collected and aggregated across all the Cloud Object Storage instances in the account.

Storage 

IBM will track and meter the storage (in Gigabytes) used to store data objects.  The cost for total storage in a billing period is the sum of the daily average storage cost.  The average storage usage for a given day is calculated by collecting usage data points at least every two hours during the day and averaging of all the data points.

Public Outbound Bandwidth

IBM will track and meter the public outbound bandwidth (in Gigabytes) in accessing the data objects through the public endpoints. The public outbound bandwidth for a billing period is calculated as the sum of all collected usage data points. The usage data points that includes the bandwidth consumed during the measurement period are collected at least every hour.

Retrieval

IBM will track and meter the total data retrieval (in Gigabytes) in accessing the data objects through the both public and private endpoints.  The data retrieval for a billing period is calculated as the sum of the all collected usage data points. The usage data points that includes the data retrieval occurred during the measurement period are collected at least every hour .

Class A API Calls

IBM will track and meter the PUT, COPY, POST and LIST operations in manipulating the data objects. The Class A API calls for a billing period is calculated as the sum of the all collected usage data points and is rounded to the nearest thousand. The usage data points that includes the calls made during the measurement period are collected at least every hour .

Class B API Calls

IBM will track and meter the GET and other operations for accessing the data objects. The Class B API calls for a billing period is calculated as the sum of the all collected usage data points and is rounded to the nearest ten thousand. The usage data points that includes the calls made during the measurement period are collected at least every hour .

Flex Max Cap (Only for Flex Class)

For Flex class storage, IBM will track the Flex Max Cap charge that is calculated with the Flex Cap price, for storage in the Flex Class for a billing period . If the Flex Max Cap charge is lesser than the combined cost of Storage and Retrieval, only the Flex Max Cap charge is billed to the account and the combined Storage and Retrieval charges are not billed. Otherwise, combined Storage and Retrieval charges are billed. 

Get started on IBM Cloud Object Storage

Get started with IBM Cloud Object Storage. Scalable cloud storage, designed for high durability, resiliency and security