Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about this product.

IBM Cloud Object Storage is a software defined object storage solution. It can be purchased and deployed as a software only license to run on any of the certified hardware models or as a fully configured appliance that can be deployed in one or more data centers.

You can use Cloud Object Storage to access your unstructured data from anywhere in the world. You can maintain an always on environment and scale your storage to exabytes without any disruption. Depending on your needs, you can use it as a repository for IoT, analytics data or backup data.

You can either write your own application(s) that use the S3 compatible REST API or use one of the 70+ certified applications that can be interfaced with IBM COS. Applications provide an easy way to utilize IBM COS and include such use cases as archiving data from a NAS or storing backup data.

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

The total volume of data you can store is virtually unlimited. Individual objects can range in size from extremely small to 10 TB. The smallest configuration with IBM appliances is currently 72 TB of total usably capacity and can grow online without disruption to over an exabyte in size.

IBM Cloud Object Storage can be deployed in one, two, three or more sites. In each of the configurations multiple devices can be down and data is still accessible. If more then one site is configured, then any site can simultaneously read and write data.

The software license is licensed by raw TBs. The software contains everything you need to deploy directly on the hardware.

Please contact your local IBM representative or your local IBM Business Partner.

You have three purchasing options: (1) Purchase a software only license; buy what you need; then add capacity when needed. (2) Purchase a fully configured hardware and software appliance and grow as needed. (3) Purchase a system with capacity on demand (appliance only) and pay a minimum initial fee.

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.

IBM COS has three different device types: A manager (one or two required per cluster); the accessor nodes or the performance layer (one or more at each site and minimum of two recommended); and storage nodes or capacity layer (minimum of three and no maximum number).

The manager and accessor nodes can be deployed as a VM on VMWare or on a certified server node or as an IBM appliance. Accessor nodes can also be deployed directly on the capacity storage node. Storage nodes must be dedicated devices using either certified servers or IBM appliances.

You can choose from a number of certified servers from a variety of vendors including Cisco, Lenovo, SuperMicro, Dell, HPE, Huawei and a number of other vendors. IBM servers for Cloud Object Storage contain the hardware and software integrated as a single supported configuration.

The service supports user authentication to access data. You can use access control mechanisms to selectively grant permissions to users and applications. Securely upload or download your data via SSL endpoints using the HTTPS protocol, or use the Key Protect Service or the Server-Side Encryption.

Yes. IBM Cloud supports providing your own key for encrypting your data at rest: SSE-C – You can provide your own key for encryption. IBM Cloud does not save your key within IBM Cloud Object Storage. The onus is on you to manage your own key and provide it during the storing and retrieving of data.

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) encryption.

IBM Cloud Object Storage is designed to provide 15+ nines of durability or 99.9999999999999 percent durability of objects over a given year. This means that for every 1,000 objects, one may be lost every one trillion years.

IBM Cloud Object Storage is typically configured with 8 nines of availability. This level of availability can be compared to less than a blink of an eye every year (0.3 second per year). The system can lose multiple devices, nodes or even an entire site and data remains accessible.

Yes. This is one of the many advantages of geo-dispersed data protection. Multi-site access provides the flexibility, performance and simplicity of IBM Cloud Object Storage vs other replication technologies.

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