The Basics of Cloud Storage
There are many aspects of cloud computing, but the low-hanging fruit is cloud storage. Meaning, cloud storage is the easiest and least expensive place to start your cloud computing journey. The players in the cloud storage field are increasing daily, it seems. The most well-known are Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google, AT&T, OpenStack (Rackspace), Oracle and IBM. As a developer, where do you start? If you have ever worked with corporate storage you may be used to different brand names than these. You may have worked with a Storage Area Network or Network Attached Storage. But cloud storage is typically different than a corporate data store or file system. Its implementations for most vendors are object stores, where the data object you want to store or retrieve is located somewhere in a large cluster of commodity servers using standard drives (JBOD). The “secret sauce” is the software that controls these data objects, drives and servers. When evaluating cloud ctorage for the first time, the biggest hurdle is thinking in terms of objects instead of directories and files. Most cloud storage repositories have a root or primary bucket that you create through your management console, or programmatically via the vendor's API. This API will become the developer’s best or worst friend, depending on the vendor’s implementation. As a developer, you may be thinking that all you want to do is store a given file in a given directory that you will create in the cloud, but you can’t find a way to create them. The problem is you will not find a way with most, if not all, cloud storage vendors.