Internap has been offering cloud storage solutions since June of 2011, allowing users to leverage our scalable OpenStack-based cloud storage platform for their applications and deliver their content via Internap’s Performance IP™ and CDN service.
As of this month, we’ve consolidated our object storage service, officially dubbed AgileFILES, with our virtual compute, bare-metal cloud server and on-demand CDN offerings to form a unified cloud platform for our users. That means existing Internap customers and anybody who signs up for our Agile Hosting Platform will now have access to our complete platform:
- AgileSERVERS – Instantly delivered bare-metal servers in popular configurations
- AgileCLOUD – Instantly delivered virtual compute servers up to 11 CPU cores and 22GB of memory
- AgileFILES – Scalable object storage built on and compatible with OpenStack
- AgileCDN – On-demand CDN service that provides global delivery of static content and progressive downloads
What is Cloud Storage, Really?
Like most things cloud, you’ll probably find as many definitions for cloud storage as you will find cloud providers! At Internap, we’ve named our cloud storage product AgileFILES to specifically describe what it is we’re offering…file storage! The short version is that instead of presenting storage to you or your programs as a disk or formatted POSIX-style filesystem (i.e. ext3, NTFS, ZFS, etc), we are providing an interface over HTTP to a distributed file system. The benefits are really about scalability, availability and cost — by providing an HTTP interface and consuming/presenting files or objects to users, we gain greater control over where files are stored and how we ensure availability to our users while improving the price/performance ratio of the offering behind the scenes. Another big benefit for web-scale users is that AgileFILES isn’t limited by the traditional size limitations of file systems — users can continue to scale way past the limits of traditional DAS or SAN units.
AgileFILES looks different…
How It’s Priced
Just like our Universal Transfer bandwidth billing model, we aimed to make AgileFILES simple to use and easy to understand from a pricing standpoint. As such, we leveraged the same tiering setup and volume breaks as in Universal Transfer for our AgileFILES billing model:
Storage (in GB)
- Tier 1 – 0-50TB = $0.10/GB
- Tier 2 Next 50 – 500TB = $0.09/GB
- Tier 3 Next 500 – 1PB = $0.08/GB
- Beyond 1 PB, call for rates
Requests are billed at $.01 per 10,000 requests (for GETs) and $0.01 per 1,000 for all other requests.
How to Use AgileFILES
Getting started with AgileFILES is quick and easy. If you’re a developer, leverage the API documentation for OpenStack’s swift project or many of the language bindings available for download (currently PHP, Java, .NET, python and Ruby). If you’re not über techy and just want a good, solid way to move files into the cloud, download Cyberduck or Gladient, two popular GUI tools that allow you to start uploading objects into AgileFILES within just a few minutes.
One thing to note is that moving to an object storage mechanism can often be a paradigm change if you’re used to dealing with traditional file systems. Recently, we’ve been working with our friends over at Sourceforge, who power most of the world’s open source project downloads, much of that via our global mirror servers, storage and Performance IP delivery. As they work to migrate their platform to be fully native/aware of object storage, we’ve implemented a FUSE setup (“Filesystem in Userspace”) that makes API driven object storage look and act like a POSIX compatible file system. Recommended and compatible libraries include CloudFuse and S3QL. This can dramatically ease the migration to object storage for users moving from a traditional storage setup.
More tips, tricks and getting started information is listed on our public wiki, reachable here.