What is Exoscale Simple Object Storage?

Exoscale Simple Object Storage (SOS) is a large file storage system that can handle millions and millions of files. Its main use case is storing application data.

What Exoscale SOS does not do

There are a couple of things SOS cannot do. If you, for example, open a file on Windows in one application and then try to delete it, Windows will block you from doing so.

Similarly, on a “normal” filesystem multiple application can safely work with the same files because the operating system lets the applications request what’s known as a lock, an exclusive access for some time.

Object storage systems don’t support these features. Files can be uploaded and downloaded, and that’s everything. There are no concurrency guarantees.

This means that Exoscale SOS is not suitable for all use cases and is not a replacement for popular file sharing services such as DropBox or Google Drive. Instead, it is more suited for integration into other applications that are prepared to handle an S3-compatible object storage.

Note

“S3 compatibility” - S3 from Amazon Web Services became a de-facto standard for object storages. Nowadays every major software that needs to store files as “objects” supports the S3 protocol, making it possible to integrate with a wide range of tools.

It is also not a good fit as a storage for applications that require locks to work, such as databases.

Good use cases

As mentioned, Exoscale SOS is not a general-purpose file storage system. SOS is best used integrated into other applications.

For example, the popular blog- and website engine Wordpress can use Exoscale SOS to store images and other files. These files are usually uploaded for inclusion in blog posts and pages. In order to make a Wordpress installation scalable these media files need to be stored somewhere outside of Wordpress, for example on Exoscale SOS. Note, however, that Exoscale SOS cannot run Wordpress itself because Wordpress requires support for the PHP programming language, which object storages in general do not offer.

Another good use case is a document management system. Document management systems require a database to store and manage a list of documents, which has to be run on an Exoscale instance, but the documents themselves can be uploaded to Exoscale SOS to provide an affordable and near limitless storage without an up-front commitment. This is a good fit because in a document management system the actual documents require most of the storage.

As a final point, SOS is an excellent service for storing large amounts of backups long term. Many popular backup software, such as Duplicity, CloudBerry or Micro Focus Dataprotector (10.50), support SOS.

Working mechanism

On Exoscale SOS data is stored in so-called buckets. The files can be structured into a directory tree just like on a normal computer. The web interface or the application program interface (API) serves as a standard point to up- and download files.

Exoscale SOS Pricing

On Exoscale SOS the account owner pays for two things:

  1. The data stored.
  2. The data downloaded from a bucket.

It is worth noting that the download fee also applies when the data is downloaded to Compute instance, even if it is within the same zone on Exoscale. However, no data transfer fee is charged for any uploads, which makes the object storage perfect for long-term data storage.

Prices can be found on the Exoscale Pricing Page.