Object Storage User Guide

How to sign up to use Object Storage
How to access the Object Storage interface
Introduction to objects, buckets and folders
Limits for object size and upload operations
Creating, deleting and managing buckets
How to create a bucket
Object Storage regions
Choosing a storage policy
How to delete a bucket
How to set bucket permissions
How to create and manage objects and folders
View the objects and folders inside a bucket
Upload an object (file)
Create a folder
Delete an object or folder
How to set permissions for objects and folders
How to add metadata (key-value pairs) to objects and folders
How to create a temporary share (Internet download link) for an object or folder
API access to Object Storage
Life cycle rules (automated deletion of objects)
Static website hosting

 

How to sign up to use Object Storage

To use Object Storage you must be registered as a customer for Interoute Virtual Data Centre (VDC). However there is no commitment or charges to make use of VDC services in order to access Object Storage. Your use of Object Storage (or VDC) will be entirely billed on a pay-as-you-go basis.

If you are already an Interoute VDC customer then you can start to use Object Storage immediately.

With your VDC login details, you can access the My Services portal to begin using Object Storage. See this video for guidance: https://cloudstore.interoute.com/resource-centre/videos/overview-vdc-myservices-cloudstore .

How to access the Object Storage interface

The graphical user interface for Object Storage is accessed via the Interoute 'My Services' web portal.

For API-based access to Object Storage see the Object Storage API User Guide.

Login to the My Services website at https://myservices.interoute.com.(For guidance, see https://cloudstore.interoute.com/knowledge-centre/library/Introduction-My-Services.)

Click on Products in the top menu and select VDC 2.0.

In the 'VDC 2.0' tile window which appears, click the Object Storage tab:

If you need help with Object Storage there are two buttons available on the main screen (see below). The Help button will take you to the documentation for Object Storage (including this document), and the liveChat button which will connect you to the Interoute support team for immediate interactive help (available Monday to Friday daytimes).

Introduction to objects, buckets and folders

In Object Storage, files are stored as 'objects'. Every object must be contained in a 'bucket'.

Important

Bucket names are unique for all users, that is, you cannot use a bucket name that any other user has already used.

 

Buckets can be sub-divided through the use of 'folders'.

There is a limit of 100 buckets per account and an unlimited number of objects per bucket.

The first time that you start the Object Storage interface, you should see a welcome screen like the following:

Included at the bottom are the 'API keys' that you will need to access Object Storage via the API. You can find these keys at any time later using the Api Access button on the main screen of Object Storage.

Click the button Create your first bucket, which opens a dialog:

Enter a Bucket Name, the Object Storage Region where bucket content will be stored, and the Storage Policy. Click Save to finish the bucket creation.

All object data are triple-replicated with a choice of storage policies. Use a '1+1+1' (triple data centre) storage policy for maximal resilience: data will remain writable in case of an outage at any one data centre, and readable in case of simultaneous outage at two data centres. The '2+1' (dual data centre) policies are recommended if you require 'sovereign' data storage where data are guaranteed to remain stored within the borders of a single country; this is currently available for the United Kingdom (EU region), Germany (DE region) and Switzerland (CH region).

Charges for Object Storage are based only on the size of the stored object and the multiple copies are inclusive to the per GB charge (per hour of use).

The new bucket appears in the List of Buckets view:

Note the Help button which will take you to the documentation for Object Storage, and the liveChat button which will connect you to the support team for immediate interactive help (available Monday to Friday daytimes).

To store (upload) a new object, click the bucket name to see its list of objects, which will be empty. Click the Upload File button:

Choose files from your local file system by clicking Select Files. You can select multiple files by the usual method for your operating system, such as 'Control-click'.

Tick the Store encrypted box if you want the new objects to be stored in encrypted form. Click the Upload button to perform the upload to Object Storage.

Object Storage folders behave like folders in a computer file system by creating logically-separate locations for objects.To create a folder in a bucket, click the Create New Folder button and enter the Folder name:

Click Save to create the folder. You can create folders inside folders to further organise your objects.

Limits for object size and upload operations

For uploading using the user interface: multipart uploads are applied automatically (based on a fixed 10 MB part-upload size). The user interface can upload objects with a maximum size of 96 GB.

For uploading using the API (including using a client tool): the maximum allowed PUT size (that is, for one API call) is 10 GB. Using a multipart upload, the platform allows a maximum of 10,000 part-uploads. Note that client tools may impose a 'single PUT' limit that is smaller than 10 GB. Multipart uploads are recommended for objects greater than 100 MB in size. See the Object Storage API User Guide for more information.

Interoute recommends that the size of a single stored object should not exceed 5 TB. Please contact Interoute Support for technical advice on storing very large objects in Interoute Object Storage.

Creating, deleting and managing buckets

List of Buckets is the top level view in the Object Storage interface:

Click a bucket Name to view the objects and folders that it contains.

For each bucket in the list you can see:

  • the Region where the bucket is located

  • if a Life Cycle Rule is enabled for the bucket

  • the Permissions that you have for controlling the bucket

  • bucket Edit button (square icon)

  • bucket Delete button (dustbin icon)

How to create a bucket

Important

Bucket names are unique for all users, that is, you cannot use a name that any other user has already used.

 

Click Add New Bucket.

Enter the Bucket Name (a unique name is required).

Select the Region (drop-down showing available regions).

Select the Storage Policy (drop-down showing available storage policies).

Click Save to create the bucket.

Object Storage regions

The Object Storage service is offered in several regions, each of which contains two or more data centres, as per the following table:




Region Data centres API endpoint (S3 'host base')
EU Amsterdam (NL), London (UK), Slough (UK) s3-eu.object.vdc.interoute.com
DE Berlin (DE), Frankfurt (DE) s3-de.object.vdc.interoute.com
CH Geneva (CH), Zurich (CH) s3-ch.object.vdc.interoute.com

For the purpose of uploading and managing buckets and objects using the API, you should use the endpoint for the region where the bucket is located. For more information, see the Object Storage API User Guide.

For object shares and static websites set up using the user interface, the required endpoint will always be given in the URL that is output.

Choosing a storage policy

The storage policy applies to every object in a bucket and is fixed at the point of creation of the bucket. The policy determines how an object is replicated in the data centres of an Object Storage region. Note: charges for Object Storage are based only on the size of the stored object and the multiple copies are inclusive to the per GB charge (per hour of use).

Use a '1+1+1' (triple data centre) storage policy for maximal resilience: data will remain writable in case of an outage at any one data centre, and readable in case of simultaneous outage at two data centres. '1+1+1' is currently available in the EU region. The '2+1' (dual data centre) policies are recommended if you require 'sovereign' data storage where data are guaranteed to remain stored within the borders of a single country; this is currently available for the United Kingdom (EU region), Germany (DE region) and Switzerland (CH region).

Note: it is not currently possible in the graphical user interface to view the storage policy for a bucket. This can be checked using the API.

How to delete a bucket

Click the Delete bucket button (dustbin icon).

You will be prompted to confirm the bucket deletion.

If you click Yes and if your bucket has files or folders inside you will be presented with a second dialog box asking you to confirm that you want to delete all of the bucket contents:

The deletion cannot be undone.

Important

Deletions cannot be undone and there is no recovery service for items that you delete in Object Storage.

 

How to set bucket permissions

The set of permissions for a bucket determines the users who can access the bucket, and whether each user can Read or Write bucket contents, and Change the set of permissions.

To access the permissions, click the bucket's Edit button, and select the Permissions tab.

Click Add Permissions to display the Permissions editor dialog:

Select a User from the set of users who have access to the Interoute account in use, and use the tick boxes to allow that user to Read or Write objects and folders in the bucket, or 'Allow user to change permissions'. Click Save to save the new permission.

If you are an owner of a bucket, you will be able to click on the Edit button for a Permission, and modify or remove it (that is, untick all of the permission types).

How to create and manage objects and folders

View the objects and folders inside a bucket

To view the contents of a bucket, click on the bucket name in the List of Buckets view. The contents view looks as follows:

To return to the List of Buckets, click '←Back to Buckets' at the top of the interface.

For each object you can see:

  • the name of the Object

  • the time elapsed since the object was Last Modified (blank for folders)

  • the Size of the object (blank for folders)

  • the Permissions that you have for controlling the object

  • object Edit button (square icon)

  • object Delete button (dustbin icon)

  • object Share button (folders cannot be shared)

If you click the name of an object, the object will be downloaded into your web browser. Your browser settings determine whether the object will be opened and displayed within the browser, or saved to your local disk.

If you click the name of a folder, you will see only the contents of the folder (objects or folders). Thus you can organise objects by creating folders within folders, etc.

You can use the 'path' breadcrumbs display at the top of the window to go back to the bucket contents view, or Back to Buckets.

Upload an object (file)

Go to the bucket or folder where you want a new object (or several objects) to be located. Click the Upload File button to open the dialog:

Choose files from your local file system by clicking Select files. You can select multiple files by the usual method for your operating system, such as 'Control-click'.

Tick the Store encrypted box if you want the new object(s) to be stored in encrypted form. Click the Upload button to perform the upload to Object Storage.

If an object of the same name already exists inside the bucket/folder, a newly-uploaded object will replace the existing one. The Object Storage platform does support 'versioning' of objects (where an object of the same name can be stored in multiple versions), but this is not supported by the user interface. You need to use the API to access versioning functions: for more information see the Object Storage API User Guide.

Create a folder

Go to the bucket or folder where you want a new folder to be located.

Click the Create New Folder button and enter the Folder name.

Click Save to create the folder.

Delete an object or folder

Click the Delete button (dustbin icon).

You will be prompted to confirm the deletion of the object or folder:

Important

There is no recovery service for items that you delete in Object Storage.

 

How to set permissions for objects and folders

The set of permissions for a object or folder determines the users who can access the item, and whether each user can Read or Write to the object or folder, and Change the set of permissions.

To access the permissions, click the Edit button, and select the Permissions tab.

Click Add Permissions to display the Permissions editor dialog:

Select a User from the set of users who have access to the Interoute account in use, and use the tick boxes to allow that user to Read or Write the object/folder, or 'Allow user to change permissions'. Click Save to save the new permission.

If you are an owner of an item, you will be able to click on the Edit button for a Permission, and modify or remove it (that is, untick all of the permission types).

How to add metadata (key-value pairs) to objects and folders

You can add key-value metadata to any object or folder (where you have a permission to modify it).

Click the Edit button for the object/folder, and select the Metadata tab:

Click the + button to add a new key-value pair:

Click Save to store the new metadata. It will appear in the Properties view:

Use the Edit button to modify the key or value.

Use the Delete button to remove the key-value pair.

How to create a temporary share (Internet download link) for an object or folder

Objects can be made publicly-accessible by using the Share function, which generates a URL that can be used by anyone. You decide the amount of time (in minutes) for which the URL will be active. After this time, access will be removed and the URL will return an 'expired' error.

If you need to share a set of objects it may be easier to use the Static Website hosting function (see below).

Go to the object in the list of bucket contents and click its Share button to open the dialog:

Type in the expiration time (the number of minutes that the share link will be active).

Click Generate link and the sharable URL will be displayed:

This URL can be used to access the object from any location on the Internet.

API access to Object Storage

The Object Storage API is fully compatible with the Amazon S3 standard. This means that you can connect to Object Storage using any client program or programming library that is based on that standard.

Important

Buckets created using the API will not be correctly visible in the GUI, until you do a 'put bucket CORS' API call for the bucket. This is explained at https://github.com/Interoute/object-storage-api.

 

There are numerous open source and proprietary client programs available which will connect Object Storage with your computer operating system as a 'storage device' for different purposes, such as a networked drive or a remote backup device.

To begin using the API, you simply need the 'API keys' that are assigned to your Object Storage account. These can be found by clicking the button Api Access in the List of Buckets view.

Most S3-based client tools require a configuration file containing the API keys and information about the host server. For more information and example files, see https://github.com/Interoute/object-storage-api .

Life cycle rules (automated deletion of objects)

You can configure an object to automatically delete itself at a specified future date, or a number of days from the date that the object is created. These are called life cycle rules. You can set a rule for a bucket (or a folder) so that all of the objects in the bucket (or folder) will adopt that rule.

A common use case for life cycle rules is when you need to store log files or business transaction records for a fixed period of time. Note that Object Storage has no recovery service for deleted objects.

To create a life cycle rule for an entire bucket, click the Edit button for the bucket, and click the Life cycle rule tab.

You will be presented with a list showing any life cycle rules that already exist for the bucket:

Click the Add life cycle rule button to open the dialog:

Tick Enable Rule to make the rule active. (You can make a rule inactive at any time later by unticking this box.)

Choose either Days after creation date or After date. In the latter case a calendar widget will be displayed to set a date. Note that it uses US-style date format month/date/year.

Click Save to create the rule for the bucket.

To create a rule to apply to a folder, you enter the folder name in the box labelled Object Prefix (Path). For a folder called 'drafts' you would type:

drafts/

into the box, with a trailing '/'. You do not type the bucket name as part of the path.

To create a rule to apply to a single object, you enter the full path of the object including the folder(s). For example:

weblogs/log_2016_05_31.txt

Rules cannot overlap: thus if you create a rule for an entire bucket, you can't have different rules for any folders or objects inside the bucket. And you can't have a rule for a folder, with a different rule for an object inside the folder.

A rule can be modified at any time by clicking the Edit button for the rule. You can suspend the application of the rule by unticking the Enable Rule tick box.

To permanently remove a life cycle rule, click its Delete button.

Static website hosting

Any bucket can be enabled so that its contents are available on the Internet as a static website (that is, the content consists of a fixed set of files, and there is no 'server side' processing to generate content). Note: websites are HTTP only, secure HTTP is not currently available.

You will have to create the HTML pages (and CSS definitions, etc.) necessary for your files to be linked together and appear as a formatted website, in the same way as you would do for a website that is being hosted by an Internet servicer provider.

Important

When 'Static Website hosting' is enabled, all of the objects contained in a bucket will be accessible via the Internet, therefore you should not have any objects in the bucket that you do not wish to be exposed to public access.

 

In the List of Buckets view, click the Edit button for the bucket you wish to enable. And click the Static Website hosting tab:

Tick Enable website hosting to make the bucket contents accessible as a website.

You can untick this at any time to make the website 'offline'.

In the Index Document box, enter the name of the object whose HTML content will appear when someone uses the website name as the URL without any content path specified. This is also known as the 'home page' or 'start page'.

In the Error Document box, enter the name of the object whose HTML content will appear when someone tries to access a page in the website that does not exist, which is also known as a '404 error'. This page should provide a link to the Index page, and it may have a contact link (such as an email address) to report the error.

The URL for your enabled website in the bucket 'bucketname' will be as in the following table:



Bucket region Static website URL
EU http://bucketname.s3-website-eu.object.vdc.interoute.com
DE http://bucketname.s3-website-de.object.vdc.interoute.com
CH http://bucketname.s3-website-ch.object.vdc.interoute.com

It is not necessary to add a trailing '/' to the URL.

Important

There is no default Index page, and no checking that the Index and Error objects are present in the bucket. It is your responsibility to upload these objects, and to provide all of the website content.