OVHcloud Object Storage clusters support S3 API

What is Object Storage?

Did you know that a large volume of data on the internet is held by object storage?

Object storage is a static data storage solution which lets you simply expand storage without having to add more hardware. The benefits of this still misunderstood cloud service are multifold and they include high resilience and affordability. However, if I had to pick one I would say that object storage makes the following error message obsolete: “No space left on device”. 

Before discussing the benefits, let’s define exactly what an object is. An object is simply a file: a unit of data that can be accessed via a path or network address, usually an https address. The object is stored along with all the relevant rich metadata which is needed when applying routines. By way of an example, if the metadata contains information on expiry, the routine associated with this metadata would delete the data once the expiry date has passed. Another routine is the MD5 signature which is generated automatically after upload which helps to confirm that cluster data is correct. 

The following highlights the difference between traditional file systems and an object storage strategy: 

Filesystem vs Object Storage

Standard and Reversible

OVHcloud promotes a SMART cloud (Standard, Multi-local, Accessible, Reversible and Transparent). To be clear, this is not just an aspirational statement but values that OVHcloud are committed to implementing. For example, we work hard to create solutions that never lock our customers in to technology or rigid contracts. 

What has this got to do with storage solutions? In practical terms, data hosted on object storage clusters should be exploitable via standard tools which are readily available on the market. This means our customers should be able to take their data out easily without technical constraints. 

With this in mind, the fact that AWS has democratised their own S3 solution is very valuable because it is now a market standard which can easily be consumed as a service. OVHcloud has in turn been able to provide the S3 API for its object storage solution. 

API S3

The Amazon S3 Application Programming Interface (S3 API) is the most common way in which data is stored, managed, and retrieved by object stores. The S3 API is a frontend API on top of the OpenStack Swift one. To use the S3 API at OVHcloud, you need to get S3 credentials form Keystone (1) which is the authentication module in OpenStack. This will provide you with an Access Key ID and a Secret Key that you can use in your S3 tool (2). Once you have these credentials you will be able to communicate with OVHcloud using the “language” of S3 and use our Object Storage solutions. S3 API will verify your credentials (4) and translate your calls into Swift API (5) in order to execute your requests (6).

Using S3 API at OVHcloud
Using S3 API at OVHcloud

Use case: the S3 API at work 

Let’s take a typical example: using the S3 API to store media and static files for a WordPress website on OVHcloud Object Storage. 

We’ll use a WordPress plugin named Media Cloud which stores media (images, videos) in cloud services. Once this is installed, we’ll need S3 credentials to configure the plugin, generated using OpenStack CLI.

$ openstack ec2 credentials create
+------------+-----------------------------------------------------------+
| Field:     | Value                                                     |       
+------------+-----------------------------------------------------------+
| access     | 5a4d8b8d88104123a862c527ede5a3d3                          |
| links      | {u'self': u'https://auth.cloud.ovh.net/...                |
| project_id | 20e124b71be141299e111ec26b1892fa                          |
| secret     | 925d5fcfcd9f436d8ffcb20548cc53a2                          |
| trust_id   | None                                                      |
| user_id    | d74d05ff121b44bea9216495e7f0df61                          |
+------------+-----------------------------------------------------------+

Now we can configure the plugin by choosing the “S3 compatible” entry in the wizard and providing the credentials when prompted. Make sure to give the proper endpoint : https://storage.gra.cloud.ovh.net

Finally simply upload images to the Media section and double check that they are hosted on OVHcloud Object Storage.


Of all the options available, object storage is a simple, extremely durable, highly available, and infinitely scalable data storage solution. Furthermore, OVHcloud has set the standard by ensuring its Object Storage offering is compatible with the de facto Amazon S3 service.