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How Developers Can Benefit From Object Storage

The world has shifted from a one-way communication, such as from media companies to its consumers, to a more two-way channel. In fact, the proliferation of social photo and video apps has made us all content creators. This presents several challenges for developers when it comes to the different kinds data that now must be stored and available for users. Here are some ways developers can take advantage of our Cloud Files object storage and the Content Delivery Network (CDN) that serves up that information.

Never Run Out Of Space

Developers of apps that let users create images, upload pictures or create short movies know that it is challenging to determine where to keep all this data. By storing the files on a local server, the available space can quickly disappear as the app gains in popularity.

With Cloud Files, developers of an application that deals with a lot of user-generated media can mitigate this problem. Rather than worrying about how to expand their storage solution, the developers can rest easy knowing that they aren’t going to run out of space. On top of that, instead of paying for space in storage systems that may be currently unused, developers only have to pay by the gigabyte for the space that they are actively using with Cloud Files.

Simple Scaling Solution

A tricky aspect about user-generated content is that the traffic can have unpredictable patterns. One moment your traffic is humming along at a predictable pace, the next moment a teen superstar takes a picture of traffic and traffic to your app explodes for that one particular image. Had you hosted that image locally on a particular server you would have to consider bandwidth constraints as well as connection constraints; this sudden spike could present a challenge for your particular environment.

Hosting that image on Cloud Files and leveraging the geographically distributed servers of the CDN is one simple way to ensure that the image is up and available for all of your users. The Points of Presence (POPs) on the Akamai network not only distribute the load across their network, but also accommodate more requests, as the data get hotter.

Made For Mobile

Mobile developers can take particular advantage of cloud object storage for user data in their application. Rather than having this data stored locally to a user’s smartphone or tablet, developers can store that information in the cloud using object storage. This not only frees up the resources on the mobile device, but also provides a portable and durable copy of the data. Users will be able to access that information on their other devices, and if their phone were to get lost or stolen the person would not lose the data they created.

Mobile applications, like games, require a lot of assets and often these assets have to be updated. Rather than having all of this information stored in the application, mobile developers could store this data in the cloud. This results in a more lightweight application with a smaller size to download from the store or marketplace. For example, after the user installs the game, the app could pull down the assets, updates and new levels for the form factor of a particular device. Instead of using the underlying storage of the device, the developer can leverage the cloud, making the mobile device act more like a thin client.

Check out Chuck’s post from last week on how to decrease load times by using Cloud Files. To get information about the differences between object storage and block storage, check out a previous post and video by Chuck.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Chuck Thier.

Chuck Thier, a Racker for six years, is a software developer who has worked on several Rackspace products, including Cloud Files and Cloud Block Storage. Chuck was on the ground floor of open-sourcing Cloud Files for OpenStack Swift.


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