What is Cloud Files?


  1. Introduction
  2. Ideal uses for Cloud Files
  3. Key Concepts
  4. Using Cloud Files
  5. Control Panel Interface
  6. Programming Interfaces
  7. Getting Started


Cloud Files™ is an affordable, redundant, scalable, and dynamic storage service offering. The core storage system is designed to provide a safe, secure, automatically re-sizing and network accessible way to store data.

You can store an unlimited quantity of files ranging in size from a few bytes to extremely large. Users can store as much as they want and pay only for storage space they actually use.

Cloud Files makes it easy to serve content through a CDN. This allows users to take advantage of a proven world-class content distribution network that is affordable and easy to use.

Cloud Files also allows users to store/retrieve files and CDN-enable content with a simple Web Service (ReST: Representational State Transfer) interface. There are also language-specific API’s that utilize the ReST API but make it much easier for developers to integrate into their applications.

Ideal uses for Cloud Files

There are a number of uses for the Cloud Files service. Cloud Files is an excellent storage solution for a number of scenarios and is well suited for a number of applications such as:

  • Backing up or archiving data
  • Serving images/videos (streaming data to the user’s browser)
  • Serving content with a world-class CDN (Akamai)
  • Storing secondary/tertiary, static web-accessible data
  • Developing new applications with data storage integration
  • Storing data when predicting storage capacity is difficult
  • Storing data for applications affordably

Key Concepts

Cloud Files™ is not a “file system” in the traditional sense. You will not be able to map or mount virtual disk drives like you can with other forms of storage such as a SAN or NAS. Since Cloud Files is a different way of thinking when it comes to storage, please take a few moments to review the concepts.

Using Cloud Files

There are two ways to use Cloud Files:

  1. GUI interface such as the Rackspace Cloud Control Panel, Cyberduck or Fireuploader
  2. Programming interfaces via ReST, Python, PHP, Ruby, Java, or C#/.NET.

Control Panel Interface

The Control Panel provides an browser based, intuitive, easy to use graphical user interface. The interface allows you to manage your Containers and Objects without any programming knowledge. From there, users can CDN-enable the Container by marking it “public”. Any Objects stored in a public, CDN-enabled Container are directly accessible over the Akamai’s CDN.

Programming Interfaces

There are several programming interfaces for Cloud Files that will allow you to integrate the storage solution into your applications, or provide automated ways of accessing the system. Currently, we support a ReST web-services API and several programming language API’s (Python, PHP, Java, Ruby, and C#/.NET).

Please refer to the Developer Guide for more details about using these interfaces. You can access the Developer Guide on our API documentation site.

Getting Started

Please refer to Getting started on Cloud Files with CDN.

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