AltScale provides cloud block and object storage to its customers, which meet the highest industry standards for data protection and availability. AltScale's cloud is composed of two independent locations, thus allowing customers to implement degeographically distributed storage solutions for their applications.
- Block storage can be used for extending the internal disk space of the cloud server instances. Block storage can be used for running databases or installing file systems. Block storage can be added dynamically to existing cloud servers for increasing their internal disk. Customers can make snapshots of their block devices for making consistent backups that can be used for restoring previous database or file system states. Snapshots can be copied in a remote cloud location for compliance and disaster recovery purposes.
- Object storage can be used for storing large amounts of user content that is typpically immutable. Cloud storage is convenient for archival and backup purposes. It is also often used in developing scalable web applications that need a storage capacity at low cost with rich programable interfaces. AltScale's object storage provides a data access and content management API compatible with Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift.
Cloud storage is a model of networked storage where data is stored in virtualized storage pools managed by public cloud providers. Cloud providers operate large data centers, and people who require their data to be hosted buy or lease storage capacity from them. The data center operators, in the background, virtualize the resources according to the requirements of the customer and expose them as storage pools, which the customers can themselves use to store files or data objects. Physically, the resource may span across multiple servers and multiple locations. The safety of the files depends upon the provider's storage architecture, and on the applications that leverage the cloud storage. Cloud storage services may be accessed through a web service application programming interface (API) or by applications that utilize the API, such as cloud desktop storage, a cloud storage gateway or Web-based content management systems.
Companies only pay for the storage they actually use, typically an average of consumption during a month. Cloud storage incurs operating expenses rather than capital expenses. Organizations can choose between off-premise and on-premise cloud storage options, or a mixture of the two options, depending on relevant decision criteria that is complementary to initial direct cost savings potential; for instance, continuity of operations (COOP), disaster recovery (DR), security (PII, HIPPA, SARBOX, IA/CND), and records retention laws, regulations, and policies. Storage availability and data protection is intrinsic to object storage architecture, so depending on the application, the additional technology, effort and cost to add availability and protection can be eliminated. Storage maintenance tasks, such as purchasing additional storage capacity, are offloaded to the responsibility of a service provider. Cloud storage provides usage with immediate access to a broad range of resources and applications hosted in the infrastructure of another organization via a web service interface. Cloud storage can be used for copying virtual machine images from the cloud to on-premise locations or to import a virtual machine image from an on-premise location to the cloud image library. In addition, cloud storage can be used to move virtual machine images between user accounts or between data centers.