“Cloud storage” has become one of the hottest concepts in enterprise-level computing over the past year or two. Cloud storage services allow entities to upload and store their data on the service provider’s infrastructure, rather than being burdened with the storage load on their own system. Companies of all types are generating significant amounts of data each and every day, and are turning to third-party services to help them store and manage all of this data.
While many cloud storage service providers Web-based interfaces that allow their clients to access their data, this solution is woefully inadequate for many applications and situations. For companies that need quicker and more direct access to the data that they store in the cloud, or who need to directly integrate their data to other applications, the answer is to use an application programming interface (API).
Here’s an introduction to the APIs for some of the leading cloud storage service providers.
The online retailer Amazon.com offers a set of Web Services to business clients, including their version of cloud storage known as “Amazon Simple Storage Service” or “Amazon S3.” (This should not be confused with the consumer level product known as “Amazon Cloud Drive.”) An overview of the API can be found at: http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AmazonS3/latest/API/Welcome.html. Note that you can use the API to either access your data directly, or to use that data in connection with other Amazon services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (“Amazon EC2”).
Google also offers a comprehensive set of cloud-based services, including the simply titled "Google Cloud Storage” service. The service can be used to archive or backup data, serve static data for websites, and store application data that needs to be quickly accessed by various web applications.
Again, while this cloud storage service offers a web-based interface, many users will want access to the Google Cloud Storage service through and API. The best overview of the service API is found at: https://developers.google.com/storage/. Google’s XML API (v2.0) is well documented at: https://developers.google.com/storage/docs/developer-guide, while the service’s JSON API (v1.0) interface is still in an early experimental stage. The Google Cloud Storage JSON API should not be used for performance-sensitive applications.
Power hosting company Rackspace takes a different approach to cloud storage. While they do offer a public cloud storage solution that’s similar to the services from Amazon and Google, they also offer something different; a cloud storage service based on OpenStack. OpenStack is open-source cloud storage software that companies can use to build their own custom solutions. Since it’s open-source, users could manage their own cloud storage with whatever hosts support OpenStack (which means that a user is less likely to get “locked down” with a particular host). Detailed information on the OpenStack API can be found at: http://docs.openstack.org/api/.
While the leading cloud storage services all offer web-based interfaces, you’ll want to learn more about the API for whatever service you use in order to get the most out of the service.
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Just a normal software developer who love to write code. Developing professional software since 1999. After working in the software industry for many years, I've started my own website to share knowledges and experiences.