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2016

August
17

Introducing Bulk Storage

One of the key ingredients of a highly performing server is fast data access. This is why all of our virtual machines come with 10 GB of distributed SSD-only storage included. But what if your specific use case asks for lots of disk space rather than performance? That's where "Bulk Storage" comes into play.

We have summarized some key information on this new feature below:

When to best use bulk storage

It does not have to be "big data": Bulk storage is perfect for keeping archived versions of your work or an off-site backup of your local hard disk. Run the free "Seafile" or "ownCloud" software to keep folders synchronized across your devices – the new bulk storage is the cost-efficient place to keep your files in the cloud.

You can also benefit from adding bulk storage in a traditional server setting: Use it to store your website's static assets like images and videos, for your database dumps and ever-growing log files. And it is the easiest way to keep certain files separated from your root file system.

How to use it in practice

Using our cloud control panel you can add bulk storage to your virtual servers at any time. When launching a new server, the additional volume will automatically be ext4 formatted and mounted to /mnt/bulk so you can use the extra space right away.

You can also add bulk storage in the "storage" tab of your existing servers. We provide instructions on how to partition and mount it manually for all of our supported operating systems. And similar to the SSD-only storage, you can always scale up your bulk storage volume in case you need more space.

The technology under the hood

While we use spinning disks to keep costs for bulk storage low, we put in quite some effort to offer the best place for your big chunks of data. To ensure high availability, we use Ceph with a replication factor of 3 which is identical to the configuration of our SSD-only storage cluster. For optimal performance, bulk storage is kept on dedicated storage servers separated from the existing systems. In addition we were able to speed up write operations dramatically by using SSDs for the Ceph journals.

Needless to say that all of your data on our bulk storage cluster is kept exclusively in Swiss data centers – this holds true for all of our systems.

 

Some of the most valuable data does not require cutting-edge IOPS. Use our new bulk storage feature to cost-efficiently store those files in a safe place, ready whenever you need them.

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