Object Storage Service (OSS) is a secure, cost-effective, and highly reliable cloud storage service provided by Alibaba Cloud. It enables you to store a large amount of data in the cloud. OSS is designed to provide 99.9999999999 (twelve 9s) durability and 99.995% availability of data over a given year.

OSS supports RESTful API operations that are independent of the console. You can store and access any type of data anytime, anywhere, and from any application.

You can use API operations and SDKs provided by Alibaba Cloud or OSS migration tools to transfer large amounts of data into or out of Alibaba Cloud OSS. You can use OSS buckets of the Standard storage class to store image, audio, and video files for apps and large websites. You can use OSS buckets of the Infrequent Access (IA), Archive, or Cold Archive storage class to store infrequently accessed objects at a low cost.


  • storage class

    The storage class of an object. OSS provides the following storage classes to cover various data storage scenarios from hot data to cold data: Standard, IA, Archive, and Cold Archive. OSS Standard storage provides highly reliable, highly available, and high-performance object storage services that can support frequent data access. OSS IA storage is suitable for storing long-lived, but less frequently accessed data (an average of once or twice per month). OSS Archive storage is suitable for long-term storage (at least six months) of infrequently accessed data. OSS Cold Archive storage is suitable for storing extremely cold data with ultra-long lifecycles. For more information, see Introduction to storage classes.

  • bucket

    The container used to store objects in OSS. Every object is contained in a bucket. You can configure various attributes of a bucket, including the region, ACL, and storage class. You can create buckets of different storage classes to store data based on your requirement. For more information about how to create a bucket, see Create buckets.

  • object

    The fundamental entities stored in OSS. Objects are also known as files. An object has metadata, data, and key. The key is the unique object name in a bucket. Object metadata describes the attributes of an object such as the last modification time and the object size. You can also specify custom metadata of an object.

  • region

    The physical location of an OSS data center. You can select the region where your buckets are created based on the cost and the location where the requests come from. For more information, see Regions and endpoints.

  • endpoint

    The domain name used to access OSS. OSS provides external services by using HTTP RESTful API operations. Different regions use different endpoints. For the same region, access over the internal network or over the Internet also uses different endpoints. For more information, see Regions and endpoints.

  • AccessKey pair

    The key pair composed of an AccessKey ID and an AccessKey secret. The AccessKey pair is used to perform access identity verification. OSS uses an AccessKey pair, which includes an AccessKey ID and an AccessKey secret to implement symmetric encryption and verify the identity of a requester. The AccessKey ID is used to identify a user. The AccessKey secret is used to encrypt the signature string and for OSS to verify the signature string. The AccessKey secret must be kept confidential. For more information about how to obtain an AccessKey pair, see Create an AccessKey pair.

Related services

After you upload your data to OSS, you can use other Alibaba Cloud products and services to perform operations on the data.

The following services are frequently used with OSS:

  • Image Processing (IMG): a service that allows you to perform various operations on images stored in OSS, including format converting, resizing, cropping, rotating, and adding watermarks. For more information, see Image processing.
  • Elastic Compute Service (ECS): a cloud computing service that offers elastic and efficient computing capability. For more information, see ECS product homepage.
  • Alibaba Cloud CDN: a content delivery service that caches the resources on the original site to edge nodes in different regions for quick access. For more information, see CDN product homepage.
  • E-MapReduce: a big data processing system solution built on ECS. It is based on Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark to facilitate data analysis and processing. For more information, see E-MapReduce product homepage.
  • ApsaraVideo for Media Processing: a service that converts an audio or video file into another or multiple audio or video files. ApsaraVideo for Media Processing helps you to produce audios and videos that are suitable for PCs, TVs, and mobile devices. On the basis of deep learning of large amounts of data, ApsaraVideo for Media Processing performs multi-model analysis based on the content, text, audio, scenario of audio or video files. It is able to intelligently detect, understand, and edit content. For more information, see ApsaraVideo for Media Processing product homepage.

Manage OSS

  • Manage OSS in the OSS console

    OSS provides a web-based console. You can log on to the OSS console to manage your OSS resources. For more information, see Console User Guide.

  • Manage OSS through APIs or SDKs

    OSS provides RESTful API operations and SDKs in multiple programming languages to facilitate secondary development. For more information, see API Reference and SDK Reference.

  • Manage OSS by using tools

    OSS provides various tools for you to manage your OSS resources. For more information, see Tools.

OSS pricing

Traditional storage providers require you to purchase a predetermined amount of storage and network transfer capacity. If the amount and capacity is exceeded, your service is disabled or you are charged excess fees. If you do not use the full capacity, you still pay as though you have used it all.

OSS charges you only for what you actually use, without excess fees. As your business grows, you can enjoy the cost advantages of the flexible infrastructure from Alibaba Cloud, which adapts to meet your ever-changing requirements.

For more information about OSS pricing, see OSS pricing page. For more information about OSS billing methods, see Billing items and methods.

Learning path

You can visit the OSS Learning Path to get started with OSS, learn the basic OSS operations, and perform secondary development by using a variety of API operations, SDKs, and convenient tools.