Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service (OSS) is a storage service that enables you to store, back up, and archive any amount of data in the cloud. OSS is a cost-effective, highly secure, and highly reliable cloud storage solution. It uses RESTful APIs and provides 99.9999999999% (12 nines) durability (designed for) and 99.995% availability or service continuity (designed for).

Using OSS, you can store and retrieve any type of data at any time, from anywhere on the web.

You can use API and SDK interfaces provided by Alibaba Cloud or OSS migration tools to transfer massive amounts of data into or out of Alibaba Cloud OSS. You can use the Standard storage class of OSS to store image, audio, and video files for apps and large websites. You can use the Infrequent Access (IA) or Archive storage class as a low-cost solution for backup and archiving of infrequently accessed data.


  • Storage class

    OSS provides three storage classes: Standard, Infrequent Access (IA), and Archive. These storage classes cover various data storage scenarios from hot data to cold data. OSS Standard storage provides highly reliable, highly available, and high-performance object storage services that 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). IA storage offers a storage unit price that is lower than Standard storage. OSS Archive storage has the lowest price among the three storage classes. It is suitable for long-term storage (at least half a year) of data that is infrequently accessed. For more information, see Introduction to storage classes.

  • Bucket

    A bucket is a container for objects stored in OSS. Every object is contained in a bucket. You can configure various properties 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 a bucket.

  • Object

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

  • Region

    A region indicates 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

    An endpoint is the domain name used to access the OSS. OSS provides external services through HTTP RESTful APIs. Different regions use different endpoints. For the same region, access through an intranet or through the Internet also uses different endpoints. For more information, see Regions and endpoints.

  • AccessKey

    An AccessKey (AK) is composed of an AccessKeyId and an AccessKeySecret. They work in pairs to perform access identity verification. OSS verifies the identity of a request sender by using the AccessKeyId/AccessKeySecret symmetric encryption method. The AccessKeyId is used to identify a user. The AccessKeySecret is used for the user to encrypt the signature and for OSS to verify the signature. The AccessKeySecret must be kept confidential. The AccessKeyId is used to identify the user. The AccessKeySecret is the key used by the user to encrypt the signature string and the OSS to verify the signature string, which must be kept confidential. For more information about how to obtain an AccessKey, see Create an AccessKey.

Related services

After you upload your data to OSS, you can use it with other Alibaba Cloud products and services.

The following services are frequently used with OSS:

  • Image processing service (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 details page.
  • 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 details page.
  • E-MapReduce: A big data processing system solution built on ECS. It is based on Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark to facilitate your data analysis and processing. For more information, see E-MapReduce product details page.
  • ApsaraVideo Media Processing: A cloud service that converts audio and video stored in OSS into formats suitable for playing on PCs, TVs, and mobile devices. On the basis of deep learning of large amounts of data, it performs multi-model analysis based on the content, text, audio, scenario of audio/video files; it is able to intelligently detect, understand, and edit content. For more information, see ApsaraVideo Media Processing product details page.

Manage OSS

  • Manage OSS in the OSS console

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

  • Manage OSS through APIs or SDKs

    OSS provides RESTful APIs and SDKs in various 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 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 you exceed the capacity, your service is shut off 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.

Learning path

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