2.4. Containers

A container is a storage compartment that provides a way for you to organize your data. You can think of a container like a folder in Windows® or a directory in UNIX®. The primary difference between a container and these other file system concepts is that containers cannot be nested. You can have up to 500,000 containers in your account. Data must be stored in a container, so you must have at least one container defined in your account before you upload data.

If you expect to write more than 100 objects per second to a single container, we recommend organizing those objects across multiple containers to improve performance.

The only restrictions on container names is that they cannot contain a forward slash (/) and must be less than 256 bytes in length. Note that the length restriction applies to the name after it has been URL-encoded. For example, a container name of Course Docs would be URL-encoded as Course%20Docs and is therefore 13 bytes in length rather than the expected 11.

You can create a container in any Rackspace data center. (See Section 3.3, “Service access endpoints” for a list.) However, in order to lower your costs, you should create your most served containers in the same data center as your server. Otherwise, you will be billed for external bandwidth charges. Note that this is true when computations are performed on objects but is not true for static content served to end users directly.

In addition to containing objects, you can also use the container to control access to objects by using an access control list (ACL). For more information, see Section 7.1, “Container access control lists”. You cannot store an ACL with individual objects.

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