Chapter 1. Overview

Rackspace Cloud Files™ is an affordable, redundant, scalable, and dynamic storage service. The core storage system is designed to provide a secure, network-accessible way to store an unlimited number of files. Files that exceed 5 GBs in size are broken down into 5 GB (or less) segments. For example, if you need to store large files, such as videos, HD movies, or backups, Cloud Files accomplishes this by enabling you to upload multiple file segments and a manifest file to map those segments together. Large files are then downloaded as a single file. You can store as much as you want and pay only for storage space that you actually use.

Cloud Files also provides a simple yet powerful way to publish and distribute content behind a content delivery network (CDN). As a Cloud Files user, you get access to this network automatically.

Cloud Files enables you to store and retrieve files and CDN-enabled content through a simple RESTful (Representational State Transfer) web services interface. There are also language-specific application programming interfaces (APIs) that use the RESTful API and make it easy for developers to integrate Cloud Files into their applications.

The following diagram illustrates the various system interfaces and how content can be distributed over the CDN. The process is straightforward: authenticate, create a container, upload objects, mark the container as public, and begin serving that content from a powerful CDN.


Marking the container as public means enabling the container to be distributed over the CDN. A CDN-enabled container is publicly accessible.


Figure 1.1. Cloud Files system interfaces

For more details about the Cloud Files service, see and the Knowledge Center article Best Practices for Using Cloud Files.

Rackspace welcomes feedback, comments, and bug reports at

This guide provides step-by-step instructions to enter the necessary URLs or commands to use basic Cloud Files API operations. You can find details about advanced Cloud Files functionality, such as dynamic large objects, static large objects, TempURLs, and FormPOST, in the Cloud Files Developer Guide at

This guide uses the API directly with cURL (Using the API directly by using cURL).