The HP Cloud people have made it easy to use their new Object Storage service. Object storage use is free (within certain limits) and simpler than using the compute service.

This procedure is all done using a clean, simple, and easy-to-use web interface. The general public can use this web interface and do their work without having to go near a system administrator’s non-intuitive CLI (Command Line Interface) or a developer’s API (Application Programming Interface).

The only security is your user name and password. There is no two-factor authentication or key pairs used here. If you know the password, you’re in.

This procedure assumes you have set up an HP Cloud account and entered your credit card details (if you ran through the steps for creating and destroying an HP Cloud server, you’ve already done this).

Activate a region.

  1. Open the HP Cloud console.
  2. Log in. A Dashboard page appears. The Object Storage service is available in two regions – US East and US West.
  3. Pick a region and click the Activate Now button. An Activating… message appears, then the storage dashboard appears.

You now have a big blue Browse Containers button, even though you don’t have any containers yet.

You may also have a message saying CDN activated. If you want to distribute a huge amount of objects around the world super-quick, a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is the thing that makes it happen.

Create a private container.

HP Cloud containers are similar to an AWS bucket. It is a way of organizing files.

  1. Click the Browse Containers button. A container list page appears, populated with very little. There is a region name, along the lines of Region-a.geo-1, and a few links and boxes.
  2. Pick a name for your container. I chose NicksPrivateContainer.
  3. Type your name in and click the Create button. You get your first line in the container list.

Each line of the container list contains two links.

  • container name. Clicking on your container name gives you the option of uploading files
  • information icon. Clicking the icon gives you options for the container itself: Make public, Activate CDN and Delete.

Add objects.

  1. Click the container name. An empty list of files appears.
  2. Use the Select files button on the right to pick a few files to upload. Your computer’s file browser appears.
  3. Pick a few small files. The bigger the file, the longer the upload will take. A list of files appears in the Upload Objects box, but the upload does not start yet.
  4. Delete some files, add others, and hit the Start upload button. All the files are uploaded securely to the HP Cloud. While it works you get a big red Stop upload button and a report of how the upload is progressing. When it is finished, the details appear in the list of files.

This is a private container – no-one else can see the objects you have added. You could make this public, or you could leave it private and create a second container for the public objects.

Create a second container for public objects.

This procedure is pretty much a repeat of what happened before.

  1. Create another container. I called mine NicksPublicContainer. I’m nothing if not imaginative.
  2. Add objects. Make sure you really are happy for the world to see them.
  3. To make the container public, go back to the list of containers.
  4. Click the information icon.
  5. Hit the Make public button. Very little changes.

The objects in your container can now be downloaded by anyone. The public URL of a file looks something like this.

Get the public URL of a file.

  1. Pick one of your uploaded files. The Options and Info window displays a few details.
  2. Copy the long URL in the Public URL: field.
  3. Pass on the URL.

Clean up.

One of the great things about cloud computing is how easy it is to throw everything away and start again.

  1. Return to the list of containers.
  2. Delete each one.
  3. Close the HP Cloud console.

The region remains activated, but the contents are gone. The public URLs no longer work.