Choosing an access protocol

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The protocol you choose to use to access a namespace depends on a variety of factors. Some factors have to do with the protocols themselves, others with the environment in which you’re working. For example, your client operating system may dictate the choice of protocol. Or, you may need new applications to be compatible with existing applications that already use a given protocol.

In terms of performance, HTTP is the fastest protocol and WebDAV is a close second. Both are suitable for transferring large amounts of data. CIFS and NFS are significantly slower than HTTP and WebDAV.


With both HTTP and WebDAV:

  • Client libraries are available for many different programming languages.
  • You can store custom metadata in the namespace.
  • You can use SSL security for data transfers. The namespace configuration determines whether this feature is available.
  • You can retrieve object data by byte ranges.

With HTTP:

  • Each operation can be completed in a single transaction, which provides better performance.
  • You can override metadata defaults when you add an object to the namespace.
  • HCP automatically creates any new directories in the paths for objects you store in the namespace.
  • You can change object ownership.
  • You can add, replace, or delete ACLs for objects.

With WebDAV:

  • Some operations on directories, such as, COPY, MOVE, and DELETE, are performed in a single call.
  • You can recursively delete a directory and its subdirectories.

With CIFS and NFS:

  • You get file-system semantics.
  • Multiple concurrent threads can write to the same object.


  • CIFS and NFS have lazy close
  • With CIFS and NFS, performance degrades when write operations target directories with large numbers of objects (greater than 100,000).
  • With CIFS and NFS, you need to use multiple mounts of a namespace to have HCP spread the load across the nodes in the system.