OGC WCS defines versatile, powerful services on coverages, in particular: datacubes, based on the OGC coverage standard, CIS (see separate listing). Basic functionality starts with extraction in space and time and reformatting into some user-specified format, includes various further modules (scaling, CRS reprojection, ingestion, etc.) up to datacube analytics via WCPS (see separate listing).
As opposed to visualization standards like WMS, a WCS returns the original data, ready for furher processing and analytics. As opposed to other retrieval standards like WFS and SOS, WCS offers versatile functionality, starting with extraction of partial data from massive Earth Data assets (rather than requiring a full download).
WCS is in active use, supported by a who's who of open-source and proprietary tools, both clients and servers, proven on 2.5+ PB assets. Official reference implementation is rasdaman.