In a world of explosive data demands, high transfer speeds, and forever access, object storage systems are quickly becoming the architecture of choice for growing data needs. Why the rapid shift away from existing solutions? Primarily, this is a story about scale…
Experience with large installations has made it clear that object-based architectures are more effective when it comes to scalability than block I/O or NAS systems. Traditional Storage Area Networks (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) are unwieldy at scale. If current data growth trends continue, object storage will become the standard for new storage deployments in the very near term. According to a recent Gartner forecast, the object storage market will grow 75% from 2014 through 2018 at a compounded annual growth rate of 15.2% fueled mainly by the unstructured data humanity is generating, which is growing 60% to 80% year over year.
How is Object Storage Different?
Object storage (also known as object-based storage) is a storage infrastructure that manages data as objects, as opposed to other storage infrastructures, such as file systems which manage data as a file hierarchy or block storage which manages data as a collection of blocks.
Objects are containers for the data itself, a variable amount of metadata, and a globally unique identifier. Objects are dynamically created and read. Objects are variable in length, are generally immutable, and have extensible attributes including security policies.
Object storage took hold ten years ago as a storage-specific solution for the health and financials industries that needed regulatory-compliant and tamper-proof storage. Quite recently, it has grown significantly because of the storage industry’s focus on scalable cloud storage, big data analytics (Hadoop) and archiving, as well as the massive growth in unstructured data. Against these other options, Object storage has proved itself to be inexpensive, highly scalable, and self-maintaining.
The Advantages of Object Storage
While there are many reasons to implement object-based storage, which will vary in importance from user to user, the main drivers for adoption are: scalability, durability, flexibility, and simplicity (or manageability).
Scalability: SAN systems have significant issues with network scaling while namespace limitations are a choke point for NAS systems. Object storage has near unlimited capacity.
Durability: Data protection is a standard feature of object-based designs and can be further complimented with replication, erasure coding, or both.
Flexibility: Object storage leverages commodity hardware and just-in-time deployment.
Simplicity: Multi-petabytes of data can be managed by a single administrator based on simple policies and with true self-service capabilities.
The impact of these advantages become self-evident: imagine having to manage 30 to 40 times as much data ten years from now, when the IT budget is predicted to grow by only 50%. Add to this challenge that the bulk of new data will be driven by cloud and mobile computing where the expectation is that data will be available anytime and anywhere, and will stream in from a variety of access points and protocols. Clearly, old practices of data storage will not get the job done in this code-driven, interconnected, and big-data world.
How can Daystrom Help?
Having built our business in the crucible of scale-out storage and parallel-access workloads, Daystrom provides confident experience for adapting next-generation, scalable technologies to fit the business needs of our clients.
Perhaps Object Storage is right for you?
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