What is Object Storage

Object-based storage is an up-and-coming technology for large content accumulations offering a highly scalable and cost-effective storage platform to support a wide variety of businesses and activities.

Object storage is a secure, cost-effective, encrypted and simple storage service that enables you to store, back up, and archive huge quantities of unstructured data in the cloud in a flat file arrangement that eliminates the hierarchy (and limitations) of a traditional file system.

Did you know that when you watch Netflix or Youtube, share files via Dropbox or Google Drive, scroll through photos on Instagram, or check Facebook – you are using object storage?

What Object storage does:

Object storage uses a rich set of metadata to describe files (known as objects) and attaches unique identifiers (to locate the object). Objects may be any size. For instance, a complete film can be stored as an object. The unique identifiers attached to each object are arranged in the flat address architecture, which removes the complexity and scalability challenges of a hierarchical file system.

Object Storage is an exciting alternative to traditional storage systems and can easily scale data to petabyte level without restrictions.

Key differences across storage types

Block File (NAS) Object
Stored in a datacenter close to the server Stored in a local network close to clients Stored on the cloud to be accessible anywhere (also on premise)
Stored without formatting Stored as data package that holds the content of the data Stored as data and metadata with identifiers
Usually scale-up (Less than 1PB) Scale-up + limited scale out (multi-PBs) Scale-out (100 + BPs, Exabytes)
High IOs. Low Latency. Consistency. Good IOs. High latency. Good throughput High parallelism. Higher latency. High throughput.

What are the key benefits of object storage

HTML5 IconScalability
Object storage is easy to scale therefore the perfect solution for the growing world of unstructured data such as movies, images, archive, backup.

HTML5 IconApproach
Protocol is not sensitive to latency, which makes it good for storing data in multiple regions.

HTML5 IconDexterity
Compared to other storage architectures – Object Storage is less complex and requires fewer administrative resources.

  • Unlike traditional storage systems Object Storage is accessed through internet protocols like HTTP and API’s like Openstack Swift, S3, SOAP and REST.
  • Traditional systems often experience complications when it comes to scaling out and these difficulties are avoided in an object storage environment because the system scales out by adding nodes.
  • Scalability is increased as the physical location of data becomes irrelevant.
  • Object Storage has less limitations because of the flat data environment which overcomes performance issues when managing large numbers of files.
  • Object stores have both data and metadata that is customizable, descriptive information –useful for data analytics.