What is Object Storage?
Also known as object-based storage, object storage differs from other computer data storage architectures in that it lets you manage objects rather than file systems and data blocks. An “object” includes the data itself, some metadata, and a unique identifier. This data can be immediately accessed through APIs or http/https. In this way, the object storage safeguards the data. This data can also be replicated to multiple datacenters if needed.
- Unstructured data like photos, songs, videos, etc.
- Backup files, database files, and log files.
- Large data sets.
- Archival files.
- Online collaboration files, like Dropbox.
- And other use cases.
- Amazon S3
- Rackspace Cloud Files
- Microsoft Azure Blob Storage
- Google Cloud Storage
Block storage typically offers higher performance than file storage because applications directly access data stored in volumes which are made up of a collection of blocks on disk. This eliminates the overhead of file systems and management. Unlike file storage architectures, the databases or operating systems accessing the volumes determine the storage management strategy, allocating storage for different applications, determining where the data goes, and tracking permissions and access control.
Compared to both architectures, object storage is far better suited for large amounts of ever-growing data. It’s much easier to find a specific data set in an object storage architecture. Because each object has its own unique identifier, you don’t need to manually search for a file within a directory. For very large data sets, businesses tend to prefer tobject storage with its better management at large scale and lower cost of storage. While file storage and block storage architectures can expand, their usability and simplicity decrease as the data grows into the multi-petabyte range.
Both humans and machines are responsible for generating massive amounts of data, and while some is structured, the vast majority is unstructured. And because unstructured data is difficult to manage and store, businesses are turning to object storage solutions to tackle its unique challenges. Additionally, object storage delivers:
It’s estimated that 80% of all data generated is unstructured, though that percentage may be low. And by 2025, IDC estimates that we’ll have 5 times as much data as we have right now.
Businesses of all sizes must wrangle enormous amounts of ever-growing data, and because growth—especially that of unstructured data—can be unpredictable, their storage solution of choice must be able to quickly and effortlessly scale on demand. With object storage, businesses aren’t just better equipped to store their data—they’re also better able to manage it, search through it, and therefore leverage it for better insights.
Not to mention, compared to its file and block storage predecessors, object storage isn’t limited by a hierarchical organization. Instead, data is organized in a flat plane, providing cleaner, more readily available access than other storage architectures can deliver. Plus, this flat environment is far more customizable—by number, attribute, and more.
Automotive Data Solutions
“… Our VAR kept trying to sell us the new Dell systems, but I told them we’re buying Nutanix instead. It’s the most innovative, scale-out data fabric for storage, compute, and virtualization platform on the market today.”
– Marcello Gentile, Director of Systems Administration, Automotive Data Solutions, Inc.
Regina Catholic School Division
"With our 3-tier solution, it was less likely we would be able to afford all of the hardware needed to have off-site disk storage and compute at a second data center. We can now do that with the Nutanix hyperconverged systems. We just popped in a 2U server, plugged it into the network connections, and we were good to go."
- Kurtis Thick, Infrastructure Specialist Architect, Regina Catholic School Division
Pusateri’s Fine Food
"It was much more cost-efficient to go with Nutanix Acropolis. Not only did it provide higher performance, the hyperconverged solution was 25-40% less expensive than the three-tier storage, server, and VMware vSphere solution."
- Cajetan Fernandes, IT Manager, Pusateri’s Fine Food
Ontario Universities’ Application Center
“We started our upgrade project as just a ‘storage replacement adventure’, but when we started looking at what Nutanix offered, the Enterprise Cloud platform made a lot of sense for our use case.”
– Peter Schaefer, Manager of Systems Infrastructure & Facilities, Ontario Universities’ Application Centre
“If you’re looking for a simple, yet powerful storage and server solution — this is it."
– Richard Briston, Senior Network & Infrastructure Specialist, Americas & EMEA; Canadian Solar