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.
File storage also offers a hierarchical system that, with small amounts of data, works perfectly well. And while technically, you can create and store an unlimited number of files, finding them later down the line is considerably harder. Scanning through endless folders filled with endless files is simply not scalable nor efficient.
Block storage also offers much better, more granular control over data than file storage. Unlike file storage architectures, the umbrella OS determines the storage management strategy, allocating storage for different applications, determining where the data goes, and provisioning necessary tools.
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 name across multiple files. And as data inevitably expands, businesses tend to be much happier with the capabilities of object storage. While file storage and block storage architectures can expand, their usability and simplicity decrease as the data grows into the petabytes.
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.