What you need to know before implementing an object storage system

How-to guide: Object storage system implementation

Learn why IT shops are turning to an object storage system to increase scalability, and simplify data protection and capacity optimization tasks.

Object storage systems have become a recognized alternative to file- and block-based systems, especially for public and private cloud storage infrastructures. Traditional file systems suffer from limited scalability and metadata due to their hierarchical structures, slowing performance and making tasks like data protection and capacity optimization more difficult. Object storage relieves both of these problems, providing enough metadata to ease security, optimization and data resiliency processes, while offering an indexed file structure that's ideal for unstructured data and allows files to be dispersed over wide geographic areas with a minimized effect on performance.

While the advantages of using an object storage system instead of a traditional file system may be clear, the many details of successfully implementing this technology are not. The way object storage deals with protocols and metadata -- plus its lack of standards -- can create a learning curve for those unfamiliar with the technology. The following SearchCloudStorage.com object storage guide is designed to keep data storage administrators informed of the advantages, disadvantages and new product offerings surrounding object storage.

Table of contents:

Object storage architecture gaining momentum

Due to their simplified flat file structures and the way they use metadata, object storage systems are becoming a popular choice among those looking to increase scalability and simplify data protection and capacity optimization tasks. Cloud storage providers have been among the most eager adopters of the technology, using it to improve performance and scalability on the back end, and ease access for users on the front end through multi-tenancy features. Storage admins and users are not only likely to run across object storage in cloud-based storage, but in systems that handle unstructured data as well. As data sets scale, the hierarchical structure of file-based systems tend to cause performance issues, a problem that can be solved by implementing an object-based storage architecture. With cloud-based storage adoption and unstructured data storage requirements both on the rise, object-based storage is proving a viable option for unstructured data.


Object-based systems, scale-out NAS are promising alternatives to traditional NAS

Architectural advantages of object storage and object storage devices

Object storage architecture, cloud storage gateways better for data archiving/backup

OpenStack cloud technology platform: Technology drill-down

Cloud object storage an intermediate option for cloud-based services

Object storage vendor offerings continue to grow

Vendors who want to increase scalability, provide geographic independence and multi-tenancy, and offer commodity components for their back-end infrastructure have had a hard time overlooking the use of an object storage system as their file structure offering. In the last year alone, Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and NetApp Inc. have each made announcements regarding their object storage offerings. With major players and startups like Amplidata and Cleversafe Inc. entering the space, this guide aims to help you stay abreast of the object storage vendor landscape.


Compuverde object-based offerings take aim at cloud, big data

HP cloud-based object storage system challenges Amazon

Object storage startup Amplidata raises $6 million, gets new CEO

NetApp object storage products embrace CDMI standard

Dell object storage combines with RainStor database

GlusterFS 3.3 lets users store and access the same data as object and a file

Cloud-based file sharing from Egnyte employs object-based storage

Object storage vendor Amplidata helps Quantum with new product offering

Object storage system use cases are adding up

While traditional NAS file systems are still the most popular file system structure, users have become more open to implementing object technology to store large amounts of discrete files. Read the following use cases for object storage systems to find out how storage decision-makers are implementing the technology in their environments.


Credit union turns to Caringo CAStor for object storage help

University saves classic jazz performances using object-based archiving

Online media group uses Amplidata AmpliStor to build object-based storage platform

Watch and listen: Object storage podcasts and videos

If reading about object storage isn't enough, here are the latest podcasts and videos discussing object technology featuring data storage expert Marc Staimer, president of Beaverton, Ore.-based Dragon Slayer Consulting.


Object-based storage key to scalability in the cloud

What does an object storage system contribute to a cloud architecture?

Implementing an object-based storage concept in a health care data center