Object storage has become the mantra for those looking to leverage everything the cloud has to offer, at least when it comes to storing and accessing data sets.
However, many CIOs and IT managers associate Object storage with just cloud-based applications and are sticking to block-level or file storage for their enterprise systems. This is a practice that will prove to be outdated and detrimental to efficient operations as time goes on.
Arguably, object storage is the wave of the future and adoption of object storage- based platforms will grow exponentially. After all, the ideology behind object-based paradigms has proven itself time and time again, thanks to uses such as application development, where object orientation has become the norm. What’s more, object-based storage offers several advantages that can benefit enterprises both large and small. Those benefits include:
*Scale: An object-based architecture allows the file storage infrastructure to expand without encountering the typical file system limits.
*Cost: An object-based architecture leverages economies of scale and proves to be one of the most economical methods to expand storage into the petabyte range.
* Speed: Object-based architectures are optimized for speed, and total storage space consumed does not impact overall system or data access performance
* Redundancy: Object-based storage accomplishes redundancy and high availability by storing copies of the same object on multiple nodes. An object is created on one node and subsequently copied to one or more additional nodes.
* Protocol support: Object-based storage is accessed using the Representational State Transfer (REST) API over HTTP. Commands sent over HTTP to object storage prove to be very simple. They include "put" to create an object, "get" to read an object, "delete" to purge an object and "list" to see a directory of objects.
* Globally unique identifiers: Object-based storage assigns identifiers to storage objects, making them accessible without having to know the physical location of the data. This allows objects to be distributed across multiple locations and systems.
Yet, the road to an object 0storage-based solution is littered with complexity, jargon and some confusion.
Spectra Logic is aiming to remove those roadblocks and demonstrate how object-based storage can bring greater efficiency to the modern enterprise. The company is striving to achieve that lofty goal with its latest release of BlackPearl, which is now in version 3.
BlackPearl V3 is a collection of tools and applications that run on a storage appliance to bring unified management to enterprises that want to implement object storage. From the outset, the BlackPearl platform was designed to bring simplicity and ease of use to what was once considered an overly complex and difficult to manage storage paradigm.
A Closer Look at BlackPearl V3
The BlackPearl Appliance sits in front of Spectra Logic’s tape and disk storage libraries and transforms those storage targets into Amazon S3 compliant storage archives, with the ultimate goal of making object storage second nature in the enterprise.
It's important to note that S3 compatibility brings with it new methods to access data via Web services, such as REST and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), allowing object storage to power countless distributed applications and also vastly simplifying critical storage concerns, such as backup and data resiliency.
That said, the name of the game with S3 is cross-platform compatibility, combined with performance enhancing technology, which shares a common access paradigm. To take advantage of those elements, BlackPearl incorporates both an SDK and an API to make cross-platform integrations much simpler, while also providing the foundation to deliver cloud, hybrid, and onsite stored data to the applications and users without undue complexity.
Hands on with BlackPearl:
I tested the BlackPearl platform at Spectra Logic's Lab in Boulder, Colo. using a highly configured system with access to petabytes of storage in both disk and tape form.