Why Object Storage Is Coming of Age in the Big Data Era

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Why Object Storage Is Coming of Age in the Big Data Era

If IT were a television show, it would be “Hoarders.” Organizations are creating and storing more and more data every day. According to research by IDC, by 2020 total data volumes will hit a mind-boggling 44 zettabytes, with about 80 percent of the data stored outside of structured databases. With such unprecedented data growth, IT teams are looking for flexible, scalable and easily manageable ways to preserve and protect that data. This is where object storage shines. Object storage manages data as objects rather than as a hierarchy of files, tables, columns and rows, or block storage, which manages data as blocks within sectors and tracks. This slide show, using industry information from Clayton Weise, cloud architect for Key Information Systems, looks at trends in the industry that are encouraging businesses to consider the object storage approach.

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Big Players Are Starting to Use Object Storage

Large backup vendors such as IBM and CommVault now support object storage on the back end. If object storage is available in the backup tool, they prefer to use that over tape. No one likes managing tape.

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Adoption is Slow but Coming Along

Interest in object storage is high. Adoption isn't necessarily increasing rapidly, but it's gaining momentum. Companies that were born on the web already use object storage, since it makes more sense for the HTTP-focused processes they’ve been using. More adoption may occur in the midmarket, where people are looking at object storage as a secondary or other backup storage.

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Object Storage Works Well When Instant Access Isn't Necessary

Object storage gives IT managers a central space to access data that doesn’t need to be accessed instantly. Object storage can be a data repository  that IT pros access occasionally. The data can be stored long-term and can be accessed from everywhere.

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IoT Becoming a Major Factor in Data Growth

Data growth is one of the main reasons for considering object storage, and the internet of things is a prime example. There are myriad ways to create and capture data through connected devices. All of these connected devices manage data using RESTful APIs, which also work well with object storage.

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Why Health Care Should Use Object Storage

The medical industry would benefit from object storage, especially research hospitals. These organizations must store large amounts of data, such as genomes or other data-intensive projects, and object storage can store data long-term with the ability to “stretch” and consume more data. However, the data isn’t available instantly.

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Law Enforcement Use Cases That Make Sense

Law enforcement is another industry that would benefit from object storage. These agencies collect massive amounts of data constantly from sources such as police body cameras and cruiser cameras. Object storage scales extremely well with unlimited capacity and can work for large, unstructured data sets.

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Pay Attention to Access Costs

Object storage is inexpensive to store the data, but expensive to access if you aren’t careful. Providers may charge based on things you're accessing in the data and how many times it’s retrieved. Pay attention to what you are doing and object storage can be a predictable cost.

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Study Up on Object Storage First

Education is paramount with object storage. Relatively few experts fully understand it. Object storage is a completely different way of accessing data—an important consideration, because users currently still think in terms of the block-and-file storage paradigm, which they’ve always known.

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