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What is object storage technology (and why should you care)?
This article is part of the July 2014 Vol. 13 No. 5 issue of Storage magazine
It's unlikely that anyone old enough to remember writing code for anything other than a database or file system is reading this article. After all, it's been more than 40 years since programs accessed other types of data structures for general commercial applications. Thus, object storage represents the first major new data structure category in almost two generations that is significantly impacting data management practices. Object implementations began in the late 1990s, but mostly for niche applications. Large-scale deployments were spearheaded by cloud services, such as Amazon S3, Facebook and Spotify. Now, object storage solutions from both established and emerging vendors are reaching critical mass, and IT organizations need to consider them for their own implementations. Object storage differs from SAN or NAS systems in a number of important ways. Most noticeable to storage administrators is that the factors of LUNs, volumes and RAID are absent. Data objects are stored in variable-sized "containers" rather than fixed ...
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Features in this issue
Using solid-state storage as cache can boost server and application performance dramatically, but the kind of flash cache you choose is critical.
Object technology offers scalability, economical operation and better data management; but it's very different from file and block storage systems.
Both the enterprise and midrange categories saw first-time winners in our ninth annual Quality Awards for backup and recovery software.
Solid-state technology deployments continue to climb. However, the favorite implementation method has switched from hybrid arrays to all-flash arrays.
Columns in this issue
Buying storage gear can be confusing, but if you put some effort into learning the real meaning behind vendors' data storage terms, it could also be a lot of fun.
Jon Toigo examines the four steps of the storage algorithm, and concludes that the current storage equation just doesn't add up.
Ethernet has made advances with packet dropping and speed in recent years, but Fibre Channel remains the SAN protocol of choice for performance.
If you're still buying separate servers, network and storage, you might consider converged infrastructure systems as a modern alternative.