This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download "Storage magazine: Everything you needed to know about object-based storage."
Download it now to read this article plus other related content.
Web 2.0 applications and cloud storage have shown that object-based storage offers unrivaled scalability and is also ideal for use with distributed applications.
Object-based storage systems are gaining attention, and are starting to make inroads as alternatives to scale-out network-attached storage (NAS).
Those are some of the key attributes of object storage products that have catapulted them into markets and applications where traditional file- and block-based storage systems have been insufficient. Object storage is the fundamental building block of public and private cloud storage. Web 2.0 firms and social networking sites like Facebook have opted for object storage for customer files, images and videos. But the adoption of object storage isn’t limited to newfangled cloud and Web 2.0 use cases, where it’s used as de facto tier 1 storage for some content. Corporations are also using it to extend their high-performance, expensive block- and file-based storage infrastructure with tier 3 or tier 4 object stores to offload rapidly growing unstructured data to a lower cost but highly scalable object storage tier. Object storage has also been used for years in the form of content-addressed storage (CAS) for archival tasks. But traditional CAS systems are very different from contemporary object storage. “The new wave of object-based storage [that] has been developed for distributed cloud use is cost-optimized -- which is key for clouds -- and accessed via HTTP protocols,” said Pushan Rinnen, research director at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc.
This was first published in June 2012