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Unstructured data storage showdown: Object storage vs. scale-out NAS

Last updated:November 2019

Editor's note

Data is growing exponentially with no signs of stopping anytime soon. Luckily, there are products on the market designed to deal with unstructured data storage. Object storage and scale-out NAS are two major contenders in this field, but they're not alone.

NAS and object storage have similar capacity and performance benefits, so there are advantages to using both. Prior to the introduction of scale-out NAS, the choice between object and network-attached storage was easier. If you wanted scalability, you went with object storage and its unique approach to storing files and metadata. However, NAS developments have since closed the scalability gap.

In this essential guide, we'll dive into the differences between object storage and scale-out NAS, as well as how they're similar. We'll also touch on some other developing storage techniques and technologies being used to tackle unstructured data.

1New and improved network-attached storage

With scale-out NAS, management across separate physical modules is simplified without the need to add filers as storage grows. The single, highly scalable file system can boost performance and simplify management for unstructured data storage.

2The case for object storage

An attractive alternative to traditional NAS, object storage systems assign a unique identifier to each file and its metadata. The physical location of the data becomes irrelevant and scalability is increased significantly. View the following articles to see what the buzz is about and how object storage stacks up.

3Object storage vs. scale-out NAS

There are advantages to both object storage and scale-out NAS, but does one trump the other? Both are good options for tackling unstructured data storage, but an organization's specific needs will be the deciding factor.

4Rising alternatives

As unstructured data storage and management become bigger problems, storage technology is evolving to meet the challenge. Technologies such as flash storage and predictive analytics are increasingly being used to deal with issues surrounding unstructured data.