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Object Storage

Object Storage

Object storage (also known as object-based storage) is a computer data storage architecture that manages data as objects, as opposed to other storage architectures like file systems which manages data as a file hierarchy, and block storage which manages data as blocks within sectors and tracks. Each object typically includes the data itself, a variable amount of metadata, and a globally unique identifier. Object storage can be implemented at multiple levels, including the device level (object-storage device), the system level, and the interface level. In each case, object storage seeks to enable capabilities not addressed by other storage architectures, like interfaces that can be directly programmable by the application, a namespace that can span multiple instances of physical hardware, and data-management functions like data replication and data distribution at object-level granularity.

Object storage systems allow retention of massive amounts of unstructured data. Object storage is used for purposes such as storing photos on Facebook, songs on Spotify, or files in online collaboration services, such as Dropbox.

Object storage is a method of data storage that emerged in the mid-1990s as researchers foresaw that existing storage methods would eventually start to show their limitations in certain scenarios. True to its name, object storage treats data as discrete units, or objects, that are accompanied by metadata and a universally unique identifier (UUID). This unstructured data resides in a flat (as opposed to tiered) address space called a storage pool. Object storage is also known for its compatibility with cloud computing, due to its unlimited scalability and faster data retrieval.

Today, as data comes to underpin everything we do, the adoption of object storage systems has increased. It’s common in data centers and popular cloud-based platforms, such as Google cloud storage or Amazon cloud storage, and has become the de facto standard in several enterprise use cases.

The most popular products in category Object Storage All category products

CLOUDIAN HyperStore
14
11
Объектная система хранения Dell EMC ECS
15
1
NetAPP StorageGRID
5
11
HITACHI Content Platform
8
4
FUJITSU ETERNUS CD10000
4
8
QUANTUM Lattus Object Storage
3
5

Compare of products in the category Object Storage

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Compare: Object Storage

Characteristics

Capacity (raw)

Scalability

Chassis Form Factors

Metadata Drives

Data Drives

Drive Sizes

25GbE/40GbE Network Interfaces

Monitoring/Management

Hot Swappable Power Supplies

Operating Temperature

S3 API

Geo Distribution

Replication and erasure coding

Hot-swappable Disk Drives

Non-disruptive Online Software Upgrades

Cloud Integration

Load Balancing

QoS Controls

SMB/NFS Interface

Bucket-level Configuration

Native Compatibility

Comprehensive Multi-tenant Services

Billing Support

WORM Support

Self-healing

AES-256 Server-Side Encryption

SSL Encryption

Encryption-at-rest

Deployment Options

  • 1536TB (HyperStore Xtreme)
  • up to 980TB (HyperStore 4000)
  • up to 168TB (HyperStore 1500)
  • 8847TB (EX3000S, EX3000D)
  • 1576TB (EX500)
  • 288TB (EX300)
  • 470TB, 350TB, 230TB, 110TB (depends on model)
  • 9600TB (HCP S30)
  • 560TB (HCP S10)
  • 944TB (HCP VM)
  • 1.008TB (HCP G10)
  • 182TB (SGF6024)
  • 696TB (SG6060)
  • 720TB (SG5760)
  • 144TB (SG5712)
  • 72TB (S30)
  • 120TB (S50)
unlimited
unlimited
unlimited
1-80 nodes
N/A
N/A
  • 2 nodes in a 4U rack (HyperStore Xtreme and 4000)
  • 1U rack (HyperStore 1500)
  • 2U server (EX300, EX500)
  • 4U server (EX3000)
  • 1U
  • 2U (HCP G10)
  • 4U (HCP S10)
  • 16U-68U (HCP S30)
  • 1U-5U (depends on model)
  • 1U
  • 4x 1.92TB SSD (HyperStore Xtreme and 4000)
  • 2x 960GB SSD (HyperStore 1500)
  • optional SSD 960GB
  • N/A
  • 2x 1.9TB (HCP G10)
  • 6x 200GB (HCP S30)
  • N/A
  • N/A
up to 12x, 70x and 96x SAS HDD 7200RPM (depends on model)
up to 12x, 24x, 45x, 60x and 90x SAS HDD 7200RPM (depends on model)
up to 11x, 23, 35, 47 HDDs (depends on model)
up to 12x, 60, 954 HDDs (depends on model)
up to 12x, 24x, 58x, 60x drives and SSDs (depends on model)
N/A
8-16TB (depends on model)
1-12TB (depends on model)
4, 6, 10TB (only disks with same capacity)
4-10TB (depends on model)
N/A
N/A
optional (depends on model)
25Gbe optional
N/A
N/A
depends on model
N/A
  • CLI
  • GUI
  • API
  • IPMI
  • JMX
  • iDRAC9 Enterprise
  • GUI management console
  • N/A
  • Prometheus
  • web
  • SNMP
2x, 4x (depends on model)
2x
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
5°C to 32°C (41°F to 90°F)
5°C to 32°C (41°F to 90°F)
15°C to 35°C (59°F to 95°F)
N/A
N/A
N/A
optional
N/A
N/A
yes
yes
N/A
  • AWS
  • GCP
  • Azure
  • Azure
  • N/A
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • N/A
  • on-premises
  • cloud
  • multi-site
  • multi-cloud
  • on-premises
  • cloud
  • on-premises
  • cloud
  • on-premises
  • cloud
  • VM
  • on-premises
  • cloud
  • VM
  • on-premises
  • cloud
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Suppliers Object Storage

Cloudian
AUT...
  • AUT
  • CHE
  • CHN
  • DEU
  • FRA
  • GBR
  • IRL
  • ITA
  • JPN
  • NLD
  • USA

Vendors Object Storage

Cloudian
AUT...
  • AUT
  • CHE
  • CHN
  • DEU
  • FRA
  • GBR
  • IRL
  • ITA
  • JPN
  • NLD
  • USA
Hitachi Vantara
AUS...
  • AUS
  • BRA
  • CHN
  • DEU
  • IND
  • JPN
  • KOR
  • NZL
  • RUS
  • TWN
  • USA
Quantum
GBR...
  • GBR
  • MYS
  • SGP
  • USA

F.A.Q about Object Storage

What is Object Storage?

In the modern world of cloud computing, object storage is the storage and retrieval of unstructured blobs of data and metadata using an HTTP API. Instead of breaking files down into blocks to store it on disk using a filesystem, we deal with whole objects stored over the network. These objects could be an image file, logs, HTML files, or any self-contained blob of bytes. They are unstructured because there is no specific schema or format they need to follow.
Object storage took off because it greatly simplified the developer experience. Because the API consists of standard HTTP requests, libraries were quickly developed for most programming languages. Saving a blob of data became as easy as an HTTP PUT request to the object store. Retrieving the file and metadata is a normal GET request. Further, most object storage services can also serve the files publicly to your users, removing the need to maintain a web server to host static assets.

On top of that, object storage services charge only for the storage space you use (some also charge per HTTP request, and for transfer bandwidth). This is a boon for small developers, who can get world-class storage and hosting of assets at costs that scale with use.

What are the advantages of object storage?

  • A simple HTTP API, with clients available for all major operating systems and programming languages
  • A cost structure that means you only pay for what you use
  • Built-in public serving of static assets means one less server for you to run yourself
  • Some object stores offer built-in CDN integration, which cache your assets around the globe to make downloads and page loads faster for your users
  • Optional versioning means you can retrieve old versions of objects to recover from accidental overwrites of data
  • Object storage services can easily scale from modest needs to really intense use-cases without the developer having to launch more resources or rearchitect to handle the load
  • Using an object storage service means you don’t have to maintain hard drives and RAID arrays, as that’s handled by the service provider
  • Being able to store chunks of metadata alongside your data blob can further simplify your application architecture

What are the disadvantages of object storage?

  • You can’t use object storage services to back a traditional database, due to the high latency of such services
  • Object storage doesn’t allow you to alter just a piece of a data blob, you must read and write an entire object at once. This has some performance implications. For instance, on a filesystem, you can easily append a single line to the end of a log file. On an object storage system, you’d need to retrieve the object, add the new line, and write the entire object back. This makes object storage less ideal for data that changes very frequently
  • Operating systems can’t easily mount an object store like a normal disk. There are some clients and adapters to help with this, but in general, using and browsing an object store is not as simple as flipping through directories in a file browser
Materials