E-Handbook: The object storage market is moving beyond the cloud to the enterprise Article 1 of 2

Object storage architecture is becoming ready for the enterprise

The cloud may still be the home of most object storage architecture, but it has an appeal that is becoming harder for enterprise users to ignore.

The ability to scale easily as enterprise users encounter rapidly growing amounts of digital data that needs to be stored has always been one of the major selling points of object storage architecture. Another is cost -- since a user can squeeze more data into the same medium using object storage versus block or file storage, the cost per gigabyte drops, even if just a bit. Then, add to that the fact that many object storage architecture systems are based on open source software, and the cost continues downward. Top it off with the fact that most object storage systems can be used on commodity off-the-shelf technology, and you have a trifecta of savings.

So why isn't object storage the primary storage method in most enterprises today? Resistance to change is one big factor, since connecting to your storage pool via HTTP could seem scary -- or, at least, different than NAS or SAN. Another reason is that object storage is inherently slower than file-based or block storage.

Advances in both object storage software and storage hardware like nonvolatile memory express-based solid-state drives are reducing that performance gap to the point where only those applications hungriest for speed might need to stay away from an object storage architecture.

If your organization isn't trading equities or currency by the millisecond, object storage may be your best bet.

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