Object storage emerged as a solution to the sudden onset of massive amounts of unstructured data over the past decade.
Unstructured data is difficult to organize in traditional databases that favor a heavily structured approach. Social media, emails, photos, videos, audio, and more modern data are largely unstructured.
Object-based storage is a smart way to archive, backup, or retain this data in the cloud or on-premises due to benefits like scalability and flexibility. Object has opened the door to terabyte and even petabyte-scale storage.
Here are some of the top trends businesses and IT teams are seeing in the cloud object storage market:
1. Phenomenal growth
Out of nowhere a few years ago, object storage rose to prominence.
Companies now store roughly the same amount of data in the cloud as they do internally, or nearly 80 PB per year, according to IDC.
“Over the next five years, 80% of this data will be unstructured (i.e., file and/or object-based) data,” said Eric Burgener, analyst at IDC.
“Data growth rates in the public cloud, fueled by both file and object storage growth, were higher than on-premises storage growth rates.”
For object storage, the primary workloads are archiving and content applications.
Some of the object storage features particularly appreciated by users include integration with accelerated computing platforms, quality of service, integration with many artificial intelligence (AI) tools and software stacks, and support for high-performance storage tiers that leverage flash media.
2. Large-scale analysis
From the pull of data gravity to tighter data governance, data proliferation continues to pose challenges for organizations embarking on cloud transformation.
The ability to analyze data at scale, however, remains a key priority as companies strive to gain real-time insights and make better use of their data, said Rob Lee, CTO, Pure storage.
Consequently, organizations are increasingly deploying hybrid architectures across public and private clouds to bring the benefits of cloud-based data analytics to critical data assets in their IT landscape.
For example, to improve the ability to harness the power of cloud analytics for on-premises data, Pure Storage brought its FlashBlade object storage to Snowflake’s data cloud platform to give enterprises more control and greater flexibility around their data workloads.
3. Storage Optimization
We are about to enter the era of zettabyte storage.
Data stored globally will approach 6 ZBs in 2022, according to IDC.
A single ZB would require 55 million 18TB hard disk drives (HDDs) or 55 million of the latest 18TB LTO-9 tape cartridges.
With so much data at stake, getting the right data, in the right place, at the right time, and at the right cost is one of the keys to competitive advantage. This is where storage optimization comes in.
“Intelligent data management will be required, leveraging multiple tiers of storage, active archiveand innovative S3-enabled archiving solutions for object storage,” said Band Evangelist Rich Gadomski, Fujifilm Recording Media United States.
“Nowhere will this be more apparent than in digital preservation and high performance computing environments with a simple need to offload expensive object storage to cost-effective tape systems using an S3-compatible API.
4. Facilitate hybrid cloud architectures
With ever-increasing pressure to save money and innovate faster, organizations are desperate for more agility, flexibility, and efficiency in public cloud services.
As unstructured data is the largest, fastest growing and most difficult to manage data set for IT, they have a strong desire to move this data to the cloud.
Unfortunately, data cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Copying 1 PB of data over a 100 Mbps connection under ideal conditions would take three years. Even pushing that connection to 1 Gbps, it would take over four months to complete the migration.
Regardless of data access costs, latency, insufficient cloud expertise, and other speed bumps, the migration problem alone makes a complete cloud migration untenable for large datasets.
“Hybrid cloud storage is an attractive compromise that allows organizations to keep their sensitive, frequently used data on-premises for privacy and ease of access, while moving their cold, non-proprietary data to the cloud,” said Tanya Loughlin. , director, Hitachi Content Platform Product Marketing.
“In many cases, customers prefer to invest in onsite service rather than onsite capital expenditure to take advantage of a pay-as-you-go model. For example, a customer has data (image, voice, video, audio) and the AI, ML and recognition systems are too expensive and complex to be hosted on-premises. »
These services are available in the cloud and it is much more cost effective to process large amounts of data through these services.
Instead of moving all of their data to the cloud, customers can transfer the data to the cloud for processing, and once they have the results, the cloud data can be deleted. Object storage is leveraged to be able to store more data faster in hybrid cloud environments.
5. Cloud Control
Since most data is neither sensitive nor frequently used, many organizations have opted to offload their less valuable data to the cloud at an acceptable pace and at low cost.
For important and new data, they can keep it on-premises for fast writes, low-latency access, and complete control over security, compliance, and governance.
But the problem now is how to control what goes to the cloud and what stays on-premises. If all that matters is the directory structure, file names, last access dates, etc., for their file data, they will have a hard time making sure the right data is in the right place. place at the right time.
This is where an on-premises object store makes hybrid cloud storage a reality. Object storage places cloud storage in customers’ data centers and delivers the same features users are looking for in cloud storage: effortless data protection, reliable data availability, massive scalability, ease of management, and lower cost to that of traditional file services.
“The best object stores for a hybrid cloud storage architecture will have built-in or built-in tools, such as content indexing, metadata extraction, storage tiering, that provide the intelligence needed to automatically manage data across on-premises flash, disk, and removable media tiers as well as multiple cloud services — so IT has complete visibility and control over their data, wherever it resides,” said Loughlin of Hitachi Vantara.