What Is Object Storage? What Is Object Storage Used for? [MiniTool Wiki]

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There are three types of storage options - object storage, file storage, and block storage. This post focuses on object storage. To get more details about their differences, this post - Object Storage vs Block Storage vs File Storage – Differences is what you need.

What Is Object Storage?

What is object storage? Object storage is a data storage architecture for storing large amounts of unstructured data. It designates each piece of data as an object, keeps it in a separate repository, and bundles it with metadata and a unique identifier for easy access and retrieval.

Object storage offers unlimited scale because, unlike the addressing hierarchy used by traditional file storage, object-based storage employs a flat-file system with no built-in limitations. As such, it is capable of holding large amounts of unstructured data such as audio, video, emails, health records, and documents.

Unlimited scale is why object storage is cloud storage. All major public cloud services, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, use object storage as their primary storage. To get more information about cloud services, you can go to the MiniTool official website.

What Is Object Used for?

What is object storage used for? Here are some common use cases.

Cloud-Native Applications

Use Google Cloud Object Storage as a persistent data store for building or migrating to cloud-native applications.

Big Data Analysis

Store large amounts of any data type. Query this data to perform big data analysis and gain valuable insights into customers, operations or markets.

Internet of Things

Efficiently and cost-effectively manage machine-to-machine data while enabling artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to make sense of this data.

Rich Media Storage and Delivery

Reduce the cost of storing and globally distributing rich media such as music, video, and images.

Backup and Archive

Reduce backup and archive costs while still retaining instant access to all data. Maybe you are interested in this post - What’s Data Archiving & What’s Difference Between It and Backup.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Object Storage

What are the advantages and disadvantages of object storage? The details are as follows:

Advantages:

  • Scalability: A flat architecture unaffected by folder hierarchies or block tables provides near-infinite scalability.
  • On-demand data: Hyperscale object storage solutions like AWS S3 make it easier to pay only for the storage capacity you use. With unlimited scalability, your data storage can grow with your organization.
  • Metadata-driven data analysis: Metadata gives you unprecedented control over the data in your system.
  • API support: You can access and manage data in the object storage system through REST commands.
  • Improve data integrity: Object storage systems can utilize erasure coding to protect data integrity by rebuilding data blocks and performing integrity checks to prevent corruption.

Disadvantages:

No single storage architecture, including object storage, can meet all types of storage needs. Some potential disadvantages of object storage include:

  • Slow data access: Traditional cheap and deep object storage architectures run into performance bottlenecks when reading and writing to storage pools quickly. However, modern fast object stores offer improved performance.
  • All-or-nothing modification: Compared to block and file storage, fast editing of object data is not easy and cannot be done piecemeal. If part of an object needs to be modified, the entire object needs to be rewritten.
  • Difficulty with write-intensive workloads: Object storage is not suitable for transactional workloads or high-speed logging systems because it takes longer to modify or write to object storage than block or file storage.

Final Words

What is object storage? What is object storage used for? What are the advantages and disadvantages of object storage? What are the types of storage? You can find the answers in the above content.

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