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How to Migrate to Object Storage from SAN, NAS and Tape Storage

How do you move your data from Tape, NAS and SAN to Object-based Storage? Industry professionals give insight to hundreds of success stories


With the rise of object-based storage software solutions, you’re likely familiar with the many benefits of integrating this latest technology into your data storage infrastructure.

What are the Benefits of Object Storage?

Of course, different object storage solutions vary in their capabilities and methodology. Frequently, you will see the following benefits with a best-of-breed solution:

  1. Improved productivity with data portability between various protocols (S3, SCSP, HTTP and HDFS)
  2. Expanded search capabilities using the power of metadata to query & list based on file & object characteristics (watch Using Metadata with Object Storage webinar to learn more)
  3. Lowered Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of data storage and distribution at scale (scale up/scale out on commodity infrastructure)
  4. Protection for your data (check out this whitepaper to learn more Protecting Data with Object Storage)

What Storage Architectures are Available Today?

As discussed in the back to basics blog, there are three data storage technologies available in the market today:

  1. Object Storage
  2. File Storage
  3. Block Storage

File and block are the most common data storage methodologies and are used by traditional storage technologies such as tape storage, storage area networks (SANs) and network attached storage (NAS).


What are the Differences Between SAN, NAS, Tape and Object Storage?

Beyond the technology differences in how SAN, NAS, Object Storage and Tape architectures are designed and function, there are a number of distinguishing capabilities that vary widely. This chart details some of the most critical aspects to consider as you determine how to architect your data storage:


When Should I use Object-based Storage over SAN, NAS or Tape Storage?

The chart below illustrates what type of storage is recommended for various use cases. For example, if you are running a highly transactional workload, you will want to use SAN or NAS as your primary (or “tier 1”) storage. However, if you must retain data for legal purposes but do not expect to need to access it again, a cold archive of object storage or tape is appropriate:


How do I Migrate to Object Storage from Traditional Storage?

Even with these benefits and many more, the necessary work to migrate data from traditional storage area networks (SANs) and network attached storage (NAS) to object storage can seem overwhelming. So, what are the options for migrating to object storage?

  • Direct Integration: This is used for applications that are designed with a RESTful API to use object storage. It’s ideal for proprietary or home-grown applications as they extract the maximum performance and functionality of the object storage solution. This requires on-going development resources and generally uses S3 as the API of choice.
  • Data Manager (archive, backup, asset managers and gateways): This is usually easy to deploy. Considerations include protocol or OS support, namespace, metadata control and, of course, cost.
  • Manual Migration (rsync, cron job, copy & delete): You can use commands to orchestrate manual migration of data and it is typically low cost. This method is ideal when decommissioning old infrastructure and apps. It can also be used as part of a scripted backup process. Considerations include migration validation and error correction.
  • Professional Services: You can always call in a team of professionals for your migration project. While engaging with experts is the most costly, it is also often the most effective. Professional Services are recommended when you need to quickly move away from a proprietary technology.

What Should I Consider Before Migrating to Object Storage?

You will always want to think about the individual requirements for your data store, particularly bandwidth, authentication & authorization, as well as the your ongoing costs, management and maintenance.


How do I get Started to Migrate Data to Object Storage?

Object-based storage vendors like Caringo, help hundreds of organizations successfully implement object storage, busting through storage silos and eliminating what their Director of Product Eric Dey refers to as “the tyranny of file systems.” If you have questions or would like to schedule a custom demo, try swarm today.

John Bell
John Bell

About The Author

John Bell has been with Caringo for 7 years and is our Senior Consultant on the design, implementation and management of object storage. John has worked with many of our largest customers to transform their storage infrastructure with highly efficient and cost-effective object storage solutions. John has a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in Computer Science from Indiana State University.

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