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:
- Improved productivity with data portability between various protocols (S3, SCSP, HTTP and HDFS)
- 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)
- Lowered Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of data storage and distribution at scale (scale up/scale out on commodity infrastructure)
- Protection for your data (check out this whitepaper to learn more Protecting Data with Object Storage)
What Storage Architectures are Available Today?
As we discussed in our Back To Basics Blog: What is Object Storage?, there are three storage technologies available in the market today:
- Object Storage
- File Storage
- 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).
How do the Capabilities of SAN, NAS, Object Storage and Tape Differ?
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 Storage Instead of SAN, NAS or Tape?
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 you 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 Else 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.
Ready to Migrate Data to Object Storage?
In our work at Caringo, we’ve helped hundreds of organizations successfully implement object-based storage, busting through storage silos and eliminating what our 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, contact us today.
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