I was recently at the SVG (Sports Video Group) Content Management Summit in New York City where our CEO Tony Barbagallo was on a panel titled Object Storage for M&E: Making it Work for Broadcasters On-Prem and in the Cloud. Right before the panel started, one of the attendees asked the person sitting next to him, “What is object storage?” The first person who answered worked for a large file transfer company. He defined object storage as a type of storage target that a data manager can write to. Once he finished, I interjected with a brief description of the technical differences between file, block and object storage.
What is Object Storage?
After seeing the expression on the face of the attendee who originally asked the question, I realized that I had also missed the mark. So, I launched into explaining object storage using the popular analogy of a valet parking system. In this analogy, the content is your car and all you need is the ticket to retrieve that content. While that explanation resonated with him, there was still clearly a disconnect between the technical aspect of easily retrieving a file and the benefits of using object storage.
Perspective is Everything
Three things became obvious:
- Whoever is defining a technology will do so from their own perspective.
- The person looking for the definition will process the definition based on their own experiences.
- We need a way to describe the actual benefit of object storage to the end user.
Armed with these revelations, it became clear that I needed to come up with a new analogy for object storage that explained the benefits of the technology from the end-users’ perspective (e.g., a subscriber of a video streaming service or a viewer of sports video), rather than from the perspective of a Storage Infrastructure Manager or IT Executive.
Pure Object Storage Delivers Access and Agility
In my quest to come up with a new analogy to illustrate the benefits of using object storage, I thought about the process of packing for a trip. For people who travel extensively, luggage can become an obsession and packing an art. After all, the success of your trip depends on having the right items with you, just as the success of your business endeavor relies on being able to access or stream content rapidly.
There are a number of tricks to packing quickly and efficiently as you need to grab the correct items for each trip. After all, what is a beach getaway without casual clothes, swimsuit, sunscreen and comfortable footwear? Or a business trip without proper attire and grooming products?
Think of your suitcase as the video you plan to view, whether it is from a PC, mobile device or connected to a device such as Roku, Fire TV Stick or Apple TV). The combination of the items in your suitcase are like the bits of data needed to display a video file. With object storage, your suitcase is always packed and flight ready, so your video is instantly available for delivery over the web.
How Does Object Storage Compare to File Storage?
Whereas object storage resembles a pre-packed, flight-ready suitcase, file storage requires that a suitcase be packed every time that video is requested.
Imagine that the items you need to pack in your suitcase are strewn around your house and you must go fetch each and every one prior to packing. This is similar to how file storage works. With file storage, the bits and pieces you need for the video are spread across a storage device, and they must first be assembled. Then, the assembled file needs to be sent to a web server to deliver over the web.
Object Storage Accelerating Archive Access and Agility
Streamlined video access is just one of the many benefits of pure object storage that we have been working on for over a decade. And we are not done. On September 10 we will be launching Swarm 11, which is focused on accelerating archive access and agility. Our partners and customers can request a preview before launch. To do so, just reach out to your Caringo Representative. If you are not an existing customer or partner, make sure to sign up for our monthly Caringo Buzz newsletter and we will send you an invitation to one of our upcoming launch webinars.