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Object Storage: Refining and Protecting Data

For large, unstructured data stores, S3-compatible object storage helps you eliminate storage silos and extract value from data.


“Data is the new oil.”
—Clive Humby, Mathematician

Businesses lose billions of dollars a year to IT downtime, and the actual loss of digital files and data can be even more disastrous. Today’s business models—across all types of verticals and use cases—are all in some way powered by data. Take the breadth of data that we are collecting. Then, combine that with the multiple formats we store data in. Add to that equation the plethora of storage technologies that have been in use over the past century. Got the picture? Yeah, it’s a bit messy.

How Do You Refine Data?

Much like crude oil, raw data isn’t necessarily useful. So, just how do you refine your data stores? Much like oil, data needs to go to a refinery. So, the first step is to contain data in a store that gives you the functionality you need. Depending on the type of data and the amount of data, there are many storage technology options you can choose from. However, if you have a large amount of data, particularly unstructured data, the best data refinery for you is likely going to be some type of S3-compatible object storage solution. I recommend you watch our Tech Tuesday webinar: What Your Storage Vendor Isn’t Telling You About S3 to hear what you should ask potential storage vendors.

Why Pool Data in an Object Storage Solution?

eliminate storage silosOne of the fundamental benefits of using an object storage technology is that you can pool massive amounts of data into one repository, thus eliminating the archaic “data silos” that many organizations still struggle with.

Once you have pooled that data, you open up all sorts of possibilities. You can start to extract value from your assets and business intelligence from your conglomeration of data.

How Does Object Storage Work?

If object storage is the refinery, how does it store, protect and manage data? If you want to refresh your memory about how object storage is different from other types of storage (e.g., block and file), watch our Back-to-Basics Webinar or read our Back-to-Basics blog. You may also want to check out the Storage Switzerland eBook: NAS vs. Object—Which is Best for Your Data Center?

Object Storage Protects Assets and Data

In last week’s blog, I mentioned the footage of Elton John that was used in the pre-show to the rock biopic Rocketman. This week, The New York Times reported that decades of Universal Music Group treasures burned in 2008 with casualties including original recordings from stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Elton and Nirvana. What could have been done to prevent this catastrophic loss?Protect-Data-Graphic

Data protection is a core function of Swarm object storage. Swarm leverages cluster resources to protect data all the way from bit errors to natural disasters. While many storage vendors tell you that data loss in storage systems is completely avoidable, the truth is that it is right up there with death and taxes.

However, by selecting the appropriate storage system for your assets and data and applying appropriate parameters, you can minimize the probability of data loss. To understand how Caringo Swarm protects data, read these whitepapers:

Metadata enables the refinement of data

Metadata, that is, data about the data, enables endless possibilities to unlock information and identify trends that can transform your business. In Caringo Swarm, our metadata is directly stored with the object. Learn more about metadata by watching our Tech Tuesday webinar or reading the summary.

Elasticsearch lets you search metadata

Elasticsearch is a distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine that, when used with object storage, enhances metadata searching operations. Each Search Feed indexes metadata in Elasticsearch. In Swarm, Search capabilities map one to one with S3 metadata. This brings a number of benefits such as:

  • The ability to derive actionable insight from targeted analysis
  • Dynamic organization of content using classification, key words and descriptive content, with multiple ways to track that content
  • Integrated search stack optimized within the storage system

Watch our July 2019 Tech Tuesday webinar live or on demand after the event to learn more about Elasticsearch.

UI, Content Portal and Visualization Tools

Swarm Object Storage UIWhen it comes to managing all of that data, you need the right tools for the job. Over the years, we’ve worked to make that task simpler and more efficient. To learn more, check out these three Tech Tuesday webinars:


With different types of businesses and organizations, the requirements for storage and the appropriate strategy vary. Carefully architecting your solution and doing a proof of concept to ensure compatibility with your existing systems is an important step as you investigate new technologies and solutions. If you have questions, I’d like to offer you the option to do what I do: talk to our experienced Object Storage experts. Just contact us and we will be happy to answer your questions or set up a customized demo for you.

Sarah Cook
Sarah Cook

About The Author

Sarah Cook is Caringo's Director of Marketing and brings deep expertise in Product Marketing and Technical/Marketing/Corporate Communications. Sarah has worked for some of the biggest names in technology including Dell and Cisco and holds a B.A. in English Composition with a minor in Music from the University of North Texas. She sings with and serves on the Board of Directors for Panoramic Voices, a 501(c)3 choral collaborative in Austin, TX.

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