Friday, October 25, 2013


Object Storage - not sure if it's only me but I seem to see a lot of buzz, hype and news around this topic in the past couple months!
So I've started to track some news sites and have compiled some material I want to share with you. To start off, here's a great and very brief summary on what Object Storage actually is and how it's different from file systems: "Instead of organizing files in a directory hierarchy, object storage systems store files in a flat organization of containers (called "buckets" in Amazon S3) and use unique IDs (called "keys" in S3) to retrieve them."
Read the details here. (thanks to my friend John Sing to provide that link!)
There is also some additional details and diagrams on the OpenStack site here.
Now, object storage will most likely be cloud-based storage and two companies have announced two very different products and approaches to actually store objects: In the case of Seagate (disk drives) they propose a new type of hard disk to directly connect "to the cloud":
"Seagate is building hard disk drives with a direct Ethernet interface and object-style API access for scalable object stores, a plan which - if it works - would destroy much of the existing, typical storage stack. Drives would become native key/value stores that manage their own space mapping with accessing applications simply dealing at the object level with gets and puts instead of using file abstractions."

In the case of SpectraLogic (tape libraries) they promote low-cost tape storage as the foundation for object clouds: "Spectra’s Deep Storage story opens with a new RESTful object storage API that Spectra’s dubbed DS3, for Deep Simple Storage Service. DS3 is an extension of the Amazon S3 API that’s becoming a standard for not just cloud storage services but also on-premise data center object storage systems. The object API allows organizations to take advantage of the low cost, and power consumption, of tape and still have their data available to applications written by mere mortals."

Eventually, they both make sense but I think adding a low-cost (and automatic) tape tier makes lots of sense for objects - which tend to be inactive of nature and clients will probably prefer lower costs over split-second retrieve times?!

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