What is object storage?

Object storage, as defined by Amazon Web Services (AWS), is a technology that stores and manages data in an unstructured format called objects. Modern organizations create and analyze large volumes of unstructured data such as photos, videos, email, web pages, sensor data, and audio files. method of technology storage differs from hierarchical or tiered storage, and results in a flat data architecture where users can retrieve and analyze any object in the network, regardless of the file type, based on its properties and function. Harrison Saunders, editorial intern for Silverlinings –  the Information for cloud network architects platform – stresses object storage’s importance to the modern business workplace. Modern businesses, Saunders explains, generate and analyze massive amounts of unstructured data, including photos, videos, emails, web pages, sensor data, audio files, and other types of digital content that do not fit easily into traditional databases. As businesses grow and expand, they have to oversee rapidly expanding but isolated pools of data from various sources that are used by a wide range of applications, business processes, and end users. Saunders further shares that object-based storage has become the preferred method for storing static content, data archives and backups due to its scale-out capabilities, meaning few scalability limitations when compared to traditional file or block-based storage. Additionally, object storage improves data durability and resiliency by storing objects across multiple devices, systems and even data centers and regions. Being on the cloud, object storage also allows data to be accessed from anywhere. However, there is one drawback of object storage that Saunders points out. Object storage isn’t meant for transactional data because it wasn’t made to take the place of network-attached storage (NAS) for file access and sharing. It also doesn’t support the locking and sharing features that are required to keep a single, up-to-date version of a file. Moreover, Saunders notes that according to AWS, customers use object storage for a wide range of applications. Saunders explains that common usage scenarios include analytics, data lake storage, cloud-native application data, data archiving, rich media, backup and recovery, and machine learning to name a few.


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