Object storage should be a compelling alternative to traditional enterprise network attached storage systems. However its adoption is slow. Most enterprises just continue to expand NAS infrastructures despite the fact object storage is a better fit for unstructured data storage requirements.
What Enterprises Need
Most enterprises are not cloud providers, the enterprise’s requirements for unstructured data storage are different. They need to store a variety of unstructured data storage types, including user productivity files, image data like PDF and JPG, rich media data like video and audio files as well as data to be processed, generated from machines or devices. In reality they can’t replace existing NAS architecture as they continue to have a need for high performance access to unstructured data in addition to low access archive functions.
Object Storage vs. The Enterprise
There is little doubt object storage can meet most if not all of the unstructured data storage needs, but it may not always be the best choice. There are times where a NFS/SMB NAS will provide better performance than object storage and while most object storage systems provide a form of NAS gateway there are times where the “real thing” is better.
The other challenge most enterprises face when considering object storage is the size of the initial investment. Most object storage vendors commonly state that unless you have a couple hundred TB’s of data, you are too small for them.
There are times, of course, where object storage is a much better choice, especially when it comes to the long term storage and preservation of data. Object is also, typically, well suited for as a storage platform for modern applications like Hadoop, Splunk, Spark, Cassandra, etc…
The Key to Object Storage Success in the Enterprise
The reality is most enterprises can justify an investment in a NAS as the initial front end for unstructured data and then a large object storage back end. They also already have a front-end investment (or 2…or 3…or a dozen) but it may just need a performance boost. Administrators are probably also looking to move some data to a cloud provider in order to process data there or for long term data storage.
The enterprise could can also leverage the on-premises object storage system to offload data from the NAS when data no longer needs NAS performance. It is also possible to leverage the object storage system for backup data as well as be the primary storage point for user data and some of the above mentioned modern apps.
The Enterprise Needs More than a Gateway
There are gateway appliances are available to connect a NAS storage system to an object storage system, but the enterprise needs more. It needs a solution that can accelerate existing NAS performance, consolidate the management of those NAS systems (as well as any new object storage systems) and then provide an interface to cloud providers as necessary.
In tomorrow’s live webinar, “Sizing Up Object Storage for the Enterprise“, Storage Switzerland will discuss why enterprises should consider object storage and more importantly how they can make object storage work within their existing infrastructure. Then, Avere Systems will discuss their new turnkey object storage system that starts small, grows large and integrates existing NAS resources while leveraging the cloud.