Block, File and Object Storage Compared

It's not uncommon to adopt the wrong technology just because you don't know all the alternatives. A comparison of the storage technologies available today.
Enrico Signoretti
Enrico Signoretti
Former Strategist at OpenIO
@esignoretti
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If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail

It's not uncommon to find end users adopting the wrong technology for new projects just because they don't know there are better alternatives. And even though I could agree that, in some cases, it is less expensive to stick with what you already know instead of changing applications or investing in new skills, a new mindset can sometimes lead to better efficiency and greater savings very quickly.

The right tool for the right job

How to choose the right storage technology
Storage technologies available today: block, file and object storage comparison table.

The most important part of the table not scalability (object storage is usually considered the most scalable of the storage systems) or performance, but protocols and the data/access ratio.

If you are accessing data only locally, in a data center, on a single server, object storage doesn't make much sense. But if data is accessed from everywhere, by many devices at the same time, and via HTTP protocols, delivering it through a web server installed in a VM accessing an all-flash array doesn't make sense at all. Does it?

This is an important concept for us at OpenIO. Not all storage infrastructures are at the petabyte scale, but more and more data needs to be accessed from everywhere. And this is why OpenIO can start out very small, with a minimal, cost-effective, 3-node cluster, and grow from there.

Scalability and multi-tenancy come next. Let me share a second slide here, which highlights the fact that object storage is the best platform to consolidate all data and non latency-sensitive workloads. By doing, so your organization can get the best $/GB in the market, and save money by offloading other storage systems from secondary data, improving overall efficiency and TCO.

Storage Infrastructure vs Storage System
Storage Infrastructure vs Storage System. Multiple workloads and data consolidation.

Once again, we think OpenIO stands out from the crowd because of its flexibility, allowing end users to expand the cluster very quickly with heterogeneous hardware and without the need for resource rebalancing, thanks to our ConsciousGrid technology.

Takeaways

In the past, object storage was a technology available only to end users with multi-PB installations (at least for the majority of our competitors). Things have changed, and while object storage still remains the best option for large infrastructures, it’s also worth considering for small deployments aimed at serving all non latency-sensitive applications, and for data that need to be accessed from everywhere.

The size of the infrastructure is no longer a discriminator, that it's why we think "It's time for object storage!"

Want to know more?

OpenIO is available for testing .

Stay in touch with us and our community through Twitter and our Slack community channel to receive the latest info, support, and to chat with other users.

Enrico Signoretti
Enrico Signoretti
Former Strategist at OpenIO
@esignoretti
Share
Enrico is an experienced IT professional and internationally renowned author/speaker on storage technologies. In 2017-2018 he has been Product Strategist at OpenIO, today he continues to envision changes in the storage industry as a GigaOm Research Analyst. Enrico enjoys traveling, meeting people and eating "gelato". He is also a fond sailor, kite surfer, and a lazy runner.
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