Following my participation in the recent DDN “What’s Happening with Object Storage” Webinar with 451 Vice President of Research Simon Robinson, a key point that stands out in my mind beckons for a deeper conversation: many people are still unclear about how object storage is different.
While talking about the market adoption of object storage, Simon put forth that object storage has experienced a relatively slow rate of adoption among traditional IT organizations. One contributing factor is the perception that object storage is simply another storage solution like NAS, and that it comes with similar complexity and corresponding cost of administration.
I can understand a general lack of enthusiasm by IT given the above assumptions, but I think it’s really a case of mistaken identity. IT organizations understand what they are familiar with, and like many of us make assumptions about a new product or technology based on previous experience.
In the case of object storage, this thinking simply can’t be applied. Object storage is a truly different paradigm unlike any other storage solution, so understanding it may take just enough effort to be inquisitive and open to the consideration of a new approach to storage.
While I have you here, let me take a few more minutes of your time and outline some of the key differentiators that separate DDN’s WOS object storage from traditional NAS:
- WOS requires the lowest possible level of storage administration—there’s no provisioning of storage, no virtual volumes, no data migration and no load balancing. In fact, customers today are managing over 20 petabytes of WOS with just one full time employee.
- WOS is policy-driven and with only five simple criteria to define a storage policy (policy name, data protection method, replication method and data locations). Once defined, policies are simply associated with NAS mount points, S3 buckets, Swift containers or at the object level depending on your implementation and access option choice.
- WOS deliver 99% usable storage capacity, which is approximately 20 to 25% better than NAS. Additionally, capacity is added at the system level and used according to the defined policies.
- Data mobility and content distribution, unlike file systems, is a fundamental capability of WOS and is enabled at the policy level using data location criteria.
- True scale-out architecture: performance, capacity and number of objects supported scale linearly as WOS nodes are added to the cluster. Clusters scale from 1 to 256 WOS nodes, beyond an Exabyte of capacity and 32 Trillion objects, so scale will never be an issue.
- WOS integrates into existing environments with support for NFS/CIFS file access and enables a seamless transition to cloud enabled applications with native S3 and Swift compatible interfaces.
All considered then, these differences help make object storage, and specifically WOS worth the effort and consideration to make a change. It seems as though many from the audience members during the webinar would agree. Check it out for yourself…