Evaluator Group’s Object Storage Evaluation Guide is part of a series of guides designed to help IT professionals evaluate storage technology alternatives. This Evaluation Guide and the accompanying workbook are designed to assist potential buyers understand the options and products available and to help match requirements to the available technology choices.
What sets Evaluator Group’s Evaluation Guide series apart from other analyst firm, vendor sponsored whitepapers is the lack of vendor bias. Our Evaluation Guides are not sponsored by vendors and are written for IT managers seeking a vendor neutral discussion of the design considerations behind new products, technologies, and trends.
Although object storage is not a new concept, the environment for storing and managing information has changed. This has brought new interest in the technology and a further evolution to what is now characterized as a second generation of object storage. Popular industry-speak refers to this as Object Storage 2.0 with various relative measures used to define the differences from the first generation. The most significant aspect is interest coming from changes in the industry, which is driving investment from companies in developing and delivering object storage systems and software to market. A complete discussion of the Impact of Object Storage is available on the Evaluator Group website.
Object storage, or the other commonly used term object-based storage, must still reliably and accurately store and retrieve data like other storage technologies. Object storage does this with different characteristics around the access method and features of the storage system. The storage system can be a physical system with custom embedded software (firmware) executing to perform the functions or could be custom software executing on standard servers to act as an object storage system.
The primary use case of storing large amounts of data in cloud-based repositories causes object storage to be associated with cloud systems and providers. This association is accurate but object storage is applicable in other areas and is independent of whether information is in a cloud service provider or on the premises in Information Technology environments. Many descriptions of object storage start with the characteristics of how object storage manages information. The motivations behind use of cloud storage can be seen from those characteristics as solving problems not addressed effectively by other means. Despite the illustration of specific problems solved, the larger view of why object storage has risen beyond an interesting niche to a major category with significant research and development investment is the starting point for gaining insight into object storage.