Next-generation object storage may change enterprise architectures by enabling multiple access points in addition to cost-effective storage and scalability – quite a proposition for dealing with unstructured data in the age of changing e-discovery practices and ever-growing data.
Object storage uses a flat architecture that stores data in containers or ‘objects,’ which carry metadata with detailed content information enabling quick search and access from multiple locations. Data may be spread across different storage pools, such as on- or off-premises cloud and hybrid storage, with high scalability and fast rebuild time without a single point of failure.
A recently published 451 Research report, ‘How amending the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure can change e-discovery’ (client login required), discusses how the e-discovery space may be changing as new amendments are being considered. Object storage has been traditionally used in e-discovery and compliance. Next-generation object storage offered by companies like Nexenta Systems, Caringo and Scality focuses on new uses. The uses include scale-out storage, big content and cloud storage. This next generation of object storage with scale-out focus enables support for unstructured data, backup, disaster recovery and archiving.
Enterprises have different incumbent and newer vendor options available when it comes to object storage solutions. EMC, predominantly through its Centera offering, has the highest number of respondent selections for in-use implementations, followed by HDS, which has more than nine times less use cases among large and midsize enterprises under its belt. The technology is currently implemented at 24% of enterprises, and a further 7% have near-term and long-term project plans. Going forward, rapid capacity growth, cited by 45% of enterprises as a top pain point in the Wave 17 Storage Study, coupled with new potential e-discovery pressures and more widespread cloud adoption, may start to catalyze more enterprises to embrace both legacy and the next generation of object storage.
TheInfoPro’s commentator network provided these anecdotes on object storage and on growing data volume:
- “We have been doing our own private cloud, introducing object storage.” – LE, Financial Services
- “Looking at object-based storage in remote offices – the idea you can have a caching mechanism without a huge footprint is very appealing.” – LE, Services: Business/Accounting/Engineering
- “HDS’ object-based storage is something we’re also interested in.” – LE, Services: Business/Accounting/Engineering
- “Storage savings study. Our footprint just keeps getting bigger. For a while it was steady – 1PB for four storage admins a few years ago. Then 4PB; just in the last year we’ve jumped from four to six and a half. Facilities costs are going through roof.” – LE, Consumer Goods/Retail