Maybe it’s the lousy name, but object storage just doesn’t get any respect. Analysts are starting to talk about it more, but always with a cautionary tone. Andrew Reichman of Forrester talks about object storage’s interesting, but limited, Enterprise use cases. The Register says, “It needs to progress beyond cheap and deep.” And so forth.
Let’s look at it a bit differently.
What kind of storage does the average person interact with most on a daily basis? Any guesses? The truth is that object storage already dominates much of our days – and we didn’t even notice it.
Let’s walk through an average day in the life:
Shower, shave, eat breakfast
Drive to work with Pandora playing – Gluster
Check messages again
Drive home, have dinner
Check messages one last time
Read a book on Apple iPad until you fall asleep – Apple iCloud
Yes, there are other forms of storage necessary to run the databases and web servers. A majority of the object storage I’ve mentioned is also hosted in the public cloud. But in terms of daily interactions, object storage is already a close second to the local storage that is on whatever device you’re using.
Why did this happen? Because object storage just works. It scales to many billions of objects in a single system. It’s accessible anywhere. It requires very little management to maintain or grow. With the relentless reduction of cost per capacity, it can easily and cost-effectively offer data availability and resiliency through copies of objects or more sophisticated “network RAID.” It’s not a panacea, but the cautionary tone needs to go away. We’re already using it every day.
– Leo (@lleung)