Unstructured data is also called dark data, and it’s the content an organization has that isn’t organized in a defined way or used for beneficial reasons. There’s been an increasing focus on making it usable in ways that aren’t too time-consuming because companies realize unstructured data could have value they’re ignoring.
Object storage investment is an emerging trend in the unstructured data sector. Pioneered by brands including Google and Amazon, dark data could be instrumental in finally bringing logic to previously unstructured data.
How does object storage differ from SAN and NAS?
Before object storage’s rise in popularity, it was common to use a storage area network (SAN) or network attached storage (NAS) to handle data repositories. A SAN typically uses a fiber-channel cable to connect various storage devices, enabling data sharing.
It also accesses blocks of content. People who regularly work with data depend on a SAN for applications requiring high-speed transfers of terabytes worth of information.
In contrast, a NAS connects to a local area network, often through an Ethernet cable. It then manages files similarly to traditional file servers and frequently has a dedicated operating system and a browser-based tool for file management. Instead of accessing material in blocks, a NAS retrieves files.
Object storage is substantially different from SAN or NAS because it stores data in a non-hierarchical way. Since all data resides at the same level within the system, there is no need for directory trees. Instead, each piece of data has a unique name, which is a global identifier specialty applications use to find it. Some content in an object storage system also has customizable metadata retrieved along with a file itself.
A practical solution for cost-effective, always-available file access
Although object storage may not be best for frequently modified files, it’s ideal for unstructured data. Object storage relies on a cloud-based system. People have wondered whether the future’s most productive devices could be wholly dependent on cloud-based technologies.
Productivity is a substantial reason why companies are investing in object storage methods for their unstructured data needs, in addition to appreciating object storage as a cloud-native option and enterprises like the scalability and money-saving possibilities it offers.
A Louisiana law enforcement agency reportedly cut costs by more than 50 percent by using an object storage system to store video footage from body cameras worn by its officers. It also set up its system quickly and handled some management processes in the cloud, which reduced the on-site footprint.
As you can imagine, scalability was almost certainly a concern, given the amount of data likely added by the day. The way object storage can scale up rapidly to accommodate thousands of petabytes is another reason businesses see such a system as a smart investment. The previously mentioned ability to add metadata material is a way clients could work with enormous quantities of unstructured data without compromising output.
Moreover, companies that offer object storage as a service bring up how their products make it possible for users to access files when needed through a web-based portal or by using mobile devices.
Object storage solutions cater to security needs, as well. Recently, TMD and Hitachi teamed up and created a platform suited to large quantities of unstructured data, such as video and log files. It offers advanced encryption capabilities to protect sensitive materials and only allow access by authorized parties.
These are some of the reasons the prospect of object storage investing grabbed the attention of businesses worldwide, particularly those that have lots of unstructured data. Experts know identifying unstructured data and what it contains could support business operations and insights. Object data storage potentially facilitates the logistics of those goals.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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