This article focuses on several issues:
- What is the difference between block storage and object storage?
- What are the benefits of block storage?
- Cloud computing with the Open Telekom Cloud?
Just a few years ago, people normally stored data on local hard drives. However, the spread of networks connecting every walk of life and the breakneck speed of cloud computing's rise have meant that conventional storage systems are being eclipsed by modern solutions. More and more companies are shifting their IT to the cloud (54% of firms in Germany already use cloud services) and local storage options are coming under increasing pressure as a result of big data, so it's clear that new solutions are needed. Today, we no longer think in terms of gigabytes – instead, data is stored in huge quantities that can only be measured in terabytes or even petabytes. Object storage is a relatively young form of technology that adds further impetus to this rapid shift. But what is it exactly?
Block storage vs. object storage
Traditionally, data was saved in block form. This approach is still in widespread use, for example on our computers at home and in many office computers as well. Data is broken up into separate blocks, and these are then transferred to the storage medium. This procedure is used for application data as well as for the bits and bytes that make up an operating system. While block storage has its good points – it is extremely reliable and performs well – it nevertheless has one major downside: Users eventually run out of road when handling large quantities of data.
Anyone who wants to work with higher volumes, i.e. in the terabyte or petabyte region, would do well to look into object storage options. This relatively new type of technology no longer manages data in individual blocks but in objects. Its selling point: Object storage solutions don't need file systems or data blocks. Instead of working with traditional directory structures, the new approach uses what are known as "buckets" into which conventional files, the "objects", are parked like cars in a garage. Data versioning makes it incredibly easy to restore any elements that might get deleted by mistake. Using a unique ID, it is also possible to quickly identify just where items of data are stored even if they are deposited at different storage centers. These features see object storage eliminate the drawbacks of conventional storage technology.
Object storage – value for money and high-performance
Object storage makes it possible, then, to spread data between different computer centers independently of operating systems but at the same time bundle this data by using APIs or web interfaces. This way, object storage opens the door to the petabyte era. The data volumes permitted by the cloud can exceed the capacities of conventional, local storage solutions by a considerable margin. Purely physical storage limitations are a thing of the past. Now, object storage sees to it that personal storage requirements can be scaled to match a given situation. Resources can be augmented as needed without leading to a drop in performance. Speaking of performance, it is true that object storage is a fraction slower than block storage, but this is scarcely perceptible in day-to-day situations. Classic data storage via blocks remains the better choice only if the application in question requires an extremely low latency period. When it comes to applications in the fields of social media, filesharing, and backup solutions, object-based storage will continue to gain ground due to the never-ending increase in data volumes. Companies can adjust their storage capacities to suit their precise needs in an ad hoc but focused manner, enabling them to restructure their IT expenditure in a similarly targeted way. Cloud solutions are often cheaper and more convenient for companies as it is possible to scale back expenses for maintaining an in-house IT unit.
Dawn of the petabyte era, brought to you by the Telekom Open Cloud
The Open Telekom Cloud is our offering to companies that want a straightforward and simple solution starting out in the world of cloud computing. Our Public Cloud transfers data to high-security Telekom computer centers in Germany and includes object storage as an option. Individual files can be up to 50 TB in size, something that was inconceivable just a few years ago. Our cloud services are second to none in terms of their near-100% data consistency, outstanding availability, and case-by-case scalability without performance losses. Object storage with a capacity of 1 TB per month (1024 GB) is available for just 28.51 euros a month, plus 34.82 euros for an assumed object storage traffic rate of 512 GB. Use our price calculator to generate a quick estimate of the costs generated by your particular use case. If you would like to see if object storage suits your specific needs, simply contact us for a personal meeting. We would be delighted to hear from you.
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