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Leverage object-based storage to store petabytes of data efficiently

Got more and more data to store? If you are challenged with an ever-growing mountain of content, say 100 TB up to petabytes, which increases but doesn’t get edited often, object-based storage is the most cost-effective and robust way to go. Here’s how to leverage object-based storage.

Traditional data storage developed out of the way humans interact with paper storage. Individual printed sheets are bound into books or put into paper file folders, which are placed in drawers, in file cabinets, in rooms. To find a particular item, you need to understand how it was classified and then locate it. Object-based storage systems are not bound by these human-made conventions. Data are stored wherever there is room, and may be parsed up into convenient bits and encrypted beforehand. When data need to be read, they are fetched, decrypted, and reassembled just before its delivery to you. (Think “Beam me up, Scotty!”) Metadata stored along with the data makes this all possible. The parsing (dispersed storage technology) actually adds to the data’s stability. Object-based systems tout 100% uptime.

Object-based storage has been likened to a valet parking system by industry analyst firm Forrester Research. You receive a claim ticket which you can use to retrieve your car. The valet service meanwhile may triple-park your car to deal with an overflow of cars, or park it down the street. As long as you get your car back in good shape when you want it, you usually don’t care if it was parked next to other cars of the same make, model, or vintage, or even whether it was parked within the lines.

Photos, videos, medical images, and sensor stream data which make up much of the explosive data growth organizations are seeing these days are ideal candidates for storage on object-based systems. These types of data are created and stored but they don’t get edited. Object-based storage solutions can save up to 80% total cost of ownership compared with traditional systems. One option is Cleversafe, which was acquired in October 2015. It has been added as an option in IBM’s Softlayer cloud portfolio. The software can be deployed as an on-premises appliance for private clouds. It deploys on x86 servers and works with IBM Spectrum Protect and other third-party solutions for backup.

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