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On-Premises Enterprise Storage Systems
Before selecting an on-premises storage system, know the difference between object and file storage, the use cases for each, and when they can be used together.
Cloud storage is on everyone’s mind these days, as the promise of lower cost and improved flexibility is desirable. However, there are many reasons to keep your data on-premises. Benefits include having full control over where the data is stored, experiencing improved performance, securing your data behind your firewall, and more.
There are two primary classes of on-premises data storage: object and file. Determining which one is right for you is highly dependent on the kind of data that your organization stores.
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What Is File Storage?
File storage has been around for a long time, and it is the file type that most users recognize. Once files are named and put into folders, those folders are then organized in a hierarchy to make locating a file easier with directories and subdirectories. Files have a set of limited metadata that helps identify them, including the file name, file owner, creation date, and date last modified.
File storage works well for smaller files and file systems, but it begins to suffer when the data grows. With file systems, users have to know where the file is located or perform a search function that has to go by limited metadata. File systems have a hard time with the recent influx of unstructured data.
What Is Object Storage?
Object storage works a little differently. Your data is grouped with the metadata information and a unique identifier. While file storage has limited metadata information, object storage metadata is customizable based on your needs. This allows you to include far more information about the data itself. The data is also stored in a flat address. This makes the data far easier to locate, without having to search through directories and subdirectories.
A file storage system’s performance suffers as the data grows and nodes are added. This is due to the additional processing power required. In contrast, an object storage system’s performance can improve as the data and number of nodes grow. The additional processing power works across nodes, making object storage far more scalable.
File storage is like parking your car in a parking lot. You park your vehicle in a space which enables you to access your car directly, within the parking spot, any time you need to. If you are shopping and you want to drop off packages, you simply return to your vehicle, open the trunk, deposit your purchases, and return for more shopping.
Need Help Identifying the Best Storage Options for Your Organization?
Users do not have to choose between file and object storage; they work great in concert. Traditional structured data, such as your ERP system, can perform extremely well on file storage, while unstructured data, such as email and video, performs better with object storage. If you need help sorting out which storage options are best for you, the enterprise data experts at Mainline are here to assist.