With the exponential growth of data particularly unstructured data fueled by mobile, social media, internet of things (IoT) and the like, enterprises are facing a big challenge on data storage. Object-based storage is an emerging technology to tackle the growing volumes of unstructured data.
DDB Group, the fourth largest advertising company in the world, will to switch from NAS (networked attached storage) to object storage technology for unstructured data. Its Hong Kong office will be one of the early markets to implement object storage.
IT research companies Gartner and IDC reported that unstructured data is key to the explosive growth of data. By 2017, unstructured data will account for 80% of worldwide data. It will rise to 93% by 2020.
Despite the fast growth in data volumes, storage spending by most companies has not caught up with data growth. According to IDC, worldwide IT overall spending is estimated to have a CAGR of nearly 14% from 2015 to 2019. However, the storage budget’s CAGR is only 3% over the same period.
Object storage is becoming popular for massive unstructured data. It provides a scalable and cost effective platform for unstructured data storage.
Contrary to traditional NAS or SAN (storage area network) that stores data in blocks or in a file hierarchy, object storage architecture manages data as objects. A unique name is assigned for identification when the object is created.
Scalable and less expansive
Object storage is highly scalable, resilient and uses less expansive storage hardware. This storage technology has its disadvantages. It has slower data access when compared to traditional block storage. Also, it does not allow incremental modification of data. To handle updates to the data, a new object is created.
Object storage is commonly used for cloud storage services such as Amazon S3, Google cloud storage and OpenStack Swift.
Some enterprises in Hong Kong are starting to use object storage to better manage their unstructured data volumes while keeping storage costs down.
DDB Group currently uses traditional NAS to store both structured and unstructured data. To meet with the ever-increasing data volume growth across worldwide operations, the advertising agency keeps on adding storage capacity.
Take its Asia Pacific market as an example. The agency has increased the storage capacity up to 30% in the past three years.