Remember when things used to be simple? You could save files to the local file storage systems on your desktop. Give your file a name and just like that, you’re done. In today’s world we need to rethink how we store. We have so many options to work with that choosing one storage solution isn’t as easy as a game of “rock, paper, scissors”… or is it?

So, what is file storage?

Think of file storage as the old-school approach to storing information. It’s the most simplistic version of storage—you give files a name, tag them with metadata, and organize them into directories and subdirectories. Companies use a centralized way of storing files and folders.

But here’s the caveat: storage at the file level can handle only small amounts of data. You can create as many files as you want, but finding them can end up being a real headache. If you want your data to grow, there is a certain point at which the hierarchy and permissions can get really complex and slow the system.

Okay, then what is block storage?

Block storage stores data files on storage area networks (SANs). Files are split into evenly sized blocks of data, but those files don’t have any additional information to provide more context for what that data is. Metadata is limited to basic file attributes. Block storage is best suited for static files that aren’t changed often, because any change made to a file results in the creation of a new object.

Many cloud-based enterprise workloads are currently using block storage. The data is broken into blocks, and then stored across a system that can be physically distributed to maximize efficiency. A block storage system in the cloud is used where it’s important to quickly retrieve and manipulate data. Additionally, block storage’s inherent flexibility makes it ideal for containers, which abstract applications from operating systems much like virtualization abstracts operating systems from physical hardware. With block storage, you can quickly define and launch containers.

And what about object storage?

If you need scalable storage units for unstructured data, this is where object storage wins. Object storage manages data as objects rather than the hierarchical system that we know as file storage. Examples of object storage are large sets of historical data, and unstructured data such as music, images and video. File storage can hold millions of files, but eventually it will hit a plateau. Unlike file storage, object storage can hold files up to an exabyte and beyond, and unlike block storage, object storage provides more information about the data.

The enterprise data footprint is evolving in ways that favors object storage because unstructured data growth continues to rise. These developments have led to numerous silos of infrastructure supporting traditional and new workloads, which is among the reasons why Hitachi Vantara has created the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), a storage solution that combines applications, users, producers and devices into one central cloud storage platform. This eliminates the need for a siloed approach to storing unstructured data, and stores data at a massive scale.

HCP is secure, simple and smart solution that offers:

  • Scalability: Costs decrease as more capacity is deployed
  • Recoverability: HCP supports geo-distributed erasure coding, which speeds rebuild times after failures
  • Security: Having data on-site makes regulatory compliance easier.

See what some of the analysts are saying about what strategies and capabilities to look for in object storage. Reports from the IDC, ESG, and more can be found on the Hitachi Vantara website.

Addressing the storage challenges of today

Keeping up to speed with data growth is one of the biggest challenges that IT teams face today. HCP addresses these challenges by scaling easily by being easily expandable for multiple use cases and supporting a broad range of applications on a single cluster. Consider HCP like the Swiss Army knife of object storage—a multipurpose storage solution.

Sirius is an award-winning, Hitachi Vantara Elite Partner with a national team of experts dedicated to helping clients transform their business with IT infrastructure modernization. Sirius is focused on supporting solutions from today’s leading storage developers and manufacturers, and our certified, experienced storage specialists can help you find the right storage system that best suits your needs.

Speak with your Sirius representative or contact us to help you make the most of your existing storage investments or email me to learn more about how HCP can help you deliver security, efficiency and interoperability for your organization.