Object Storage

Object Storage and Archiving

Object Storage solutions use hard disk technology to store archive class data. Solutions (such as EMC Atmos / ViPR, HDS Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), Cleversafe dsNet, Amplidata AmpliStor, DataDirect Network WOS, Quantum Lattus or QStar’s own Object Storage Manager) are highly scalable as data is stored as “Objects” rather than “Files”. Objects are identified by their hash values, a process that converts the content of the file into its reference. This allows multiple identical files to be stored only once, saving space in the archive. Object Stores are best used in medium to large-sized archives in “Big Data” environments, such as Media and Entertainment, Research or Geospatial industries.

Object Stores automatically replicate data to other disks under their control (either locally or remotely), as a way of protecting archived data without the need for backup. Retention management is often built into the solution, allowing files to be retained for a set period or forever.

A key advantage of Object Storage is its ability to securely store archive data for a preset time period and at the end of that time securely delete it. They constantly verify that stored data is the same as it was when archived. If an Object becomes corrupted or there is a hardware failure or upgrade, the system will automatically self-correct by creating new copies to new disk locations.

A drawback of Object Stores is, to securely store data, multiple copies must be made. This means that only a half or one third of the total capacity is available (the remaining capacity is for copies). Disk drives require more power than removable media libraries. Disk drives have a relatively short life and need to be replaced regularly.  Finally, Object Storage requires each application that is using the store to integrate with a specific API set, which is unique to each Object Storage solution.

QStar and Object Storage

QStar’s Archive Manager software creates a CIFS / NFS gateway for many Object Storage providers, which provides their customers a choice for access to the object storage archive over standard network protocols. This enables a familiar and convenient way to store, access and manage large-scale data in an online manner, without needing a proprietary API.

As part of a 3-2-1 Archive, Object Storage technology can play an important role. They can provide two of the three copies (the performance and secure copy) of data required by 3-2-1 in a single solution. Using QStar Archive Replicator software they can be paired with RAID, tape or optical stores at a second site to provide a third (DR) copy on lower cost storage.  This eliminates the cost of adding a second Object Store for DR.

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your archiving needs and encourage you to contact us.