Explain in detail about object storage. File systems or object storage

2 years ago
Cloud Computing

Object storage (also known as object-based storage) is a computer data storage architecture that manages data as objects, as opposed to other storage architectures like file systems which manage data as a file hierarchy and block storage which manages data as blocks within sectors and tracks. Each object typically includes the data itself, a variable amount of metadata, and a globally unique identifier.

Object storage can be implemented at multiple levels, including the device level (object storage device), the system level, and the interface level. In each case, object storage seeks to enable capabilities not addressed by other storage architectures, like interfaces that can be directly programmable by the application, a namespace that can span multiple instances of physical hardware, and data management functions like data replication and data distribution at object-level granularity. Object storage systems allow retention of massive amounts of unstructured data.

Object storage is used for purposes such as storing photos on Facebook, songs on Spotify, or files in online collaboration services, such as Dropbox. The majority of cloud storage available in the market uses the object storage architecture. Two notable examples are Amazon Web Services S3, which debuted in 2005, and Rackspace Files. Other major cloud storage services include IBM Bluemix, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Alibaba Cloud OSS, Oracle Elastic Storage Service and DreamHost based on Ceph.

Characteristics of Object Storage

  • Performs best for big content and high storage throughput
  • Data can be stored across multiple regions
  • Scales infinitely to Petabytes (bigger than terabyte) and beyond
  • Customizable metadata, not limited to number of tags


  • Scalable capacity
  • Scalable performance
  • Durable
  • Low cost
  • Simplified management
  • Single Access Point
  • No volumes to manage/resize/etc.


  • No random access to files
  • The Application Programming Interface (API), along with command line shells and utility interfaces (POSIX utilities) do not work directly with object-storage
  • Integration may require modification of application and workflow logic
  • Typically, lower performance on a per-object basis than block storage

The Object Storage is suited for the following:

  • Unstructured data
  • Media (images, music, video)
  • Web Content
  • Documents
  • Backups/Archives
  • Archival and storage of structured and semi-structured data
  • Databases
  • Sensor data
  • Log files

The Object Storage is not suited for the following:

  • Relational Databases
  • Data requiring random access/updates within objects
Bijay Satyal
Oct 23, 2021
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