Metadata are small pieces of information that can be attached to files and other objects in a computing environment. MP3 music files, for example, often include metadata that specify the artist and album. This metadata can be read by some applications and can also be displayed by the operating system when users request to see it. With the advent of cloud computing, however, metadata has become far more than a place to store ’notes’ about the file.
Instead, enterprises can use a managed program approach to implement an advanced file storage system that relies on metadata information to trigger actions to take place or policies to be implemented. To do this requires the use of IT solutions that include cloud storage, since traditional file storage systems are characterized by a lack of robust metadata structures.
Metadata and Policies
In the traditional file storage model, a data set was forced to reside in a static location, with all references to the data tightly tied to that location. When metadata is used to its full potential, however, the file can provide the storage system with information about itself. This means that the cloud can dynamically assign the data to various locations in the system on an as-needed basis, responding to user demand and other factors in ways that optimize the data for users.
Metadata and Security
Files in a cloud storage system can also carry custom metadata that relates to security, controlling access more tightly so that enterprises can have an additional layer of confidence that their data storage solution can keep customer and proprietary information confidential.