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Cloud Storage Options: Object Storage or Block Storage?

Posted on Tue, Dec 4, 2012

cloud storageThe cloud offers the intriguing idea of nearly limitless storage.  For any business that has struggled with an overflowing local hard drive storage, that prospect can certainly be appealing.  Some IT staff, however, may take the arrangement as an unlimited license to store redundant backups and other files that should really be subjected to deduplication.  The goal of such storage arrangements is to make sure that the company will never be put in the position of having necessary data become inaccessible.

Exploring the option of cloud storage can lead companies to consider the possible issues of each approach. This is where working with an experienced IT consultant can guide an organization through the complex waters of cloud storage options. For example, one basic decision that must be made from an educated perspective concerns object storage versus block storage in the cloud. 

Object storage is most appropriate for companies that want to access items individually so that they can be retrieved or updated as needed. This approach generally allows companies to use an identifier based on a URL in order to access their cloud storage. The object-by-object storage approach is most effective when entire files need to be accessed at the same time, such as when a business mainly keeps its data in documents, presentations, and scanned images.

When companies need to randomly access bits and pieces of data, such as when pulling information from a database, however, object-based storage may not be the best choice.  In such cases, companies may wish to opt for block storage, which makes it much easier to extract non-file based data.

Another issue in terms of cloud storage that IT consultants can advise on is the prospect of redundant copies.  The need for extra backups of files and file sets is largely dependent on several factors, including the importance of the data and the difficulty of reconstructing from other sources. 

When it comes to cloud storage, there are an endless number of factors to consider. Is this the right solution for my organization's environment, does it fit with our business model, is it scalable for my business? Deciding to utilize the cloud for your organization's storage is not a small matter, and should be done with the help of an educated and experienced IT provider. Don't make the decision to go to the cloud alone.

Tags: Cloud Computing, Data Backup, Cloud storage

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