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GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Enterprise Object Storage Solutionsv5.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Enterprise Object Storage Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook

1. Executive Summary

Enterprise object storage is a critical component of an enterprise data strategy. Unlike block and file storage, object storage excels at supporting unstructured data at scale. The use cases for object storage have evolved beyond traditional backup and archives, for which storage density and cost were the primary purchase criteria. Modern use cases require support for high-performance workloads such as generative AI, which requires large amounts of proprietary data in order to deliver increased model accuracy, and the transformation of data lakes such as Hadoop, especially as they evolve from traditional HDFS file systems to native support of S3 storage. These new use cases create an increased demand for higher-performance and lower-latency platforms compared to archive and backup.

To support these requirements, many object storage systems have turned to all flash storage configurations, forgoing support for hard-disk-based media. Striving to contain the cost of using flash technologies, some vendors are turning to QLC-based media to lower hardware costs and employing storage efficiencies to reduce the data footprint and enhance the cost per GB of these solutions.

In addition, many companies are struggling to manage and control their data while at the same time leveraging data at scale to power enhanced customer experience and overall employee productivity–not to mention advanced, emerging AI use cases such as Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG).

Demand for object storage for modern workloads is driven by its use in the public cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 is the standard. All object storage vendors have adopted this interface for their solutions and strive to maintain compatibility. This level of standardization and the resulting enhanced compatibility between service implementations enables users to build hybrid and multicloud infrastructures more confidently and at a reasonable cost. Even better, some vendors have built solutions aimed at virtualizing access to multiple object stores on the back end for better control over data placement, governance, and cost.

The S3 API has now been adopted by traditional storage systems too, including primary scale-up storage systems–but not all systems are built the same.

This report intends to provide a deeper understanding of the capabilities of these platforms, highlighting the key differences in a business context to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

Business Imperative
It’s critical that businesses understand what data they have, where it resides, and who has access to it. Object storage directly addresses this need by providing support for billions of objects, typically under a single namespace, which simplifies both the management of and access to this data across an organization. Object storage often has a very long lifespan compared to other storage systems in the infrastructure, and the market landscape is very complex. Before deciding which solution is better, users should consider whether the object store will be relatively small and serve one or a few applications or whether it will become a fundamental infrastructure service that will store data for a large number of applications, services, and other infrastructure components. This decision will have a strong impact on both data management and the deployment model.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of an enterprise object storage solution deployment to the business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a structured assessment of the sector across five factors: benefit, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each factor based on how strongly it compels or deters adoption of an enterprise object storage solution, we provide an overall Sector Adoption Score (Figure 1) of 4.6 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that an enterprise object storage solution is a credible candidate for deployment and worthy of thoughtful consideration.

The factors contributing to the Sector Adoption Score for enterprise object storage are explained in more detail in the Sector Brief section that follows.

Key Criteria for Evaluating Object Storage Solutions

Sector Adoption Score







Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for Enterprise Object Storage

This is the fifth year that GigaOm has reported on the enterprise object storage space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and nonfunctional requirements (business criteria) for selecting an effective enterprise object storage solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those decision criteria. Together, these reports provide an overview of the market, identify leading enterprise object storage offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and nonfunctional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.