Table of Contents
- Market Categories and Deployment Types
- Key Criteria Comparison
- GigaOm Radar
- Vendor Insights
- Analyst’s Take
File storage is a critical component of every hybrid cloud strategy, and enterprises often prefer this type of storage over block and object storage, in particular for big data, artificial intelligence, and collaboration. So we decided to focus our assessment of the cloud file storage sector on two parts: this one, which centers on big data and AI, and another on distributed cloud file storage that concentrates more on collaboration.
Cloud providers didn’t initially offer file storage services, which allowed multiple storage vendors to jump in with products and services to fill that gap. With the COVID pandemic still ongoing, the increasing need for data mobility, and the large number of workloads moving across on-premises and cloud infrastructures, file storage is simply better—easier to use and more accessible than other forms of storage.
Lift-and-shift migrations to the cloud are increasingly common scenarios and enterprises often want to keep the environment as identical as possible to the original one. File storage is a key factor in accomplishing this, but simplicity and performance are important as well.
File systems still provide the best combination of performance, usability, and scalability for many workloads. It is still the primary interface for the majority of big data, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), and high-performing computing (HPC) applications, and today it usually offers data services such as snapshots to improve data management operations.
In recent years, file systems also have become more cloud-friendly, showing better integrations with object storage, which enables better scalability, a better balance of speed and cost, and advanced features for data migration and disaster recovery.
Both traditional storage vendors and cloud providers now offer file services or solutions that can run both on-premises and in the cloud. Their approaches are different, though, and it can be very difficult to find a solution that both meets today’s needs and can evolve to face future challenges. Cloud providers generally offer the best integration across the entire stack, but also raise the risk of lock-in, and services are not always the best in class. On the other hand, solutions from storage vendors typically provide more flexibility, performance, and scalability, but can be less efficient or lack the level of integration offered by an end-to-end solution.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.