Laptop Displaying the GigaOm Research Portal

Get your Free GigaOm account today.

Access complimentary GigaOm content by signing up for a FREE GigaOm account today — or upgrade to premium for full access to the GigaOm research catalog. Join now and uncover what you’ve been missing!

GigaOm Radar for Enterprise Object Storagev4.0

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Key Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Vendor Insights
  6. Analysts’ Take

1. Summary

The S3 protocol is now a standard for many applications, and developers are adopting it for a growing number of use cases. As a result, object storage is maturing: object stores evolved from cheap deep storage repositories to solutions that can support multiple workloads and applications concurrently. Even though object storage performance can’t be compared to that of file and block storage, the latest iterations of the technology demonstrate that it can indeed be used for high-performance applications.

The most critical evaluation metrics remain $/GB ratio and scalability, but efficiency and flexibility are becoming equally important as a result of changing user needs. In fact, the market has seen an increase in use cases and user needs, including multitenancy and performance, that directly impact efficiency and flexibility.

Users have begun to take advantage of object storage directly as a primary target for most applications that require storing large amounts of data. For example, data analytics products can now use object stores to access active data. Furthermore, many backup products can now use object storage as the primary repository and make the most of its object immutability characteristics for enhanced security. As more applications use object storage directly to store data, the exposure of object stores to ransomware attacks or other malicious activities increases the need for proactive malicious detection features.

Importantly, object stores are becoming a common data service deployed on top of or alongside Kubernetes. This trend is another sign of the changed role that object storage is taking on in many IT infrastructures.

These new directions brought about several challenges in product development. Vendors now need to offer optimizations for small files, advanced analytics, better ease of use, and a lower entry point for their solutions while keeping the system balanced for traditional, less-interactive workloads. Enterprises’ need to manage large numbers of small files efficiently led to hybrid and all-flash clusters becoming more common, although many vendors are not yet ready to provide the necessary optimizations to take advantage of these media or, in some cases, to provide enough flexibility for data movement across tiers in relatively small systems.

To respond adequately to these new challenges, several vendors are currently navigating a transition phase to re-architect their solutions to become more Kubernetes-friendly and better optimized for next-generation workloads and needs. Some vendors positioned in a separate Radar for high-performance object storage solutions are also adjusting their product portfolio to better serve capacity-oriented use cases.

This GigaOm Radar report highlights key enterprise object storage vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating Object Storage Solutions,” we describe in more detail the key features and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.

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.