Table of Contents
FileFile storage is a critical component of every hybrid cloud strategy, and enterprises prefer this type of storage to block and object in several cases.
Cloud providers started to offer this type of service very late when compared to block and object, and this created the opportunity for several storage vendors to provide products and services to fill the gap. Especially now, with the increasing need for data mobility and more and more workloads that are moving across on-premises and cloud infrastructures, file storage is better, easier to use and more accessible than other forms of storage.
Lift-and-Shift migrations to the cloud are one of the most common scenarios where file storage is a key factor to keep the environment as identical as possible to the original one, but, again, simplicity and performance are important as well.
In particular regard to performance, 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 usually offers data services such as snapshots to improve data management operations.
Collaboration is another area where file storage excels. Now more than ever, with hybrid cloud infrastructures and distributed organizations across the world, having the possibility to access data from everywhere, seamlessly, simplifies teamwork while keeping data under control.
In recent years file systems have also become more cloud-friendly, showing better integrations with object storage, thus offering better scalability, a better combination of speed and $/GB, and advanced features for data migrations and disaster recovery.
Both traditional storage vendors and cloud providers now offer different types of file services or solutions that can run both on-premises and in the cloud, trying to cover the largest number of use cases. Approaches are different, though, and it can be very difficult to find a solution that solves today’s needs while being ready to evolve and face future challenges. Even more so, most cloud providers offer the best integration across the entire stack, but also more risk of lock-in and services are not always the best in class. On the other hand, storage vendors offer solutions that provide more flexibility, performance, and scalability, but can be less efficient or lack the level of integration offered by an end-to-end solution.