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GigaOm Radar for High-Performance Cloud File Storagev4.0

An Assessment Based on the Key Criteria Report for Evaluating Cloud File Storage Solutions

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

File storage is a critical component of every hybrid cloud strategy, and enterprises often prefer it over block and object storage, in particular for big data, AI, and collaboration. We therefore decided to focus our assessment of the cloud-based file storage sector on two areas: on big data and AI in this report on high-performance cloud file storage; and on collaboration in our companion Radar on distributed cloud file storage.

Cloud providers didn’t initially offer file storage services, and this spurred multiple storage vendors to jump in with products and services to fill that gap. The requirements that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic are still relevant: with 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, 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, offering 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 better flexibility, performance, and scalability, but they can be less efficient or lack the level of integration offered by an end-to-end solution.

This is our fourth year evaluating the cloud file 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 Radar report highlights key high-performance cloud file 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 Cloud File Storage Solutions,” we describe in more detail the capabilities and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.

All solutions included in this Radar report meet the following table stakes—capabilities widely adopted and well implemented in the sector:

  • Reliability and integrity
  • Basic security
  • Access methods
  • Snapshots
  • Kubernetes support

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.