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Managing and storing data is crucial in today’s digital world, where businesses and individuals create vast amounts of digital assets daily. This is where cloud storage comes into play. Cloud storage is a cloud computing model that stores data on the internet through a cloud computing provider that manages and operates data storage as a service. Data is delivered on-demand from an off-site location accessed through public internet or a dedicated private network connection. Choosing the correct storage solution is essential. There are two popular options: object storage and archive storage. They share some similarities but are optimized for various use cases and serve different purposes. This blog will discuss the differences between each storage option to help you decide which fits your needs best.

What is object storage?


Object storage is a computer data storage architecture that manages large amounts of unstructured data by storing it as objects rather than in files or folder hierarchies. Objects store data in the format it arrives in, which is kept in repositories rather than in files or folder hierarchies. Each object includes the data, a variable amount of metadata, and a unique identifier that can be used to locate and access each data unit. Objects can be stored locally but most often reside on cloud servers, making them accessible anywhere.


Key features and benefits of object storage


Scalability – Object storage systems are limitless in size and can easily be scaled out by adding more devices or servers in parallel to an object storage cluster. This makes them suitable for storing large amounts of unstructured data.

Reduced complexity – Object storage removes the complexity of a hierarchical file system with folders and directories. This makes retrieving files easier as you don’t need to know the specific location, and there are no folders, directories, or complex hierarchies to navigate.

Customizable metadata and searchability – Each object includes metadata, making it easy to search through and navigate without needing a separate application. You can customize the metadata with extra attributes and information such as consumption, cost, and policies for automated deletion, retention, and tiering.

Disaster recovery and availability – Object storage can automatically replicate and store data across multiple devices worldwide. This can help prevent outages, safeguard against data loss, and support disaster recovery strategies. If a disk within a cluster fails, a duplicate disk is available, ensuring the system continues running without interruption or performance degradation.

Cost efficiency – Object storage provides storage for large files at a low price. You pay for a monthly subscription fee for a specified amount of storage capacity, data retrieval, bandwidth usage, and API transactions. Pricing is usually tier-based or volume-based, meaning you pay less for large volumes of data.

What is archive storage?


Archive storage is designed for data that isn’t frequently accessed or is not needed for an organization’s everyday operation but may have to be accessed occasionally. This can include data that must be retained for long periods for compliance, historical, or regulatory reasons. This kind of storage prioritizes cost efficiency as it reduces primary storage costs required rather than speed and accessibility.


Key features and benefits of archive storage


Cost efficiency – Archive storage is cheaper than standard storage options as it is optimized for infrequent access and long-term retention. If you have lots of documents that need to be stored, an archive storage solution is cheaper than storing them in a physical storage facility. Investing in the correct storage unit can save money by reducing the floor space you need.

Saves time – Important documents can be archived in an ordered and clear system, which saves time searching through files. However, retrieval time can take a long time, making it suitable for data that does not need immediate access.

Data retention – Archive storage is designed to hold data for several years in a safe and secure place. It minimizes the number of documents and creates a more streamlined working environment.

Security – Archiving documents is safe and secure, which reduces the risk of important documents going missing. Data in archive storage can also be replicated and stored across a variety of locations to ensure it remains safe and accessible over long periods. Archive storage also provides robust security features to protect archive data from unauthorized access.


Choosing between object or archive storage


Object storage and archive storage have similarities in that they both involve storing data over the cloud, but they serve different purposes depending on your needs.

Assets placed in object storage can be accessed quicker than assets stored in archive storage. This is because object storage manages large sets of unstructured data that are accessed frequently, allowing much flexibility in retrieving data.

However, archive storage is required for long-term data preservation as the data isn’t accessed infrequently. This solution is very cost-effective for storing large volumes of data over long periods and can meet regulatory and compliance requirements.

By understanding your data’s specific needs and access patterns, you can choose the appropriate storage solution to optimize costs and performance.

Think Bigger. Think Cloud.