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Technical Insight: Scality RING All-Flash Object Storage

Latest Trends in Object Storage Usage

All-Flash implementations of object storage systems have become very important for IT operations in supporting applications.  The need for performance is the driving force behind introducing all-flash object storage.  Changes in expectations for the responsiveness of object storage come from both increased usage and new applications designed with objects as primary storage elements.

With expanded use, new requirements bring changes for  object storage systems in addition to the normal evolution.  The success of all-flash storage for block storage in increasing performance with reduced response time has accelerated applications and enabled consolidation of workloads to a single platform.  Bringing flash technology to object storage for applications that require greater performance and for support of multiple workloads is a progression for the storage technology.  Notable examples for cloud native applications that benefit from use of flash response time and throughput improvements include an airline with a booking application for rescheduling in case of unexpected flight delays, an online banking application to provide real-time quotes, and a real-time streaming service.  In order to achieve the benefits of using all flash devices, object storage systems must be deliberately designed to take advantage of flash technology and the increased performance characteristics offered.

Since Cloud Native Applications are written to be deployable on-premises or in the public cloud, developers focus on use of S3 API protocol to access object storage for cost reasons – designing their software to use memory and high performance devices in some instances but use lower cost object storage as primary data.  This creates the need for much greater performance object storage systems with use of flash devices and the extended use of caching – including caching of active data as well as read ahead caching.

With more applications targeting object storage, the usability of the system becomes  another area that must also evolve.  Simplicity is usually the category that is considered first with new usage that expand involvement of developers and users for access to object storage.  Non-administrators access object storage through tasks such as creating new buckets and adding users permitted to access data.  New usages require a more varied set of controls and capabilities for management.  This change also requires more sophisticated security and role-based access controls.

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November 23, 2020

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