What is Object Storage?
原视频地址：What is Object Storage?
字幕 & 翻译（待）：
If we think about object storage,
which is kind of a new-ish tier,
the idea is for relatively
low performance storage at a
relatively low cost
that is designed to serve the needs
of the Internet workload.
And so by Internet workloads, I'm
talking about Web applications.
I'm talking about website and
website hosting and delivering
content across the Internet,
but also a way to find
a new home for all of that data
that we used to store on tape.
Right. We have to have a way to
take big volumes of data,
write that down, put it somewhere
that is safe, that is secure,
and where we can hold on to it for a
long time for regulatory reasons,
legal reasons and other
requirements that make it
necessary for us to keep that data
for a long amount of time.
So let's start off with,
"what is an object?" and
why do we call it "object storage"?
So, the concept
in object storage is that you have
an object, right.
Now, that object
can be any kind
There aren't really any file
restrictions or anything like that.
There are some characteristics that
are very important.
But as a general rule, any
kind of file can be an object.
So, we'll throw
an object in there now, there
are 4 essential components
to that object that make
it usable in the computing sense.
The first one is for every
object, we have to have an ID,
we have to have some sort of a
unique identifier that lets
us know what this
object is when it comes time to
retrieve it. That's the first piece.
The second piece is, obviously,
you've got to have some data.
What's the point of having a file
and all of this information about it
if you don't have the data itself?
So this could be an Excel file
and could be a video file.
It could be an audio file, any kind
of file. But you've got to have the
actual data itself.
The third piece that you
have to have is
So what is metadata?
Metadata is everything that
you need to know about
this file and about the
Who created it?
When was it created?
What is it used for?
What is the file type?
How large is it?
The metadata is what makes it
possible to go out and find
it, search it, index it
so that you can bring it up and use
it whenever you need to.
Because, again, all that's being
displayed out right now is the ID.
The ID is not terribly useful.
And then the last thing that you
have to have are your attributes.
Now, attributes are related to
metadata. They aren't exactly the
same thing, but they're close.
Attributes can be, "are certain
users are allowed to override
it?", "are certain users are allowed
to download it?", "are certain users
are allowed to delete it?".
So the attributes are about the
object itself rather than about
But again, those are those 4
This is what you use
when you actually create something.
So you've got your object here,
And then what do you do with it?
Well, in the world of object
storage, which is unstructured,
you take all of your objects and you
drop them into a bucket.
So let's do this on this
side. So, imagine
I have a bucket, and
my bucket can have a handle, why
And so into my bucket, I'm
going to put all of these objects
and now this is the neat part: these
buckets can be as big as you
need them to be.
They can scale to hold billions
Now, it's not always a good idea to
put billions of objects in it, but
they can, in fact, scale to that
And then what's really neat about
object storage - because remember,
we want to be able to use this for
cold storage, too, right, we need to
put things in it that can never be
deleted - is whenever you,
the user, you're going to interact
with this thing via an API.
Right. So you're not ever going to
interact with the bucket
We'll throw you in.
There you are.
You're using object storage.
So you're going to take your
objects. You're going to drop them
into this bucket. Now, on the back
end, the magic of object
storage is your object
here. Call it "O".
It is going to replicate out of this
bucket, the bucket is a virtual
construct, but we're going to take
it and we are going to say, all
right, well, I have
And I'm going to take a copy of your
object and I'm going to replicate
it out into all 3 of them,
and my purpose in replicating
them out into all 3 of those
locations is data integrity,
That way, if the physical device
here, right, each of these buckets
is going to reside on a physical
device. So we'll call this P1,
P2, and P3.
So we're going to replicate it out,
your object is going to be on 3
physical, different devices, so if
there's a hardware problem or a
network outage or whatever in P1,
that's OK. You've still got copies
in P2 and P3, you can still get
the data that you need.
Now, when we get into
the details of object storage, all
of a sudden you start saying, man,
there's a lot of complexity in this.
Right? So not only do I have
the object buckets, but the way
that it's priced and metered and
build is kind of unique.
And people are asking me about how
many "gets" and how many "puts" and
how much storage am I taking up.
And the metering and billing around
object storage, everyone that sells
it has their own different metrics
on it. But here's the important
parts to consider.
The first is what
is your responsiveness or your
Right. So from a price perspective,
the higher performance that you want
and this is true for all cloud
storage, but the more performance
you want, the more it's
going to cost.
If you have data that you
have packaged up and it's data that
for 20 years your company has been
taking and writing it to tape,
sending that tape to vaults and
storing it in vaults where it will
probably never be seen again.
That can go to the very coldest of
cold tiers, right.
And that is going to be the least
And so we're going to call that
"cold times 10".
That is the coldest of cold tiers.
Up from that, where you need
to get to it every so often, but you
don't really need to get to it much,
that's going to be a two dollar sign
one, right? We're going to charge a
little bit more for that.
We're just going to call that
Maybe this is data that you need to
get to once every six months,
something like that.
But maybe you're earning a website
and you are using these object
storage buckets to host all of the
assets for your website.
Obviously that is going to cost
a little bit more, right, because
you are sending data out on a
So that's going to get our three
And I'm going to call this
one called "cold-ish".
It's not really warm because
the concept of a warm here doesn't
really exist an object storage, but
And so this is
videos, it is pictures,
it is physical files,
and what makes object storage really
neat is on the back end through
the magic - because remember, you,
you're interacting via an API,
you're not interacting with these
things directly - you
can do all kinds of nifty
front-end things for it.
And that's the really neat part of
object storage and that's the
benefits of it.
So let's talk about some of them,
Hosting videos for streaming over
Perfect use case for object storage,
because like I said before, we can
replicate these things out.
Right. So for your video streaming,
rather than just replicating it into
three buckets that are all in the
same place, let's replicate it
out globally. Let's replicate it out
so that we are hosting those videos
not just in their primary location,
but in three different locations
in seven different countries around
the world, decreasing the latency
for your users so that their
streaming experience is better.
Let's talk about another good use
sharing. So let's imagine
a company where you're collaborating
on spreadsheets and PowerPoint, and
things like that, and you've got
collaborators that work all
over the world.
Well, for versioning
purposes, you can have
different versions that overwrite
the previous version as long as
those attributes allow for it.
And so if I've got my
friend Eric, who is working
in London, can create a file,
I can get a copy of that file,
make my changes to it, upload it
back in. And I've got version two.
That's the metadata.
And then I can have a colleague
in Singapore, Sam, who downloads
that file, make some more changes to
it, uploads it back in version
three, again, incrementing the
But that allows for this Cross Globe
collaboration on a single file type,
and it makes everybody's lives
easier. But we're doing it at a very
low cost, much less expensive than
trying to send files
around via email because emails have
to get stored in a much more
expensive storage tier, much
less expensive than FedExing thumb
And again, being able to be done
in a secure manner because we have
control over who can see and access
Other Web hosting, obviously, is
going to be important. We talked
about regulatory data before, the
regulatory data and cold storage.
Let's say that you involved in a
digital archiving project
and you're working with a university
or a library and you're taking
digital photographs of manuscript
documents. And you want to host
those out for everyone in the world
to be able to see.
Object storage, perfect place to
store that kind of data - because
again, it's not getting accessed
It is write
once and then read many,
many, many times and you can host
it in a secure manner.
So hopefully you've enjoyed this.
This has been a good overview of
As always, if you have any
questions, please feel free to leave
them in the comments. I'll do my
best to answer, or some of my
colleagues at IBM will.
And if you have any other questions,
just let us know.
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