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HomeBig DataObject and File Storage Have Merged, However Product Variations Stay, Gartner Says

Object and File Storage Have Merged, However Product Variations Stay, Gartner Says


Corporations that had been seeking to retailer tens of petabytes of unstructured information beforehand had two essential flavors of storage they might flip to: object storage and distributed file methods. These two courses of storage have now merged, based on Gartner, which says the main suppliers fulfill each storage modalities with a single providing.

After we visited this matter two years in the past, the analysts at Gartner stated object storage and distributed file methods had been within the means of changing into one. With final week’s launch of its 2022 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Methods and Object Storage, they’ve accomplished the merge, the analyst group says.

“The markets for distributed file methods and object storage have merged,” Gartner analysts Julia Palmer, Jerry Rozeman, Chandra Mukhyala, and Jeff Vogel write of their October 19 report. “The distinctions between the 2 segments are blurring, and patrons are already treating it as one market and requiring each file and object entry for unstructured datasets. To deal with it, probably the most modern distributors now provide file and object companies on a typical information retailer, usually a key-value retailer.”

Clients at the moment are ramping up their investments in distributed file methods and object storage as they chase the expansion of unstructured information, which is more and more 30% yearly, Gartner says. Over the following 4 years, giant enterprises will develop their object shops and distributed file system capability by 300%, Gartner says.

Forty p.c of this object and distributed file system storage capability might be deployed on the sting over the following three years, Gartner says, a major leap from right this moment, which has simply 15% of such storage capability on the sting. Moreover, hybrid cloud architectures might be utilized in 60% of deployments, the analyst group says.

Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Methods and Object Storage (Supply: Gartner)

Distributors within the chief’s part of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant–together with Pure Storage, Qumulo, and Scality–are bullish on their prospects to develop their share of this storage market.

“Qumulo believes its place within the Chief quadrant is proof of our suitability for probably the most mission-critical and large-scale workloads, whether or not they’re run on-premises or within the cloud,” the corporate says in a press launch.

“We consider our positioning within the Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Methods & Object Storage validates our dedication to serving to our prospects meet the information calls for of right this moment and tomorrow,” Jérôme Lecat, CEO of Scality, says in a press launch.

“We consider Pure’s place as a Chief is additional validation of our continued efforts to ship a versatile, scalable and highly effective platform that may deal with the essential unstructured information challenges trendy enterprises expertise,” Matt Burr, vp and common supervisor of FlashBlade for Pure Storage, said in a press launch.

Not a Monolith

Distributed file methods usually use a protocol like Community File System (NFS) to entry particular person recordsdata in a community connected storage (NAS) configuration. Some file methods additionally make the most of Server Message Block (SMB) or Frequent Web File System (CIFS) protocols. Object shops, however, virtually universally use Amazon Net Providers’ Easy Storage Service (S3), a REST-based protocol, to entry objects.

Whereas Gartner sees object shops and distributed file methods converging, that doesn’t imply there’s uniformity throughout the product vary. In reality, there are some vital variations among the many numerous distributors’ merchandise, together with what file interfaces and protocols they help.  Deployment mode is one other supply of differentiation, as a few of these choices are software-defined storage (SDS) merchandise whereas others are deployed on pre-built home equipment.

Listed below are a few of the plusses and minuses for every of the 17 object-and-file-storage distributors cited by Gartner in its report.


Gartner applauded Dell Applied sciences’ current enhancements to its PowerScale distributed file system, together with the power to maneuver file information into S3 buckets, help NFS over RDMA, and ransomware upgrades. Nevertheless, it cited drawbacks, resembling a scarcity of help for parallel NFS (nNFS) or different mechanisms to deal with workloads that require parallel entry from a compute farm. It additionally talked about Dell’s lacks a file-based providing for AWS and Microsoft Azure (it solely runs on Google Cloud) for its PowerScale and Isilon choices.

IBM made the Chief’s quadrant with a mixture of numerous scale-out storage choices, together with Spectrum Scale, a high-performance parallel file system that additionally gives an S3 interface that may run through on-prem home equipment or in clouds. It additionally gives IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS), which relies on its 2015 acquisition of object storage vendor Cleversafe. IBM was praised for the containerization of its storage providing. Nevertheless, Large Blue was dinged for counting on companions to handle prospects cloud-based file system deployments, and never providing its personal branded storage-as-a-service providing.

Pure gives object and file protocols with FlashBlade, its storage equipment that scales linearly to deal with “large file and object throughput and parallelism,” Gartner says. The price of the FlashBlade arrays was the largest downer, per Gartner, as was its hybrid cloud technique.

Qumulo gives a cloud-native object and file retailer that helps NFSv4.1 and S3 protocols and is accessible on all three main public clouds. The most important dings had been the “measurement and breadth of hybrid choices;” lack of full integration into HPE InfoSight; and lack of help on Azure EMEA information facilities.


Cloudian HyperStore ticks all the suitable bins for scale-out object storage for high-throughput workloads. It runs on-prem and in all the general public clouds. However HyperStore was dinged for utilizing an exterior “add-on” file gateway for file system workloads, which limits scale-out capabilities, based on Gartner.

Object shops and distributed file methods are the popular repositories for unstructured information units above 1PB (GreenBelka/Shutterstock)

Hitachi Vantara’s object storage system, Hitachi Content material Platform (HCP), is versatile in that it may be deployed as equipment, as a software-only providing, within the cloud, or on-premises. Nevertheless, the seller, which is listed within the Challenger’s quadrant, leans on associate Weka for its file system, which requires a “coordinated partnership strategy to successfully help performance-intensive, file-heavy workload,” it says.

Huawei’s OceanStor Pacific helps each file and object protocols, and it’s well-suited for large-scale unstructured information workloads, Gartner says. Nevertheless, it’s largely unproven exterior of the Asia/Pacific area, the analyst group says (and the nationwide safety use restrictions most likely don’t assist in the US).


Cohesity SmartFiles gives file object interfaces for on-prem and cloud storage. It added NFSv4 up to now yr, in addition to S3 object locking. The shortage of deployments, owing to the merchandise relative newness, in addition to the dearth of some superior capabilites, had been the largest drawbacks, per Gartner.

NetApp gives a number of deployment choices for its StorageGRID, together with on-prem home equipment and SaaS within the cloud. However one factor it lack is a local file system interface, leaving prospects to make use of an exterior answer. It was listed within the Visionary quadrant.

Nutanix, additionally a Visionary, gives each NFS and S3 interfaces through Nutanix Information and Nutanix Objects, that are parts of the Nutanix Cloud Platform. The most important fault cited by Gartner (apart from being a “premium” providing, which sounds extra like a power), was the dearth of information deuplication and the truth that the one cloud supported by Nutanix is AWS.

Quantum made the reduce as a Visionary for its ActiveScale providing, which gives S3 and NFS/SMB interfaces. Gartner applauded Quantum for its acquisition of Pivot3, which bolsters the seller’s standing within the video surveillance market. However it says the product lacks information de-duplication, help for NFSv4, distributed SMB, and twin protocol entry.

Pink Hat (owned by IBM) made the Visionaries quadrant for Ceph Storage, which helps block, object, and file workloads. Whereas Ceph Storage is interesting for open supply backers, a number of cautions are in play, based on Gartner, together with a low variety of deployments for giant manufacturing environments for Pink Hat Ceph File System (CephFS), and complexity and manageability points.

S3 is the usual protocol for accessing objects

Scality checks the largest bins with RING’s help for object and file storage companies, in addition to on-prem and cloud deployments. The most important drawbacks had been the relative smallness of RING’s put in base; help for low-latency file entry (wanted for analytics); and a sure degree of experience to handle.

VAST Information develops all-flash home equipment that provide distributed file and object storage interfaces. Scalability, throughput, buyer help, and model consciousness for high-end use circumstances aren’t points for VAST. However the lack of options like geodistributed erasure coding, ransomware detection, synchronous replication, and public cloud integration are for Gartner.

WEKA has turned some heads within the HPC and AI industries with WekaFS, which is appropriate for high-performance file use circumstances on prem or within the cloud. Whereas the younger firm helps object storage interfaces, it’s typically not thought-about for object or general-purpose file system use circumstances, based on Gartner.

Area of interest Gamers

DDN’s EXAScaler is a distributed file system that runs on-prem and within the cloud, and helps large-scale, high-throughput use circumstances, as DDN’s heritage in HPC exhibits. Nevertheless, EXAScaler’s S3 interface is meant for archival use solely, Gartner says.

Chinese language server vendor Inspur, which gives IBM Energy-based methods, ticks each object and file bins with its AS13000G6 unified storage providing. Gartner was impressed with efficiency optimization algorithms. However utilization exterior of Asia/Pacific is proscribed, and the reliance on a proprietary SSD for some capabilities doesn’t assist its marketability within the US.

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