What is Object Storage?

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Object storage overview

Hi everyone, I’m excited to bring you another one of our educational lightboarding videos—this time, focusing on object storage.

You may have already checked out our video on “File Storage vs. Block Storage,” which are two very traditional forms of storage that normally have some restraints on how much data you can store. With object storage, you’re able to store large amounts of unstructured data in a highly scalable manner.

In the video, I’m going to explain how object storage works, lists some of the benefits, and give you some use cases for when object storage may be your best option.

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Video Transcript

What is object storage?

Hello, I’m Anirup Dutta and I’m a developer for IBM Cloud, and today I’m going to talk about object storage.

Object storage

So, what is object storage? Object storage allows you to store large amounts of unstructured data in a highly scalable manner. So, whether you have a server or application or backup requirement, you can easily store the data in object store using REST APIs.

Object storage and REST APIs

Benefits of object storage

So now that I’ve talked about what is object store, what are the benefits of using object store?


So, one of the biggest benefits of using object store is durability.

Object store has built-in data integrity; so if a particular disk fails, you don’t have to worry about losing your data.

Durability of object storage


The second one that I would like to talk about is availability. So, object store systems are accessible over REST APIs, which means they are highly available, and if a single server goes down, you don’t have to worry about not being able to access the objects store and being able to read or write data from it.

Availability of object storage


The third one is scalability. If you take an example of traditional systems like file or block, you normally have a lot of constraints on how much data you can store. Object store is meant to store petabytes and exabytes amount of data easily.

Scalability of object store


The fourth one is the flexibility. Like we talked about previously, object store allows you to access the data over REST APIs, which means you can access the data from anywhere in the world, depending upon, you know, your workload requirements and things like that.

Flexibility of object storage


The fifth and final one is security. So, most object store systems provide you the ability to store the data encrypted at rest and also allow you to encrypt data while in transit, which means the data that you’re storing in object store is really secure.

Use cases of object storage

Now, let’s talk about the use cases.

Disaster recovery and backup

The first use case that I would like to talk about is disaster recovery or backup. So, for example, take an example of a financial service company. You’re a CTO of this financial service company, you have critical workloads running on VMware—you want to back up your data. Object store is a great solution to store that cost-effectively but also in a secure way.

Object storage and disaster recovery and backup

AI and analytics

The second use case that I would like to talk about is AI and analytics. So, let’s take example of a healthcare company—you have large amounts of healthcare data and you want to run analytics on top of that healthcare data. Object store is a great solution to use it as a data lake and then you can run frameworks like Spark or Tensor Flow on top of it.


The third use case that I would like to talk about is cloud-native. For example, you may be trying to build up a new startup which wants to build an iOS or an Android app. Object store gives you the flexibility to easily store the data requirements that you have. So it gives you the cost-effectiveness but also gives you the flexibility.

Object storage and cloud-native

Data archive

And the fourth and final one that I would like to talk about is data archive. Let’s take an example of a media company which has a large amount of media assets, and you want to store those media assets. Object store is a great way to do that.


So to recap, today we talked about what is object storage, we talked about the benefits of object storage, and, finally, we went over the use cases of object storage.

Architect - IBM Cloud Object Storage

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