What is the difference between different storage models?

5 min read

What is the difference between different storage models?

A new storage model for unstructured data has rapidly emerged that can be used and integrated for cloud scale applications and services. IBM Bluemix Object Storage service is an implementation of this new cloud service that provides data storage with addressable metadata that allows developers to easily reference and integrate stored object with applications.


Many developers ask “What is the difference between object storage and other storage models?” In order to better understand object storage, let’s take a look at commonly used models and the differences:

  • Block Storage focuses on addressing performance centric and transactional application by providing chunks of block data that can be controlled for a particular application through a block interface. In Block storage there is no metadata model for the stored data. Block is used for application models that require low latency between application run time and local storage, example database server

  • File Storage uses hierarchical file system to organize file by location and path, attributes can be associated with file system including ownership and access control. Using network attached storage (NAS) Files can be shared among users of the network. File storage is often used for local file and distributed file service and can visible as a network drive

  • Object Storage uses an object data model which is comprised of the object file and meta data associated with the object. Each object has an identifier and is treated as a whole entity, example: a video, image, or document is treated as an object entity. Object Storage can be used for storing content for user applications to support cloud use cases.

The IBM Bluemix Object Store service provides a mechanism for developers and users to access and store all of their unstructured data content directly from Bluemix and interactively compose and connect to their applications and services. Object Storage services provide a REST-based API for access to the object, object container, and metadata actions that can be integrated with Bluemix applications and services. The Bluemix Object Store provides a usage based service without the headaches of managing storage infrastructure.

IBM Bluemix Object Store service is offered today in beta and will evolve in 2016 to meet the growing needs for cloud data store for development, test and production usage for all of your unstructured data content. Join our Bluemix Object Storage beta program to get started!

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