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


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

Once we visited this subject two years in the past, the analysts at Gartner mentioned object storage and distributed file programs had been within the strategy of changing into one. With final week’s launch of its 2022 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Techniques and Object Storage, they’ve accomplished the merge, the analyst group says.

“The markets for distributed file programs 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 consumers are already treating it as one market and requiring each file and object entry for unstructured datasets. To handle it, essentially the most progressive distributors now provide file and object companies on a typical information retailer, sometimes a key-value retailer.”

Prospects presently are ramping up their investments in distributed file programs 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, massive 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 will probably be deployed on the sting over the following three years, Gartner says, a major leap from as we speak, which has simply 15% of such storage capability on the sting. Moreover, hybrid cloud architectures will probably be utilized in 60% of deployments, the analyst group says.

Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Techniques 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 essentially 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 imagine our positioning within the Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Techniques & Object Storage validates our dedication to serving to our prospects meet the info calls for of as we speak and tomorrow,” Jérôme Lecat, CEO of Scality, says in a press launch.

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

Not a Monolith

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

Whereas Gartner sees object shops and distributed file programs converging, that doesn’t imply there’s uniformity throughout the product vary. Actually, there are some vital variations among the many varied 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 number 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 flexibility to maneuver file information into S3 buckets, help NFS over RDMA, and ransomware upgrades. Nevertheless, it cited drawbacks, akin to 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 varied scale-out storage choices, together with Spectrum Scale, a high-performance parallel file system that additionally presents an S3 interface that may run by way of on-prem home equipment or in clouds. It additionally presents IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS), which is predicated 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 presents 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 most important downer, per Gartner, as was its hybrid cloud technique.

Qumulo presents a cloud-native object and file retailer that helps NFSv4.1 and S3 protocols and is on the market on all three main public clouds. The largest dings had been the “dimension 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 proper containers 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 programs 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 outdoors of the Asia/Pacific area, the analyst group says (and the nationwide safety use restrictions in all probability don’t assist in the US).


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

NetApp presents 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, presents each NFS and S3 interfaces by way of Nutanix Information and Nutanix Objects, that are elements of the Nutanix Cloud Platform. The largest fault cited by Gartner (moreover being a “premium” providing, which sounds extra like a energy), was the shortage of information deuplication and the truth that the one cloud supported by Nutanix is AWS.

Quantum made the lower as a Visionary for its ActiveScale providing, which presents S3 and NFS/SMB interfaces. Gartner applauded Quantum for its acquisition of Pivot3, which bolsters the seller’s standing within the video surveillance market. But it surely 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 big 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 most important containers with RING’s help for object and file storage companies, in addition to on-prem and cloud deployments. The largest drawbacks had been the relative smallness of RING’s put in base; help for low-latency file entry (wanted for analytics); and a sure stage of experience to handle.

VAST Knowledge 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 reveals. Nevertheless, EXAScaler’s S3 interface is meant for archival use solely, Gartner says.

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

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