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What is object storage?

Organizations today face difficulties cost-effectively storing what is an unprecedented amount of data. Much of this data is unstructured and doesn’t fit easily into traditional databases. Email, videos, photos, webpages, audio files, sensor data, and other types of web content are all unstructured, and finding efficient and affordable ways to manage them has become problematic.

Google Cloud object storage is increasingly seen as the solution to this challenge. Object storage removes the complexity, scalability, and cost barriers that plague hierarchical file systems. To learn more, read about Cloud Storage.

Object storage defined

Object storage is a data storage architecture for large stores of unstructured data. It designates each piece of data as an object, keeps it in a separate storehouse, and bundles it with metadata and a unique identifier for easy access and retrieval.

Objects can be stored on-premises, but are usually stored in the cloud, making them easily accessible from anywhere. Due to object storage’s scale-out capabilities, there are no limits to scalability and it’s less costly to store large data volumes.

What is object storage used for?

Object storage offers a range of solutions that can benefit an organization. Here are some common use cases.

Cloud-native applications

Use Google Cloud object storage as a persistent data store for building or migrating to cloud-native applications.

Big data analytics

Store large amounts of any data type. Query this data to perform big data analytics and gain valuable insight into customers, operations, or markets.

Internet of Things

Manage machine-to-machine data efficiently and cost-effectively while supporting artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to make sense of it.

Rich media storage and delivery

Reduce your costs for storing and globally distributing rich media, such as music, video, and images.

Backup and archiving

Cut the cost of backups and archives while still retaining immediate access to all of your data.