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Block Storage & Object Storage: Is Cloud Backup needed?

Block Storage & Object Storage: Is Cloud Backup needed? image

By Mitol


Considering that both Block Storage & Object Storage are in the cloud, solicits the question - Is cloud backup needed? When you’re the customer, it pays to know the difference of what you’re putting your trust in. This article helps to answer this frequently asked question after we help you distinguish the differences between block storage and object storage.

What is Block Storage?

Block storage is a simple form of data storage provided by practically all major Iaas (Infrastructure as a service) vendors. It is essentially a strong performing virtual hard drive in the cloud – that stores data in fixed-sized portions called ‘blocks’.

What is Object Storage?

Like Block Storage, Object Storage is offered by almost all major Iaas vendors, including Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service), Microsoft’s Azure’s Blob Store, and Google’s Cloud Storage, but it is much newer and works differently. Object Storage stores data with customisable metadata tags and creates a UID (Unique Identifier) to form an object. There is no limit to the number of data objects stored in the virtual memory.

Cloud Block Storage VS Object Storage: Which is better and is Backup needed?

The most notable differences between block and object storage are ‘Scalability’ and ‘Geography’. Block Storage is only reliable when backed up correctly. If it’s not adequately backed up, it can result in data loss which can be disruptive and catastrophic for the customer. Indisputably Block storage needs to be backed up. Moreover, where data retrieval is required - the greater the distance between storage and application, the higher the latency, meaning scalability is restricted whereas Object Storage can scale infinitely to petabytes and beyond and automatically replicates data to multiple regions (at least three availability zones). This means that should disaster strike in one zone; you would still have data stored within another zone. Overall, both block and object storage have strong performance in key areas. Block Storage has a stable performance with database and transactional data but experiences latency issues, fails to organise and retrieve data in a systematic method (No Metadata) and denies scalability. Object Storage performs best for big data and high stream throughput and offers better built-in data organisations (Customisable metadata) and precautions. Backing up Object Storage is conclusive, considering it automatically includes precautions of data threats and risks that could arise. Holding a copy of your object data ‘just in case’ really does depend on the level of data security your company needs and requires.

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