Object storage technology is the unsung hero of cloud storage solutions, including Rackspace Cloud Files. Cloud storage is widely regarded for massive scalability, reliability and low cost. That is all true, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. Object storage metadata capabilities, flat-name space and programmatic interfaces are the real gems that make Cloud Files a must-have for not only storing, but also managing, searching and processing the deluge of unstructured data organizations face.
Directory and file naming conventions used to catalog data on traditional file systems break down at scale. Even at a personal level, when you’re storing photographs, do you create a folder for specific dates? How about folders for locations or specific events? Valid arguments exist for any of these, but with a traditional file system you have to choose just one.
Finding a specific photo as your collection expands becomes increasingly difficult. What if you’ve settled on organizing by dates and you’re trying to find pictures of a specific person for a special occasion? If you’re anything like me, you’ll create a new folder and embark on a painstaking search and copy of the ones you wish to use — tedious, error-prone and highly inefficient. Moving from this small-scale example to managing content in an entire business, the amount of waste searching, organizing and replicating data is a world-class problem.
With object storage, you can associate metadata (data about the data) directly with your files allowing you to identify content in multiple ways. For example, pictures may be simultaneously identified by location, date, individuals captured and other information. Applications that leverage this metadata eliminate the time-draining guessing game to find content, increase productivity and reduce data sprawl.
Though Cloud Files can be accessed via a programmatic interface, Maldivica extends these services by providing a NAS interface (NFS and CIFS) into Cloud Files, allowing instant integration with existing systems and applications.
Associating metadata with large volumes of content in Cloud Files is another challenge. Maldivica has developed a powerful metadata engine that can automatically extract, normalize and associate valuable metadata already contained in over 1,000 common content-types, including a wide variety of media and office files.
Maldivica moves your content intact into Rackspace Cloud Files, allowing applications to access it directly through the Cloud Files API, eliminating vendor lock-in. We make Cloud Files accessible for active data archival, rapid content distribution on Akamai’s CDN or big data analysis and processing.
For more information on how Maldivica helps you capture the power of Rackspace Cloud Files, including downloading the Maldivica Storage Connector, please visit www.maldivica.com and check out blog.maldivica.com for the continuation of this post and others on the benefits of object storage.