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The European Union’s (EU’s) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to come into force in May 2018, was a major driver for cloud services provider Interoute when it deployed S3-compatible object storage from Cloudian.
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The company highlighted the accessibility and durable nature of object stores as a key driver to its adoption.
London-headquartered Interoute has 2,100 employees and provides cloud services and outsourced operations from datacentres across Europe and worldwide to enterprise customers.
These include UEFA, European Space Agency, Scabal, Monin, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, AO.com, Asset Handling and Savant.
The company wanted object storage to support an S3-compatible storage platform it planned to offer to customers. The upcoming advent of GDPR was a major driver for object storage, said communications and connectivity vice-president Mark Lewis.
It deployed the Cloudian Hyperstore Operating Environment platform on commodity hardware x86 servers.
“Responses to GDPR is one of the behaviours we’re seeing,” said Lewis. “Object storage is seen as reliable – developers look at it as a nice way to address storage. It’s also about the price point and about writing to a place.”
GDPR will put tough requirements on organisations that store “personally identifiable data”, so it is key that data can be found and is readily accessible.
“Object storage is a bit more permanent, it has a location and a set of credentials and it’s not like putting your data on tape and sending it to a hole in the side of a mountain,” said Lewis. “S3 is recognised as how people expect to address object storage.”
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Object storage has emerged as a key method of storage in the cloud. It does away with the hierarchical tree-like structure of traditional file systems, which can become cumbersome and effect input/output (I/O) performance.
In its place it puts a flat file structure with each object possessing a unique identifier, with rich metadata, that is located through an object database.
Some have touted object storage as a key technology for the future of web operations, although it suffers from longer access times and therefore poor performance compared with block and file access storage.
Interoute’s use of object storage suits this performance profile, however, said Lewis. “It’s aimed at workloads with middling performance requirements. One example is a government customer that collects lots of data for immediate processing then requires a repository from which to distribute data to customers,” he said.