What are Object-based Storage Devices (OSDs)?

An object-based storage device (OBSD) is somewhat different from traditional block-based methods such as SCSI, SAS, FCP, ATA, SATA) and file-based methods (NFS, CIFS). OBSDs are dissimilar in a way in which they organize data, they’re configured “into containers called objects that a user or application determines are related” (Gibilisco, S., 2013).

A traditional block-oriented device provides data access to an array of unrelated blocks, while an object store allows access to data by means of storing objects. “A storage object is a virtual entity that groups data together that has been determined by the user to be logically related.” (Oracle, 2007).

Following diagram (© Oracle) outlines the differences in data structure of block based and object based disk:

As far as advantages that OSDs offers, we see this 20-year-old technology being reincarnated in the large Cloud installations, as nowadays “the vast majority of cloud storage available in the market leverages an object storage architecture” (Object storage, 2016).  Following are the market leaders that are using OBSDs: Amazon S3, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Oracle Elastic Storage Service and DreamHost.

 

References

Object storage (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object_storage (Accessed: 23 August 2016).

Oracle (2007) Object-based storage devices. Available at: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/solaris/osd-142183.html (Accessed: 23 August 2016).

Gibilisco, S. (2013) What is object storage device (OSD)? – definition from WhatIs.com. Available at: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/object-storage-device-OSD (Accessed: 23 August 2016).

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