Small Business Brief

Technology & Software

What Is Object Storage: Must-Know Benefits of S3 Storage for Business

Did you know that 68% of enterprise companies use public cloud storage facilities?

Most of these companies store their data on the cloud, using an approach known as ‘S3 object storage.’ That’s because this approach tends to have many benefits when compared to traditional file storage options.

Keep reading, and you’ll learn how S3 object-based storage differs from traditional file storage. If you’re looking for a better way to manage your data, you’ll soon discover how S3 object-based storage can help you.

Let’s begin!

What is Object Storage?

It’s worth noting that object storage and S3 storage are slightly different things. Thus, to begin with, we’re going to explore what object-based storage is.  

Generally, object-based storage is mentioned as an alternative to traditional storage.

Traditional file storage typically means that you store files, as they are, on a given server. However, object-based storage is when you take a specific file, and then you break it down into little units called ‘objects.’

This approach allows for faster file retrieval when compared to traditional storage. This can be especially helpful if you have a business that generates a lot of data, or if you have data stored in servers around the globe.

What is S3 Storage?

S3 stands for ‘simple storage service,’ and it’s simply a way to store the ‘objects’ we mentioned earlier. 

S3 storage is a term that was first coined by Amazon Web Services (AWS). However, the term has become synonymous with object storage, and thus many companies now offer S3 storage facilities. 

The most common alternative to S3 storage involves storing files on a local server without the use of ‘objects.’ 

Now that we’ve covered the basics of S3 storage, we’re now going to explain the benefits of this approach.  

Improved Scalability

One of the best things about S3 storage is that you have a lot of scalability.

For instance, suppose you use the traditional approach, and you store data using offline servers. 

If you need to increase your storage capacity, you’d need to invest in more servers. You wouldn’t be able to store extra data until you installed these severs.

Well, with S3 storage, you don’t have to deal with those limitations.

That’s because the S3 platform has an incredibly large amount of storage on offer, and you will not be able to surpass their capacity.

Thus, if you suddenly need to store a large number of files, that’s not a problem. You can just upload your files, and they will be saved to your S3 server.

The amount of money you pay for S3 storage is typically dependent on the amount of storage you’re using. Thus, if you store more documents on your S3 server, your storage bills will go up.

This might sound like a downside, but you’d experience an increase in costs even if you used the traditional approach. 

That’s because if you needed to increase your storage capacity, you’d need to invest in new local servers. You’d also need to pay for the maintenance of these servers, which can be quite expensive in and of itself.

When you compare these expenses to the costs of using an S3 server, you’ll generally find that S3 is cheaper.

Improved Security

Another great thing about S3 storage is it can be very secure when compared to traditional solutions. 

That’s because S3 storage companies invest a lot of money in security, and it’s something that they focus on constantly. After all, if their system isn’t secure, clients will not use their service.

One of the excellent security features associated with S3 storage is a granular level of ‘access control.’

This means that you can easily control who has access to your files, and you can also revoke access once you have given it. 

Additionally, you can set up two-factor authentication for an S3 server. This means that people will need their username and password, but also a special code to access the server. 

S3 storage services will also send you messages if they suspect that a malicious actor is trying to access your files. The system will do this if it notices several failed login attempts or if someone from another country is trying to login.

Note that if you’re using a traditional offline storage method, your ability to keep files secure comes down your own security skills.

You will need to know how to install a firewall so that no one can hack your server. You will also need to update your server software regularly, or else it could be open to attack. 

This can be a lot to manage, and if you drop the ball on anything, you might become the victim of a hack. 

Selecting an S3 Storage Service

Though Amazon coined the term S3, it’s worth noting that many companies offer S3 object-based storage.

Most of the people looking to invest in S3 storage are simply interested in cheap S3 storage. After all, if you’re dealing with a lot of data, your data storage costs can quickly become one of your most significant expenses.

That said, if you belong to this group, it’s vital that you don’t go with an unknown brand.

That’s because your data is an important part of your business, and you want it to be in good hands. Following this, it’s generally good to go with a well-known service such as AWS, Redhat, or Azure.

Of course, going down this route might mean that you have to pay more for your storage. But this expense is often worth it when you consider the negative impact of losing your data.

Will You Use S3 Object-Based Storage?

Object-based S3 storage can be complex, but you should now have a rough idea of how the concept works and why it is better than traditional file storage.

If you’re going to invest in S3 object storage, you might want to experiment with a couple of suppliers. In doing so, you’ll learn which one is best suited to your needs, and this will help you avoid any headaches later on.

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