Gartner defines distributed file systems and object storage as software and hardware solutions that are based on “shared nothing architecture” and that support object and/or scale-out file technology to address requirements for unstructured data growth. A shared-nothing architecture is a distributed computing architecture in which there is no single point of contention across the system. Distributed file system storage uses a single parallel file system to cluster multiple storage nodes together, presenting a single namespace and a storage pool to provide high-bandwidth data access for multiple hosts in parallel. Data is distributed over multiple nodes in the cluster to deliver data availability and resilience in a self-healing manner, and to provide high throughput and scale capacity linearly. Object storage refers to devices and software that house data in structures called “objects,” and serve clients data via RESTful HTTP APIs, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and OpenStack Swift.
Primary storage covers vendors that offer dedicated products or product lines for solid-state arrays (SSAs) or hybrid storage arrays (or both), and software-defined storage (SDS) software. Hybrid storage arrays include solid-state drive (SSD) and hard-disk drive (HDD) configurations. SSA products are 100% solid-state, technology-based systems that cannot be combined or expanded with HDDs. SSAs and hybrid storage arrays must have a dedicated product name and an associated model number. SDS products are designed to operate on industry-standard, commodity hardware on-premises or in the public cloud. A primary storage product’s foremost purpose is to support response time and input/output per second (IOPS)-sensitive structured data workloads. Typical use cases include mission-critical workloads, such as IBM Db2, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint, Oracle Databases and applications, SAP HANA, and in-house-developed transactional applications.