I remember my first object store in 2007. Using a COTS x 86 server with 6 TB of storage, it was powered by Caringo software. I needed a cluster of four units to make a decent starter kit, and it promised metadata searching and replication. The setup worked fine.
Work I’d done previously on Replicus-derived solutions set my expectations. It wasn’t very fast and seemed suited for archiving data. A year later, a bunch of my systems were storing the Human Genome Project at Johns Hopkins, and it was clear that this was no longer just an interesting technology.
Since then, we’ve come a long way. Many more vendors are in the game, and open-source programs like Ceph and OpenStack’s Swift promise reduced prices. Amazon uses the S3 object store to underpin a good portion of its AWS cloud service. Other cloud providers now offer similar solutions.[…]