Data growth continues at an insatiable rate, particularly unstructured data driven by rich-media experiences, IoT, machine learning and mobile devices. Companies of every size and type are facing the challenges of digital transformation, forcing businesses to rethink how data is captured, preserved, accessed and transformed.

With more and more applications across industries depending on difficult-to-categorize files such as complex business files, video and large image data (e.g. bio imaging, business communication, video assets etc.) we wanted to understand the impact that unstructured data is having on organizations and the current state of object storage.

Digital Transformation Meets Unstructured Data

In cooperation with 451 Research, a survey was sent to a vetted group of 100 enterprise and 100 service provider customers to understand what their challenges are in managing large scale unstructured data, why object storage is emerging as their platform of choice for long-term data management, and outline customer expectations.

The poll targeted storage decision makers at every level, including C-level executives and all tiers of IT management, as well as specialists in storage administration, backup and recovery, archiving, data sciences, and cloud services.

So how are companies contending with the onslaught of data and what’s the state of object storage in the market today?

The State of Object Storage

We captured the key findings of the report in the infographic below. Here are some of the highlights. You can also download a complimentary copy of the 451 Research report “The Growing Role of Object Storage in Solving Unstructured Data Challenges” at the end of this blog post.

  • Why object storage is on the rise: 40% of surveyed companies believe lowering storage TCO is a top reason to move to object storage.
  • 44% believe new analytics initiatives with large data requirements is one of the issues related to managing unstructured data that merits the adoption of object storage.
  • A new wave of applications using object storage APIs is placed as the second highest challenge that merits adopting object storage.
  • It’s not slowing down! By 2022, some analysts project that 93% of all data in the digital universe will be unstructured. [1]
  • Organizations are moving away from traditional infrastructures. By 2021, more than 80% of enterprise data will be stored in scale-out storage systems. [2]

Download your copy of the report below.

451 Research State of Object Storage


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[1] Headwaters Group, Your Unstructured Data Is Sexy – You Just Don’t Know It, 2017

[2] HGST, Gartner Magic Quadrant for File Systems & Object Storage‎, 2017

Stefaan is sr. director of solutions marketing and strategic alliances at WDC, with 15+ yrs in the data storage and backup industry.