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File-Based Storage vs. Object-Based Storage: Which Is Best for Your Financial Business' Unstructured Data?

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By the BlueAlly Marketing Team

Traditional file-based storage uses nested folders. Object-based storage instead uses detailed metadata to make files easy to find.

File-Based Storage vs. Object-Based Storage

File-based storage and object-based storage are two methods of data storage. File-based storage is the traditional method. It uses nested folders. Object-based storage treats all files the same, and uses detailed metadata to make them easy to find.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages and Disadvantages of File Storage

File storage uses a hierarchy of folders. This can be easy and convenient at first but may become confusing over time.
File storage has a number of advantages:

• Most users are already familiar with file storage.
• The hierarchy of folders is intuitive at a small scale.
• File storage is easy and inexpensive to set up.

However, over time its disadvantages can show up:

• As folders multiply, the structure can become confusing.
• Expansion means complicating things further.
• New users need the file structure explained to them.

The system that serves you well on your home PC may not be as well suited to an expanding business.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Object Storage

Object-based storage treats all data as equal, with no hierarchy. It sorts objects by their metadata, which can be extensively detailed.
Advantages of object storage:

• Object storage is scalable — it works just as well no matter how much your business expands.
• The detailed metadata gives you a much greater ability to search for exactly the data you need.
• Object storage is ideal for large amounts of static, unstructured data.

Disadvantages of object storage:

• Most users are less familiar with it.
• Entering detailed metadata means taking more time to store each file.
• Objects are static once created.

Implementing Your Storage Plan

If you’re using file storage on a small scale, then you may be able to set up the system yourself. Setting up object storage can be more complex. If you don’t have an IT department with experience in object storage, it may be best to take advantage of expert help. A reputable IT firm, with experience partnering with companies such as HP Inc., can be very helpful.