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Storage systems

Storage systems in science

There are many different storage systems, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In principle, it is important that data and metadata are stored in a reliable location and can be stored there for a set time (or forever). But what are the different storage systems and where are the advantages and disadvantages? In the following figure, object storage, file-based storage and block storage are compared with each other based on various criteria.

What is an object store?

The Coscine platform is connected to an object store because this provides metadata support in particular. The object store is integrated into Coscine on the basis of S3, which means "Simple Storage Service". This ensures the secure and long storage of large data while maintaining user-friendliness. There is also the possibility of access management, which guarantees a high level of security, and only approved data sets can be accessed. The name object storage comes from the fact that the individual data and metadata are stored as objects. For the metadata, both standard metadata and user-defined metadata can be specified. The respective objects are stored in so-called buckets, which serve as a container for the objects, so to speak. There is no maximum number of objects that can be stored per bucket. To ensure the security of the stored data, each object in the bucket is assigned a so-called object key. This object key can be used for unique identification of the object and with the help of the combination of the bucket, the key and the desired version the object can be called.

What are the advantages of object storage?

The individual storage systems each offer many advantages and also disadvantages. Since Coscine is connected to an object store, only the advantages of the object store are listed here:

  • Suitable for a wide variety of data types (images, videos, text documents, databases, etc.)
  • Metadata can be stored with the data (both standard metadata and user-defined metadata)
  • Easy to use for the users
  • High security is guaranteed
  • Long storage of objects possible