Conventional enterprise cloud binary large object (BLOB or blob) storage accommodates huge amounts of unstructured data that doesn’t conform to any one file format. In public, private, and multi-clouds, this data is often held in non-hierarchical storage areas called data lakes.

This type of object storage needs to be highly scalable to accommodate the proliferating assets that the enterprise generates. Blob storage is cloud-native, programming-language agnostic, and can be incredibly affordable. And because blobs are traditionally hosted in the cloud, it’s a natural fit for organizations that already use and rely on the cloud for unstructured data storage.

Blobs are especially useful for companies that need to keep an immutable, protected object store of their unstructured data. This store is easily accessible from multiple, global locations and, in Panzura’s CloudFS global file system schema, acts as the authoritative source in cases of ransomware or malware attack and restoration.

In one enterprise cloud storage model, blob files are kept in containers that function similarly to file directories and link to an organization’s cloud file system. Businesses can collect all their unstructured data assets into one globally accessible location. In addition, cloud providers boast that their enterprise blob cloud storage archives can achieve game-changing levels of speed, scalability, and security.

Cloud enterprise services are of course designed to scale up and down based on your changing storage needs. Vendor blob services can also automatically replicate data within specific regions for added redundancy. But there are differences between vendor cloud services and other methods. First, cloud service options:

Pricing and cost

Vendor enterprise blob cloud storage offers competitive pricing using data tiering and pricing structures based on cloud data storage volume, transfer, access, and other requests. The price you pay depends on your unstructured data cloud storage needs. Common is data tiered pricing that tries to optimize costs by moving less frequently accessed data to lower-cost tiers. What would be the case for Panzura CloudFS where the blob is the immutable object store that is continually updated but not accessed unless you have some kind of catastrophe.

Unstructured data that’s frequently used can be held in more expensive tiers for quicker access, or using Panzura’s method, in lower-cost, lightweight, local node flash cache. The three types of blob storage tiers are hot, cool, and archive. You choose an appropriate level of availability and cost efficiency for your data. Cloud services also offer security for data sharing.

Storage options

Cloud vendor storage options range from block, append, and page blobs that can each be used for specific file types and use cases—to object storage in “a bucket” that holds any type of data (the Panzura CloudFS model). Both of these options work for storing large volumes of unstructured data.

Cloud platform vendors offer similar security features, such as encryption at rest and in transit. They also support access control mechanisms to manage and restrict data access such as Active Directory or Identity and Access Management (IAM) for authentication.

Global availability and compliance

Cloud providers can be globally available. They may support data replication within a single region or across multiple regions, or alternately allow cross-region replication and versioning to enhance data availability and durability.

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