Metadata: The future of storage? "When vendors discuss metadata-driven storage, the phrase "storage virtualisation" invariably comes up. Vendors will tell you that, depending on what the goals of a particular metadata application are, the benefits of storage virtualisation can range from improvements in retrieval performance to searchability to ease of management to better allowance for heterogeneity at the hardware level (but usually not all of the above).
Return on investment theoretically comes in the form of increased productivity to both end users and those tasked with planning and managing enterprise storage. Storage virtualisation can result in capacity optimisations that bring hardware savings."
"Databases consist of structured data, which means relational records that are usually fairly dynamic and that have highly relational characteristics. Unstructured data is a photograph. That's unstructured data, where you're storing a big object with a little bit of information around the object. It's usually what we call fixed content. It's a medical image or an e-mail record or a document that's been scanned in. It's not relational, but you still want it to be a record."