Object storage (also known as object-based storage) is a computer data storage architecture that manages data as objects, as opposed to other storage architectures like file systems which manages data as a file hierarchy, and block storage which manages data as blocks within sectors and tracks. Each object typically includes the data itself, a variable amount of metadata, and a globally unique identifier. Object storage can be implemented at multiple levels, including the device level (object-storage device), the system level, and the interface level. In each case, object storage seeks to enable capabilities not addressed by other storage architectures, like interfaces that are directly programmable by the application, a namespace that can span multiple instances of physical hardware, and data-management functions like data replication and data distribution at object-level granularity. Object storage systems allow retention of massive amounts of unstructured data. Object storage is used for purposes such as storing photos on Facebook, songs on Spotify, or files in online collaboration services, such as Dropbox. = Origins =In 1995, research led by Garth Gibson on Network-Attached Secure Disks first promoted the concept of splitting less common operations, like namespace manipulations, from common operations, like reads and writes, to optimize the performance and scale of both. In the same year, a Belgian company - FilePool - was established to build the basis for archiving functions. Object storage was proposed at Gibson's Carnegie Mellon University lab as a research project in 1996. Another key concept was abstracting the writes and reads of data to more flexible data containers (objects).