The data decade is in full swing and it appears to be living up to the name.Data growth continues to accelerate at a breakneck pace and the increased digitization of our daily lives only has a compounding effect on the rate of data creation. IDC’s projections bear this out: “within the next four years, the global economy will finally reach ‘digital supremacy,’ with more than half of GDP driven by products and services from digitally transformed enterprises.”It has never been more critical that organizations support the applications, websites, cameras, home security systems, IoT sensors, and everything else we depend on in our daily lives. But in order to do so, companies must invest in storage technologies which empower them to capture all this data—the majority of which is unstructured in nature—and serve it up to their constituents at a moment’s notice.Object storage systems are excellent candidates to do just that, and at Dell Technologies, we’ve got the best platform for the job. It’s called Dell EMC ECS.We’ve made some innovative strides in the last few months to further enhance the value this object storage platform brings to organizations of all stripes. Our latest step on this journey of continuous innovation brings us to this release: ECS 3.5.ECS 3.5 features compelling new capabilities such as:SSD for metadata read caching: Organizations looking to unlock more performance from their ECS appliances now have the option to include a 960GB flash drive per node. This improves system-wide read latency and IOPS, supporting analytics workloads which require faster reads of large data sets.Streamlined tech refresh functionality: We’ve made it even easier to migrate to the latest generation of ECS hardware via a non-disruptive upgrade process. By streamlining the evacuation of data from old nodes within a cluster, organizations can ensure continuity of operations while extending the life of their ECS investments.Customer replaceable drive upgrades (CRU): We’ve also enabled customers to take a DIY approach to replacing faulty drives. Now, with ECS 3.5, tech savvy IT teams don’t have to rely on an onsite Dell technician for break-fix, accelerating time-to-resolution.IAM support with object tagging: ECS 3.5 introduces support for identity and access management (IAM) with object tagging which provides IT departments more granular controls over resource access. Organizations can more easily incorporate company-defined user policies to improve their overall security posture.S3a support: ECS 3.5 also unlocks unique analytics and big data scenarios by enabling Hadoop data to be stored on ECS using the S3a protocol. This new capability has been certified for Cloudera’s QATS suite and integrates with IAM features to improve security for Hadoop workloads.And there’s a lot more where that came from. With these latest enhancements, it’s never been a better time to think through how ECS can unlock the value of your data. Whether you want to stand up cost-effective archives, modernize existing apps to take advantage of the simplicity of our object architecture or support the development of cloud-native applications, the versatility and economics of ECS make it all possible on one single platform.There are a number of exciting developments ahead for ECS. Stay tuned!