CxO’s of large enterprises all around the world struggle every few years with the decision of refreshing aging storage infrastructure or exploring storage utility infrastructure as a service. Both options have their benefits, but with the advancement of technology and declining costs in storage infrastructure as a service, more and more CxO’s are realizing the benefits of storage utility infrastructure services.
A utility service offers the flexibility to order more storage as demand increases and reduce storage—and costs—when demand subsides. It is called a utility model because it is similar to a monthly home electric utility bill, with a higher charge for consuming more electricity and a lower charge for using less. Storage utility services replace both monthly cost and management of administration, assets, tools, and facilities with a flexible pay-per-use option. This model, then, is ideal for clients with unpredictable storage growth, seasonal swings in storage demand, and short-term projects requiring temporary storage. Storage utility services help enterprises to:
- Eliminate storage capital from their financial books
- Reduce up-front storage acquisition costs and overall storage expenses by eliminating excess capacity
- Improve storage cost predictability
- Increase storage flexibility and scalability
- Greatly reduce the TCO of their data storage environment
One question I encounter when I meet with clients is, isn’t a utility service just a cloud based solution. The answer I always give is – yes and no. The main difference between storage utility services and cloud services is that, in a utility service, the storage devices and applications reside in either the vendor’s facility or the client’s facility. Cloud storage services separate the server from the storage and then served the storage up to servers via a wide area network (WAN) in the customer’s data center. Typically, online cloud storage refers to a shared pool of nonessential storage that can be accessed on demand over the internet. It is generally used for latency-tolerant data that is not considered mission-critical.