How to Stay IN the Data Center Business

Experts claim that organizations want to “get out of the data center business” as one of the reasons that organizations want to move to the Cloud. While that justification does come up occasionally, in most cases top organizations are quite comfortable running a data center. What they want to do is avoid capital expenditures (CAPEX), lower operational costs and increase flexibility.

Moving to the Cloud to avoid capital expenditures is moving to the Cloud because of its business model. Moving to the Cloud to reduce operational expenses (OPEX) or increase flexibility is a technology issue. All of these reasons for moving to the Cloud should be addressable by an on-premises solution and allow customers to use the Cloud as a tool instead of a strategy of last resort.

IT vendors can resolve the business issues by creating a similar business model and buying methodology for the Cloud. Some vendors have tried, but in most cases, they require a minimum purchase and a minimum time of engagement. These business models are, in most cases, leases in disguise.

A vendor who truly wants to deliver an OPEX model needs to provide the most efficient storage platform possible. Unlike the cloud provider who can hide their inefficiencies across thousands of customers, a provider delivering a single storage system to a single data center doesn’t have access to the scale required to hide inefficiencies. A successful on-premises OPEX solution needs to maximize the performance and capacity of every CPU and every drive they implement in their systems.

Addressing the operational costs is also critical, but once again, overall efficiency helps. The fewer physical components the IT administrators need to manage the simpler the system is to administrate. Operational efficiency extends beyond just making sure each drive can reach its full performance and capacity potential. It is also making sure that a single storage software operating environment manages all the relevant storage tasks, thus avoiding inefficient duplication of systems, a phenomenon commonly seen in on-premises storage environments. If the storage operating environment can manage multiple protocols like high-performance primary storage, capacity efficient backup storage, and highly durable archive storage, then the infrastructure becomes infinitely easier to manage.

Introducing StorONE as a Service (S1aaS)

StorONE’s S1aaS takes the company’s storage platform software and delivers it in a turnkey on-premises OPEX model. The platform includes all the features the enterprises expect like high performance, snapshots, and media failure protection. S1aaS supports multiple protocols, providing support for block, file, and object storage. It can also support an all-flash, hybrid, or hard disk only configuration. More importantly, S1aaS manages all of these capabilities from a single underlying storage software platform, S1.

S1aaS leverages S1 to set a new bar in terms of on-premises storage solutions. For $995 per month, organizations get an 18TB all-flash array capable of 150,000 IOPS. For $1,797 per month, the organization gets a 36TB, 250,000 IOPS system and for $2,497 the organization gets a 54TB system capable of 300,000 IOPS. Each of these configurations comes with the feature-rich S1 storage software.

StorONE claims that this is a true OPEX model, meaning that the customer can cancel or modify their agreement with 30 days notice. There is no minimum length of the contract.

StorageSwiss Take

S1aaS eliminates one of the most prominent risks organizations face, learning how a new system will perform in production. IT professionals only have time to test so much, and an evaluation won’t uncover every potential problem. With S1aaS’ price points, there is no need to go through an evaluation process, simply buy it for a month or two. If it works, keep subscribing, if it doesn’t, cancel the subscription and send the system back.

The service also eliminates the risk of moving to the Cloud. When organizations opt for the Cloud to move to an OPEX model, they don’t know for sure how well that application will run in the Cloud. Everything in the Cloud is new. S1aaS is more familiar offering on-premises block, file, and object. It is a known entity that the organization can start using right away.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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