May 09, 2022
As a business leader you may be struggling to understand how to best leverage the new IT infrastructure consumption models that streamline and reduce the cost of IT transformation. Today, you have more options than just the choice between either moving to public cloud or to continue the massive upfront investments in data center infrastructure. The cloud choice gives you flexibility and agility, while buying your own may be required to meet application and business needs or to satisfy security and compliance requirements.
But what if you could have the best of both? That’s the promise of a relatively new choice for storage. Storage as a Service (STaaS) that’s dedicated for your use in your datacenter or behind your firewall. If you are still learning about STaaS our blog “Understanding STaaS and its Three Big Advantages” can help. In short, StaaS enables the security of on-prem with the agility of the cloud, in a pay as you go format. If, on the other hand, you are ready to start thinking about evaluating providers, you may need a little guidance to get the most from this new way to store your data. Not all STaaS is created equal. The six questions below can help you become more of an expert in this area to avoid the pitfalls and plan for success.
1. What is the reputation of the service provider? If they are a third-party, are they certified or credentialed?
When it comes to your business’s operational resilience you don’t want to take chances with vendors who may be unreliable or cutting corners, regardless of the promises they make. Vendors should have a history of performance and reliability. Third-parties should be credentialed and ready to meet your due diligence requirements if necessary.
2. Can the vendor provide precise specifications about the hardware? Are you familiar with the manufacturer?
The focus of Storage as a Service solutions tends to be more around service level agreements rather than technology specification. However, should there be a specific need due to legal or compliance reasons that require the technology be exposed, the as a service provider should be prepared to do so.
3. Is the organization established and prepared to partner with you to solve issues or customize solutions?
STaaS should support a step toward more automated and pre-configured hybrid cloud for your business. But if your business needs shift beyond a standard offering you should be able to count on your solution provider to help you manage that change and provide a more personalized approach if needed.
4. Is the solution cloud-managed or will this responsibility fall to your IT team?
STaaS promises freedom from some of the management tasks associated with storage management, but if the solution you are considering doesn’t offer third party cloud-management your IT team may still be responsible for tasks you didn’t plan on. Ask for specifics about the level of cloud-management delivered.
5. What service-level commitments and guarantees are offered as part of the consumption-based package?
Service level agreements (SLAs) can vary vendor to vendor. You’ll want to make sure that a vendor can promise and deliver on agreements that meet your business’s needs.
6. Is there an easy entry point, one that lets you try the service before making a long-term commitment?
Ideally, long-term commitments should be a thing of the past with a STaaS solution. Make sure you see a way to try the solution for a shorter period of time before needing to commit.
Decisions about how to best operate should be directly influenced by the needs of your business—not something dictated by market modernization pressures or pushing from IT departments ready to embrace transformation. Consumption-based STaaS provides the bridge needed to create an optimized hybrid storage environment for your business—providing the best of both worlds.
Dan McConnell is Senior Vice President, Product Management, Hitachi Vantara.
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