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As Data Explodes, Storage-as-a-Service Takes Hold

Tom Christensen Tom Christensen
Global Technology Advisor & Executive Analyst, Hitachi Vantara

January 26, 2022

Digital transformations are fueling the equivalent of a global data gold rush. We know from leading analyst firms that 90% of all data was created in the last two years and it will grow by a factor of two over the next five years. This has resulted in a changed perception of business, one that requires a shift from conventional business models to those that leverage data to gain actionable insights to improve operations, enhances customer experience and accelerates revenue. Achieving these strategic outcomes requires application and infrastructure modernization.

All workloads are expanding—from ERP systems to real-time workloads with actionable insights, to data. The growth is across the entire data landscape from structured, semi-structured to unstructured data. Unstructured data alone is expected to triple in size over the next three years.

According to a recent report from IDC, “Organizations should consider preparing now to store more data as they seek to achieve digital transformation milestones and improve business metrics by accelerating innovative data analytics initiatives.”

Data growth straining business as usual

But that may be easier said than done. Functions like storage demand scaling, security, data protection and ransomware protection are all being negatively impacted. From a scaling perspective, storage capacity requirements within a modern datacenter change frequently and often suddenly, complicating planning and delivery while increasing costs. At its worse rapidly shifting storage demand creates a risk of running out of capacity when your applications need it most. This shifting demand requires more agility than ever before through external block storage capacity, as well as file and object storage in the data center and across near cloud and public cloud.

Moving beyond the costs and risk of capital investments

With such a landscape, it is no wonder that more organizations are considering storage- as- service solutions. (The global storage as a service market is expected to increase 16.4% (CAGR) between 2020 and 2030 according to Future Market Insight.) Storage as a service removes the need for up-front capital investments while providing the agility and flexibility needed to rapidly scale to support business needs.

Simple, predictable unit-per-month fees mean you pay only for the storage that is actually consumed – reducing the overall time and expense of storage management. Organizations buy a service level agreement, not a hardware platform based on projected usage years ahead of time—making it easier to align cost to business outcome.

With this approach, businesses are moving from an infrastructure focus to a data service focus, in which data services are provisioned on top of the infrastructure. These data services can include everything a modern data-driven business demands, from capacity provisioning and data replication to data protection, recovery and beyond. These data services live in a hybrid cloud domain that includes, edge, hybrid cloud platform in the data center, near and public cloud.

When such services are combined with storage assurance services, which include future upgrades in the storage purchase, storage systems can perform data-in-place non-disruptive upgrades to a next generation storage controller without the need for management, migrations or downtime—all while providing the ability to reuse flash media for years to come.

Capture the opportunities

This change to consumption-based purchasing models, storage self-management along with a simple, cloud-based user experience can enable capital and personnel to be reallocated to more strategic initiatives. In such an environment, resource allocation and service workflow activation can be a click away in existing on-premises, private cloud or hybrid-cloud environments, radically liberating the work process.

Private Cloud or Hybrid Cloud Environments

Hitachi Vantara’s Answer: EverFlex

Hitachi Vantara EverFlex as a Service provides the pay-per-use cloud experience modern organizations need in order to capture the promise of today’s data growth while focusing on the IT services needed to support business service-level expectations. Combined with Hitachi Vantara’s industry-unique Storage Assurance as a Service, your storage system will perform non-disruptive upgrades to the next generation storage controller without need for migrations for years to come—as well as provide cost savings if you decide to upgrade controllers.

Enabling IT to:

  • Shift to as-a-service cloud experience, delivering agility and scale without risk.
  • Deploy infrastructure as-a-service with pay-per-use for your complex workloads –managed on premise, in a co-location, at the edge, and in cloud environments of your choice.
  • Simplify IT operations and eliminate over-provisioning and upfront costs.
  • Rely on industry-leading 100% data availability guarantee

If you’d like to learn more about how we could support your business with an everything-as-a-service (XaaS) solution, visit our EverFlex from Hitachi Vantara webpage on

Tom Christensen is Global Technology Advisor and Executive Analyst at Hitachi Vantara.

Tom Christensen

Tom Christensen

Tom has +30 years' experience in data center modernization, from compute and data infrastructure to hybrid and multicloud, applications, DataOps and big data analytics. He writes extensively about technology and advocates for sustainability and social innovation.