Why use storage as a service?
Data storage capacity has traditionally been a capital expense. The purchase and installation of on-premise servers to store long term data is always a continuous business challenge. On-premise infrastructure must be maintained, secured, and upgraded. As new technology is innovated to supplant older storage systems and meet user demands, data must be migrated to more capable units and outdated storage shuffled off. Utilizing software-defined storage software, which virtually manages multiple disparate storage units as if it were one, can breathe new life into old on-premise storage by linking them together and adding functionality found in newer units.
But, more than not, companies are moving to the cloud, because in the cloud, storage is inherently set up for scaling. Scaling requires more expense when done in-house. In the cloud, because storage and its costs are spread out among many users, the scaling effect can be achieved more readily. Enterprises can still avail of this advantage and have devoted storage capacity. And when storage reaches astronomical levels, Google and Apache both have created their own storage solutions for super high capacity data centers.
With top of class storage vendors present in the market, there are few advantages for maintaining on-premise infrastructure. A compelling reason is compliance. Personally Identifiable Information (PII), by regulation, must be maintained in the country in which it was produced. If you are an American, law dictates that your PII must reside on a server within the U.S. and not in say China. While it is possible to strike a deal with a vendor to ensure that data resides on a server in the appropriate country, many companies simply don’t take the chance, and instead divide data into two categories: operational but inconsequential data that can go to the cloud (like streaming content), and data that must be guarded at the highest level, such as personal, health and financial information, that can be retained on premise.
In the end, moving to the cloud tends to reduce what was a capital expense to an operational expense.