September 22, 2020

What is STaaS?

Storage as a service (STaaS) is a managed service model for purchasing data storage based on consumption, where a company only pays for what they use, typically on a per-GB per-month basis.

Storage as a service (STaaS) is a managed service model for purchasing data storage based on consumption, where a company only pays for what they use, typically on a per-GB per-month basis, backed by a service level agreement (SLA) from the storage service provider.

30% of IT organizations are using enterprise-class Storage-as-a-Service. - Frank Berry, IT Brand Pulse

So that means that, a majority of IT organizations are still unfamiliar with the benefits STaaS technology can bring to their organizations. So you probably need to take a look at ICG Asia's STaaS offering today.

Why use storage as a service?

Storage as a service is used by organisations of all sizes, typically with 10TB or more storage capacity, who want to maximise their operational expenditure, improve availability, mitigate risk and offload technical debt associated with management and maintenance of enterprise storage infrastructure.

CIOs appreciate the agility that STaaS offers, with the ability to deploy resources almost instantly, based on constantly evolving workloads. Instead of waiting months for procurement, to engage a storage provider for tender, then deploy, migrate and manage. STaaS allows new storage, drives, cache and protocols to be provisioned in minutes. Whilst buffer capacity takes away the pain of ever running out of storage space again.

CFOs benefit from how STaaS reduces huge CapEx capital outlays to small monthly OpEx payments, similar to why companies used to lease IT infrastructure over a number of years, rather than pay for it all up-front. Learn more about CapEx vs OpEx vs Leasing vs XaaS.

Improved levels of service with SLAs managed by a vendor or service provider, rather than company itself.

How storage as a service works?

Customers sign a service agreement based on a fixed cost per-GB per-month basis, with a floor price or minimum commit, typically around $1,500 per month. Equipment is provided to the customer inclusive of all installation, on-going maintenance and future upgrades.

How much does storage as a service cost?

Cost is one of the key drives behind organisations adopting a STaaS storage solution. When you consider the fact that you only pay-for-what-you-use, with little to no commitment, rather than been tied to a box for 3-5 years, with an investment of tens-of-thousands to hundreds-of-thousands of dollars, only to repeat the process all over again in another 5 years when it's at the end of it's lifecycle. The agility STaaS offers is highly compelling.

Soft costs

Consider the soft costs, such as installation, upgrades, migration, management, overprovisioned capacity, overprovisioned IOPS, SLAs, GTM delays, downtime, procurement, management burden, staffing costs, you can start to see why STaaS is so attractive. If you are considering STaaS in a public cloud, then you can consider the power, cooling and rackspace costs too.

Hard costs

If you just compare the hard costs, then things aren't quite so clear. Similar to comparing a traditional storage box to cloud provider like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. The box itself might workout cheaper, when you assess just the cost per-GB, but once you consider that you still need to rack it, power it, cool it, migrate, manage and upgrade it, the case becomes much clearer.

Opportunity cost

The opportunity cost of not going to a STaaS model is tied-up business capital and lost ability innovate, when resources are tied-up managing and maintaining storage arrays, rather than contributing to the business operation through innovation and digital transformation.

Only pay for what you use

With STaaS you pay only for what you consume, so you don't need to worry about purchasing a 100TB storage array for 5 years and only using 20-50TB in the first few years, essentially wasting 50-80% of your capital investment, all that typically over provisioned capacity is no longer your problem.

Benefits of Storage as a Service?

  • Only pay for what you use
  • Remove large up-front CAPEX expenditure
  • Improved levels of service with guaranteed SLAs
  • Scalability to grow beyond traditional SAN restrictions like number of drives
  • Reliability with multiple copies of your data, better than simple RAID-6 protection
  • Offload the management burden of your storage area network
  • No fees for egress network traffic like public cloud storage
  • Pay per month subscription basis: 12, 36 or 60 months

What is the difference between Cloud Storage and STaaS?

Cloud storage and STaaS are essentially the same, however STaaS is more commonly used when referring to the deployment or delivery of storage as a service on premises in your own data center, rather than storage from a cloud services provider.

STaaS use cases

  • Backup and archive
  • Containerized workloads
  • Database
  • Data protection
  • Disaster recovery
  • FIle server consolidation
  • Long-term retention
  • NAS file shares
  • Object storage
  • SAN block storage
  • Storage refresh
  • Virtualization

Everything as a service (XaaS)

With the ever accelerating trend toward cloud computing, it seems everything is now available as-a-service or SaaS application. What's more compelling is that those cloud services business models, which used to be restricted only to the cloud service providers, are now evolving into something that you can deploy on premises to help achieve hybrid cloud nirvana.

Learn more about ICG Asia Storage as a Service (STaaS) or calculate your STaaS storage cost with the ICG Asia storage cost calculator.

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