Storage as a service
What makes a good STaaS provider
Data growth is currently the biggest storage challenge for many companies. Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) promises a cost-effective solution where a provider borrows storage space.
STaaS can be a profitable business for MSPs, IT system integrators and other channel players. But what makes STaaS offers attractive and how do you avoid cost traps and thus unsatisfied customers? In his guest article, storage specialist Nick Notter lists five characteristics that characterize a good STaaS offering.
Storage requirements are increasing
The current S&P Global Market Intelligence study “Bridging the Hybrid IT Gap with STaaS” shows what’s in store for companies in terms of data growth. Therefore, the amount of data will increase by a third on average in the coming years. However, budgets will not keep pace with this growth. The companies surveyed only expect an increase of 16 per cent.
Companies are therefore forced to be particularly efficient with their inventory investments. Storage-as-a-Service models offer an alternative to purchasing new storage capacities. Billing is always based on consumption. The stock can thus be consumed according to specific needs and can be invoiced as pure operating costs (OpEx).
There are now a large number of STaaS offerings on the market, but they often differ significantly in detail.
Characteristics to consider when choosing the right partner for Storage-as-a-Service:
Feature 1: Longer versus shorter maturities
The minimum period for many providers is 36 months. For others, however, it is only 12 months. For newcomers, a shorter period is initially advisable in order to gain practical experience and better assess the necessary services.
Feature 2: Additional charges for early contract termination
In general, the longer the contract, the lower the price. However, it is always important to look carefully at the terms of the contract. If a long-term contract is terminated early, some providers charge additional fees. IBM has a different approach here. Here, the customer only pays back the long-term discount.
Function 3: Provide capacity for further growth
Monthly rates are based on physical capacity used per terabytes. It is important that the customer remains as flexible as possible with the capacity offered. For example, IBM installs 50 percent more capacity right from the start at no extra cost. Payments are due only when the additional installed capacity is used.
Feature 4: Leverage compression, lower costs
Compression can reduce costs, but it can also become a cost trap. For example, some providers charge extra if the data is compressed. Therefore, choose a provider that always takes the selected number of terabytes as a starting point for the calculation. For example, if data can be compressed at a ratio of 2:1, the price per terabytes are halved. Current flash arrays with third-generation IBM Flash Core modules even offer 3:1 compression. This is a huge cost advantage.
Feature 5: Good service pays off
Some providers score with a good range of services. With IBM Storage-as-a-Service, each customer is looked after by an account manager. This proactively monitors the booked system, installs system updates and keeps an eye on used storage space. If this reaches 75 percent utilization, IBM automatically initiates an upgrade. In addition, IBM performs a product update after three or four years at no additional cost.
Your contact person
Business Development Manager – IBM Storage Solutions at Techdata
Telephone: +49 (0)711 51881 240
Also read the interesting IBM expert interview IBM STORAGE-AS-A-SERVICE – THE CUSTOMER-FRIENDLY PAY-PER-USE STORAGE