Storage as a Service: OPEX Storage Resources for Operational Agility

Storage as a Service: OPEX Storage Resources for Operational Agility

What is Storage as a Service?

Storage as a service (STaaS) is a subscription service model where a storage provider supplies access to storage and compute resources both on premises and/or over the cloud. STaaS saves you money through operating expenditure (OPEX) agility—you only pay for the storage you need, when you need it. In this article, we’ll dive into what STaaS is, how it works, and what its benefits are.

How does storage as a service work?

The core idea behind STaaS is relatively simple. You subscribe to data storage as you would to any other managed service. By entrusting your data requirements to an experienced third party, you gain access to the latest and greatest in storage management technologies and reliability without having to incur the technical overhead of managing those resources yourself. Let’s take a closer look at how this subscription model works.

Data subscription models

STaaS providers typically offer two main ways to subscribe to their storage services:

  • By quantity: You decide on some upper limit of storage capacity, such as a terabyte per month, and you pay for storage capacity in bulk in advance, usually at a discount.
  • Service level agreements (SLAs): You pay as you go by rates predetermined in an SLA you signed with the storage provider. This gives you the granularity to pay only for what you use.

In practice, you have to decide which data storage subscription model is best for your organisation. The more agility and granularity you need, the more you’ll benefit from an SLA versus a bulk data subscription.

Operational Benefits of STaaS

Gartner report - STaaS can provide reduction in support and maintenance costs by 30%, increase overall IT efficiency by 100% to 200%, and optimise storage asset costs.

Learn more about Cost Benefits of STaaS

Data Types: Block vs. File vs. Object Storage

There are three main types of data storage used in the industry today: block, file, and object storage. These can have an impact on the overall cost of your storage subscription so it’s important to understand the difference between them:

  • Block storage: This storage format is favored by relational databases and storage area networks. Information is broken up into blocks of data which can be efficiently distributed across a storage platform. Unique identifiers allow the information to be reassembled when retrieved.
  • File storage: If you’ve ever used a file system on a PC, you’ve used this type of storage. Information is stored as files navigable via a file directory.
  • Object storage: This is the preferred storage format for APIs, IoT devices, and AI. Unstructured data is stored as objects with descriptive metadata which allows for efficient retrieval in a flat space. This is the most scalable.

Why use storage as a service

Buying new storage capacity can be an expensive capital expenditure (CAPEX), especially if you aren’t sure how much capacity you’ll need in the future. You can try to predict the growth of your business and purchase with the future in mind, but it can tie up financial resources that might have more impact elsewhere in your business.

STaaS lets you treat storage as OPEX. You sign an SLA with your STaaS provider and “pay as you go” for storage and data transfer rates (e.g., cost per gigabyte). Best of all, this whole process is automated, allowing you to scale your storage needs up and down as demand requires while maintaining performance and availability 24x7.

Benefits of storage as a service

One of the key benefits of STaaS is that it can help businesses save on upfront costs associated with purchasing and maintaining their own storage infrastructure. In addition, STaaS providers typically offer service level agreements (SLAs) that guarantee certain levels of uptime and performance. This can give businesses peace of mind knowing that they have reliable access to their data.

To summarize, the primary benefits of STaaS include:

  • An OPEX subscription model that lets you optimise your storage costs
  • The ability to quickly scale and provision storage resources to your apps as demand grows
  • The always-on reliability of major cloud service providers
  • A simplified storage management environment

Common storage as a service uses

STaaS can be used to provision block, file, and object storage for all your data needs. Common examples of STaaS use cases include:

  • Raw storage volumes
  • Shared file systems
  • Database management systems
  • Hosting applications
  • Extract, load, and transform (ETL) pipelines
  • Disaster recovery solutions (e.g., backup and restore, snapshots)

How Pure Storage Delivers STaaS on-prem

When most people think of STaaS, they’re usually thinking of cloud storage, but what if you could make your on-premises data storage as simple and as agile as the cloud?

Pure Storage® Evergreen//One™ brings the operational agility of the cloud on premises and the security and resilience of on premises to the public cloud with a single subscription to innovation.

Evergreen//One offers:

  • One subscription for all your file, object, and block storage needs (including maintenance and upgrades)
  • OPEX1 all-flash STaaS for I/O-intensive applications—you get the physical flash arrays but only pay for the storage you actually use
  • AI-driven data storage management and predictive analytics with Purity and Pure1®
  • Support for a true hybrid-cloud experience, unifying your on-premises and cloud storage resources
  • Automated data protection through snapshots, high-availability clustering, and disaster recovery

Evergreen//One is a fully flexible enterprise-grade storage subscription service that unifies public cloud and on-premises data storage. Gone are the days when you had to predict the future to buy or lease storage for years in advance. With Evergreen//One, you can enjoy clear costs and a minimal reserve commitment.

1 OPEX treatment is subject to customer’s auditor review.

*Pure as-a-Service was rebranded to Evergreen//One.

The Operational Benefits of STaaS

Gartner estimates that in addition to the financial benefits, STaaS can provide significant operational improvements:

  • Reducing support and maintenance costs by up to 30%
  • Optimizing storage asset costs by minimizing idle capacity
  • Increasing productivity by 100% to 200% across IT administrative activities, such as hardware administration and support

Learn more about Cost Benefits of STaaS.

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