Put STaaS at the Center of Your Multicloud

Mar 02, 2022
IT Leadership

How enterprises can maximize the value of explosive data growth with cost-effective solutions.

Credit: Seagate Technology

One of the ways in which enterprises can maintain better control over how they store, activate, manage, and monetize today’s surge in data is to deploy storage as a service (STaaS) as a central part of their multicloud.

Multicloud combines services and resources from multiple cloud providers to increase the flexible use and availability of various applications and services such as STaaS, software as a service, compute as a service, infrastructure as a service, and platform as a service.

While multicloud implementation creates flexibility to service data in ways that can create maximum value, managing storage across multiple clouds can create a great deal of complexity. It can be cost prohibitive because of added fees for transferring, storing, accessing, reading, and writing data. Variations in security control from one cloud to another can increase the risk of breaches. Meanwhile, keeping mass data on premises typically presents scalability limits, and enterprise backup environments are often messy, with multiple different backends for storage.

When considering the complexities of managing data in a multicloud environment, it is important to understand that storing and harnessing vast troves of data is no longer a nice to have feature—it’s a necessity.

Data growth is outstripping storage capacity and network bandwidth, especially when data captured at the edge from sensors, cameras, autonomous vehicles, and broader IoT means data may start and initially reside in remote locations, far away from data centers.

STaaS helps overcome the challenge of managing explosive data growth

As organizations combine public and private cloud services, they move data between multiple cloud platforms from time to time. In such a dynamic environment, they need the flexibility to scale up and scale down their storage and to do so in regular intervals. The ideal STaaS would offer a zero-commitment risk-free model that enables enterprises to pay for only the storage they use on a subscription basis. The resulting ability to pivot quickly is a critical advantage in a world where market conditions change in the blink of an eye.

Pricing models of various cloud platforms differ, and as a result, multicloud implementations involve complex cost calculations. Deploying STaaS helps reduce the complexity by enabling businesses to acquire storage as an operating expense without the need to commit capital resources to purchase, manage, and scale storage infrastructure that might become obsolete soon.

Moreover, the “as-a-service” strategy reduces the total cost of ownership over the life cycle of a storage system. The cost of on-demand storage for the first year or two will be much lower than the cost of buying the same amount of storage space upfront. At the same time, businesses retain the flexibility to benefit from volume pricing if they choose to scale up later as their needs change without incurring any add-on charges, thus maintaining the cost of ownership advantage over the long term. This makes costs predictable and eliminates the guesswork regarding future needs.

Best-in-class STaaS offerings typically make backing up data easy via automation—users simply select what and when they want to back up. Security, resiliency, redundancy, and data recovery is built in, and data is encrypted both during transmission and while at rest, ensuring only authorized users can access their information.

Ideal STaaS providers will make pricing simple, scalable, and predictable. They will also ensure there are no vendor lock-ins, and will enable enterprises to make their data available for processing by any public cloud service as they scale storage up or down.

These solutions should complement an organization’s existing cloud infrastructure and offer the flexibility to move data swiftly and easily from one cloud platform to another. Additionally, they should provide a straightforward way to deploy storage at the edge, and keep data near the edge, bringing data closer to where it’s generated so it can be processed and analyzed with minimal latency.

With the right solution, organizations can combine the value of STaaS with the added benefits of centralized management, improved control, and local performance.

Outside of human intelligence, data is the most valuable asset for most enterprises. To extract optimal value, companies need a flexible and affordable infrastructure to store, move, analyze, and leverage their data.

And that is perhaps the biggest reason an STaaS model should be central to a multicloud strategy: it simplifies multicloud management and enables organizations to store data they might have historically been forced to delete. As a result, businesses can make the most of their data in a cost-effective manner—spurring better outcomes and greater opportunities for growth.