For companies that increasingly view storage as a vital utility, rather than as a capability that they want to cultivate and staff, Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS ) is becoming an increasingly attractive option. With the advent of cloud computing, IT departments started getting comfortable with software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, and platform-as-a-service. With Amazon S3, storage-as-a-service entered the mainstream. STaaS is essentially a cloud-like storage resource, implemented as an on-premises service providing immediacy, scalability, and pay-per-use flexibility, minus the security and performance variability issues that keep enterprise users up at night.

STaaS offers some compelling benefits . End users turning
to STaaS are drawn by the ability to reduce operational and administrative
costs, eliminate unplanned capital expenditures and major upgrades, improve
control and security with on-prem infrastructure, and achieve greater
performance with less downtime.

IT departments making their first steps into the realm of
StaaS often begin with a daunting list of questions to address as they begin to
sort through basic questions of what kind of storage they require.  How much do they value security, service, and
support? How do they manage and control their environments? What is the true
value of an SLA?

Surveying the Enterprise IT Community about STaaS

John Webster, senior analyst with Evaluator Group, decided
it was time to take the temperature of the end-user community considering STaaS.
Webster surveyed 249 enterprise IT end users and conducted extensive interviews
to understand the evolving attitudes toward STaaS.

The results are
revealing. Some of the interviewees spoke glowingly of the benefits they have
seen. One noted, “Switching over to STaaS has allowed us to lifecycle our aging
storage fleet without the large CAPEX layout that would be required if we were
to purchase the storage infrastructure. We will also be getting a significant
performance uplift from the new storage hardware.”

Not surprisingly, compatibility,
security, and support are all top concerns for end users as follows:

  • 73% of those surveyed required compatibility
    with their existing IT environment. Customers
    want a STaaS vendor to be the single, consolidated source for support and
  • 65% of respondents
    indicated that they want the STaaS vender to be the single source of support
    and maintenance even if the infrastructure is sourced from different suppliers.

In the area of management and control of a STaaS
environment, just 22% of survey respondents want the vendor to manage every
aspect of their STaaS environment. 11% prefer to do it all themselves. Most
want something in between.

“What I could allow the vendor to
manage and control depends on what they own. There are a lot of moving pieces
in an IT environment,” the CIO of a manufacturing firm noted. “The storage
vendor could tweak something, which causes problems upstream and we’re left
trying to figure out what changed. One of the things I hate is when vendors say
it’s not their problem or they didn’t do that. They would have to be
accountable and we would have to know what they are doing.”

Download STaas eBook

Webster’s eBook, “Storage-as-a-Service Comes of Age – A Study of
Enterprise User Perceptions and Requirements,” is now available to download for
anyone eager to learn more.

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