Data growth has made the acquisition of efficient data storage solutions necessary for every enterprise. Entrepreneurs realized this necessity early on and this resulted in the vast amount of storage options available in the market today.
There are several storage solutions available but which is best for an enterprise depends on the data requirements of the enterprise. For instance, an enterprise with large amounts of unstructured data should acquire and setup a Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliance while an enterprise dealing with volumes needs iSCSI storage (block-level storage / Storage Area Networks (SAN) storage appliances). Which kind of storage is best for what type of data requirement? This is a completely different discussion. The question to be addressed in this article is about cost effective storage technologies.
Cost Effectiveness of Enterprise Cloud Storage Solutions
The cloud became mainstream because of two reasons: Scalability and cost effectiveness. These are not the only reasons but they contributed majorly to the global cloud technology trend. Enterprise cloud storage solutions facilitate data tiering. Cloud service providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services etc. deliver dedicated storage tiers for hot, cold and archival data.
With this kind of online data storage, enterprises can backup in cold storage tiers, archive in archival tiers and use hot storage tiers for frequently accessed data. This leverages an enterprise’s resources effectively, plummeting cost on data storage.
This is why I strongly recommend online data storage to enterprises that don’t want to deal with large initial investments and local infrastructure.
Each cloud service provider has their preferred payment policies but most facilitate pay as you go payment models. The enterprise does not have to invest initially and then they can choose to pay monthly or even yearly.
With the cloud there are limitless options for data storage, you can setup NAS in the cloud or SAN in the cloud or even NAS and SAN in the cloud. This is dependent on your service provider. For instance, StoneFly’s SCVM delivers all of these options and more.
Cost Implications of NAS and SAN Storage Appliance(s)
Data storage appliances like NAS or SAN are expensive because they incur large amounts initially. However, unlike cloud based solutions, they do not incur continuous monthly or yearly costs for storage. This implies, if you have acquired a reliable data storage appliance you do not have to worry about additional costs other than maintenance costs.
Scalability is a bit of a challenge, unless you opt to acquire scale-out NAS or SAN. Then you don’t have to worry about scalability either. The advantage of local infrastructure is that it has reduced latency compared to cloud based solutions.
This means, if an enterprise requires performance more than they should build local infrastructure for data storage instead of setting up storage in the cloud.
Cost Effectiveness of Hybrid Storage Solutions
A hybrid solution comprises of local infrastructure with cloud connect services; this solution delivers on-premises storage and cloud based storage simultaneously.
Enterprises can effectively leverage this combination to avail the benefits of both storage technologies and reduce their data storage costs at the same type. To effectively utilize a hybrid solution, enterprise data management and analytics is necessary.
After classifying their data based on access frequency, enterprises can keep their frequently accessed data on-premises to reduce costs and increase performance while storing their infrequently accessed data in the cloud.
Importance of Enterprise Data Management in Data Storage Cost Effectiveness
Enterprise data management plays a vital role for the cost effectiveness of data storage solutions. In order to effectively utilize the data storage solution, regardless of which kind it is, it is very important that the enterprise identifies the types of their data and classifies it accordingly.
For instance, if an enterprise uses Microsoft Azure’s Archive blob Storage tier for data storage; then the data retrieval costs will make the solution more costly than it should be.
That’s why enterprises need to employ data analytics and identify the different kinds of data flowing within their processes. This is how they can effectively use the cost efficient solutions in cloud storage or in local infrastructure or in hybrid solutions.
The scale of the enterprise also plays an important role in deciphering which type of storage solution is the most cost effective one. For instance, an SME (Small to mid-sized Enterprise) is better off acquiring a cloud based storage solution instead of investing a large initial amount for local infrastructure. Similarly, large enterprises cannot rely on cloud based storage only. Their requirements impose too much on the cloud that’s why they need to acquire and setup hybrid data storage solutions.
Cost effectiveness is a challenging concept but very essential for the growth of every enterprise. The major support for the acquisition of cost effectiveness is enterprise data management empowered by efficient data analytics.