Research Library

Storage as a Service Comes of Age – Research Study

Published October 8th, 2019. This Research Study guides users through the maze of approaches and issues they will encounter when evaluating STaaS. It also offers a window into mixed and sometimes conflicting user perceptions; highlighting the potential motivations for deploying STaaS, while pointing out the reasons why users may have misgivings.

For a free download of the Abbreviated Study, click here.

A Study of Enterprise User Perceptions and Requirements

Potential enterprise end users of storage as a service (STaaS) commonly equate it to public cloud storage. Cloud storage is immediately available, offers unlimited capacity, and the ability to spin up / down resources using only what you pay for—all available as a pay-as-you go, managed resource. This has made it a ready alternative to traditional storage.

However, public cloud storage presents its own challenges. Public cloud security is a perennial issue, as well as the security of network connections between the enterprise data center and the cloud service provider’s (CSP) data center. Primary-grade storage performance adds cost. Monitoring and managing public cloud costs consumes staff time. Data movement away from the CSP also adds costs. Finally, problems can be difficult to remediate when dealing with the CSP’s support staff.

STaaS is a storage resource implemented as an on-premises service that offers users the same immediacy, scalability, and pay-per-use flexibility of public cloud storage without security and performance variability issues. Additionally, it can be consumed as a managed service when staffing becomes an issue. It also allows the customer to acquire the latest technology on an operational expenditure (OPEX), pay-as-you-need-it basis without having to commit capital resources to technology that will become increasingly obsolete as time passes.

Because STaaS is now “coming of age,” Evaluator Group designed a research study that aims to guide enterprise STaaS users through the maze of approaches and issues they will encounter when evaluating a STaaS offering. For this primary research study, Evaluator Group compiled the results from 249 surveys completed by 249 respondents who were mostly enterprise information technology (IT) end users. Evaluator Group also conducted 30 to 45-minute interviews of 20 IT end users who completed the survey to further understand their attitudes toward STaaS. The survey probed for positive and negative perceptions. Evaluator Group also determined potential motivations for using STaaS, as well as misgivings.

The results of this research are detailed in this report, which presents survey findings, impressions, and direct quotes from respondent interviews, and comments from respondents gathered as part of the survey process.

In addition to outlining enterprise’s current perceptions of STaaS, this research uncovered the top motivations for evaluating storage-as-a-service solutions. The top five drivers are:

  • Needing an on-premise, cloud-like storage solution
  • Storage system consolidation
  • Meeting unpredictable storage demand
  • Desiring to pay for storage on a pay-as-you-go basis
  • Gaining immediate access to the latest technology

And while we also found wide receptivity to the STaaS concept, we saw that over 50% of the potential STaaS users we surveyed expressed a need to have confidence in the STaaS vendor before moving forward. This study points to the factors that will build that confidence. This study also offers guideposts for other as a service solutions such a Compute as a Service.

 

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