IT organizations are increasingly challenged to operate more efficiently. The cost to deliver a unit of compute to business users, however that unit may be measured, is now under scrutiny from enterprise executives. They have become aware of the comparatively low cost of computing offered by the now well-known cloud services providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure and are now comparing that to the cost of delivering IT services internally. As a result, IT is challenged to develop a far more cost-efficient computing environment.
In addition, business user groups are demanding a new level of IT agility. While enterprise application users have traditionally been at odds with centralized IT over responding to needs of business groups, cloud service providers have set a new “instant on” standard that IT is now measured against. Enterprise IT must therefore quickly adopt new technologies and application delivery models to remain competitive.
Unfortunately, however, most IT organizations are not getting budget increases that will allow them to keep up with the demand. Paying for the infrastructure that could support the expected services is in many cases simply not possible. As a result, business user groups go outside of centralized IT to get the needed application services, either by going directly to cloud service providers or by creating their own departmental IT environments commonly known as “shadow IT.” Either way, the enterprise executives can wind up spending more on IT services—sometimes much more—without realizing it because they are only looking at the centralized IT budget to determine the overall cost of IT.
IT is challenged once again to transform itself into something else—a process that has taken on a number of different monikers including IT as a Service (ITaaS), IT Agility, and Private Cloud. It is important to understand that transforming the storage environment is essential to answering the challenge. Here, we review a new storage acquisition and deployment model introduced by Zadara Storage. As part of this review, we examine the total cost of ownership (TCO) and reflect the experience of three Zadara users to validate our findings.