Given the proven effectiveness of Software-as-a-Service and Compute-as-a-Service, organizations both large and small are now looking to deploy Storage-as-a-service (StaaS) to reduce the cost of deploying and managing storage environments. The advent of StaaS presents service providers with a lucrative opportunity to now offer all infrastructure elements (e.g. applications, compute and storage) as a service, letting them serve a broad range of customers in a more comprehensive way than ever before possible. However, to do so, service providers must find a way to build affordable, application-compatible public storage clouds. And current methods simply don’t meet this need.

Traditionally, service providers have leveraged existing storage technologies—specifically Network Attached Storage (SAN) and Storage Area Networks (SAN))—to offer storage-as-a-service. However, these traditional storage technologies are better suited for small enterprise deployments and don’t properly scale to handle large cloud deployments. The increasingly popular cloud storage also brings with it a unique set of requirements—including multi-tenancy, billing, quality of service, self-provisioning—that are not designed into traditional storage systems. Also, from an economic standpoint, proprietary storage systems cannot meet the price point required to be competitive in the public cloud storage market.

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