The storage-as-a-service (STaaS) business model is characterized by a storage provider selling storage space to a customer.
By extension, the provider also handles the various aspects of long-term data storage such as security, hardware, and data integrity.
STaaS was initially developed for SMEs that lacked the capital or expertise to maintain an on-premise storage solution.
Today, the model is used by all kinds of businesses that desire integrated software which can deploy, manage, and optimize their data storage assets.
Since storage-as-a-service is software-defined, the storage capacity available to the customer can easily be adjusted.
Those who want to increase their capacity, for example, can do so at short notice without having to purchase extra servers.
How does the storage-as-a-service business model work?
The process starts with a company entering into a service level agreement (SLA) with the provider that clarifies (among other things):
- How much data storage is required.
- How often the data will be backed up, and
- The entities deemed responsible in the event that data are stolen or lost.
STaaS providers store data in the cloud because for most customers, it is the more secure, more cost-effective, and less complex option.
For example, a customer with cloud-based accounting software linked to a cloud-based storage system will reduce data latency – or the time it takes for data packets to be retrieved or stored.
Customers can also utilize a host of ancillary services even without the expertise of a qualified storage engineer.
Some of these services relate to functions such as data backup, bulk data transfer, block storage, SSD storage, and disaster recovery.
The benefits of cloud-based storage are likely to see more companies shift to STaaS in the coming years. In fact, Gartner predicts that 50% of all enterprises will be utilizing a storage consumption model by 2025.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Amazon offers a service that allows clients to access, store, govern, and analyze data. It also offers the Elastic File System for NAS and the managed filesystem FSx for Windows and Lustre.
- Dropbox Business – this solution is for teams that want a storage and collaboration tool for teams. Team folders allow data to be stored, shared, and permissioned across multiple devices. Standard plans offer an impressive 5 TB of storage per user.
- Google Cloud Storage – Google offers several different cloud storage tiers with various price points and levels of performance. The Standard Storage tier, ideal for hot data that needs to be accessed frequently, comes with a 99.5% SLA guarantee for dual and multi-region storage.
- Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage – Microsoft Azure offers block storage, file storage, data lake storage, and enterprise cloud file sharing, among other features. Naturally, these features are well integrated with Office 365, Exchange SharePoint, and some other Azure services. Azure also offers sub-millisecond latency for throughput and a zero percent annual failure rate.
- The storage-as-a-service (STaaS) business model is characterized by a storage provider selling storage space to a customer.
- The STaaS business model starts with an SLA that defines how much storage is required, how often data will be backed up, and who is ultimately liable if data is lost or stolen. Providers store data in the cloud because for most customers, it is the more secure, more cost-effective, and less complex option.
- Some of the vendors utilizing the storage-as-a-service business model include Amazon, Dropbox, Google, and Microsoft.
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