“Business units embracing cloud and digital business drive the move toward agility, scalability, and on-demand commitment operating expenditure (opex) models.”—Gartner 2016 Strategic Roadmap for Data Center Infrastructure, 3 June 2016
In 2017, every company is a data company. But as the importance of data, as well as its quantity, has grown, traditional data storage and management solutions are becoming increasingly obsolete. It’s out of this problem that the cloud and the multiple models it affords for deploying and consuming IT resources have been born.
Why the traditional data management model no longer works
Traditionally, data storage models involve determining the life of a given hardware platform (usually three to seven years), and estimating factors such as user demand, depreciation policies and lease terms. While this worked when managing individual applications, this strategy became overly complex when companies began to use virtual machines to host mission-critical applications.
These factors make the task of forecasting resource needs more and more challenging. For this reason, many companies purchase more equipment than required. The result? Overspending on hardware and underutilization of resources. Before the cloud, this made sense, as acquiring new data storage equipment on short notice is often impossible.
Introducing the cloud
“One key shift that cloud computing as a style of computing brings, along with its many associated platform services, is the promise of not only doing things better, but also doing entirely new things.”—Gartner 2016 Strategic Roadmap for Data Center Infrastructure, 3 June 2016
The cloud solves the problems of traditional data storage models. Public cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have redefined data management, enabling users to purchase what they need, when they need it. Now, if a team wants to test a new application, they can instantly spin up new server and storage resources based on expected usage, with resources being adjusted on the fly according to requirements. This takes a process that previously took weeks and turns it into one that takes days, and often hours. Additionally, the process becomes far less risky, with corrections to resource allocation being both timely and relatively inexpensive when compared to a traditional capex data storage and management model. This enables organizations to try applications that would previously have represented too great a risk.
Cloud consumption models
There are several cloud consumption models, and choosing the right one depends on a number of factors. Options include consuming on a per-minute or per-hour basis, purchasing long-term subscriptions, or opting for on-demand data center purchases.
It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Even within a single organization, different models may be used for different applications. For instance, while it makes sense to test and develop applications using a per-hour consumption model, these solutions tend to be more expensive than longer-term leases if the application is used both frequently and over a longer period of time.
To find out more about the different cloud consumption models and which may be best for your business, check out “Will Your Data Benefit from a Cloud Consumption Model?” This eBook examines some of the reasons for moving to a consumption model, and reviews three types of storage offerings that can be purchased using this type of model: cloud data services, cloud-connected storage, and on-demand storage services that run on hardware and software deployed within your own facilities.