The cloud has transformed the storage and business continuity markets, but there are still problems and pitfalls to be avoided. Ian Campbell of the Sunday Business Post reports:
The market for storage and back-up solutions has shifted dramatically in the last five years, and like every other aspect of business technology it’s mostly down to the cloud. The same attributes that persuaded organisations to move applications and compute power off-premise and on to hyperscale platforms are driving the change – you get quick and easy scalability, subscription cost models where you only pay for what you use, and a whole new set of “as-a-service” offerings around storage, disaster recovery and business continuity.
This is a long way from the complexity of investing in the SAN (Storage area networks) and NAS (network – attached storage) that dominated the old world of IT. The challenge then was second-guessing future storage requirements when it came to a five-year hardware refresh. There was always the risk of being saddled with outmoded arrays in a fast moving market.
Antonio Pogliani, head of hosting and managed services at Viatel, said another big benefit of cloud storage is predictable costs. “Companies today want everything -as-a-service and to move IT over from a capital cost to an operational expenditure. The priority is predictability, something that is not always easy in public clouds where in many cases there are hidden costs” he warned.
Viatel’s pitch to small and medium sized businesses is cloud storage with enterprise-class features, The company differentiates the likes of Microsoft by offering private cloud services with segregated disk space, and targets firms with a cloud-first strategy that want to move everything over to a hosted environment.
“We build a bespoke solution for our clients on our cloud platform, giving them all the flexibility of a public cloud in a private cloud”, Pogliani said. “Unlike some of our competitors, we own the data centres, network and infrastructure: we are not systems integrators that put together other vendor products and services. We leverage our own capabilities to provide a solution.
In the case of storage, it’s a pay as you go solution that looks and performs like an enterprise appliance. The technology is software-defined storage that gives greater flexibility. You are not linked to a specific hardware or storage arrays, so you can keep up with new technologies.
The point about escaping the hardware refresh cycle is also crucial. Viatel’s cloud platform makes scaling storage easy. “The hardware becomes a commodity that you can scale up and down. We’ve made huge investments in our platform, which allows us to transfer all the flexibility to our customers in a pay-as-you-go models. They don’t need to be concerned about the next three to six months let alone three to five years. They can grow from gigabytes to petabytes of storage without changing anything; they just ask and we make it available to them.
Pogliani stressed what a massive change this is, allowing businesses to scale from 100 to 1,000 users unimpeded by hardware storage investments – the cloud lets you ramp up as quickly as required.
To learn more about Viatel’s storage offerings click here.