Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Scott Bampton, Anne Buff, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Unlimited vs. Storage-Based Cloud Storage

Which one is right for your enterprise?

When deciding on your preferred method of cloud storage, you will inevitably be faced with storage-based and unlimited storage options. While storage-based "pay as you go" pricing might seem like a way to save some dollars now, it's important to evaluate what it will end up costing in the long run.

Storage-Based Pricing: The Hidden Costs
Storage-based plans require you to pay for a limited amount of storage space. If you choose this type, you usually determine an appropriate amount of storage for your organization's current circumstances, knowing that you can buy an additional chunk of storage as your company expands. Organizations will select this route as a short-term cost-saving measure, claiming that it reduces capital expenses since you pay for only the storage amount you immediately need. However, this approach can end up actually costing more than an unlimited storage plan over time. Consider that in addition to purchasing the storage plan, the organization will need to engage in some due diligence, including:

  • A multi-year storage needs analysis. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) we will have produced up to 40 Zettabytes (that's 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes!) of data by 2020. The same study revealed that most businesses experience between 40-60 percent growth in data volume annually. In short: data doesn't shrink, and you need to have a plan for its expansion, whether it's continuing to buy more storage as needed or attempting a data cleanup operation every time you get close to your limit. Also, don't forget to plan for backing up all that data, which won't just consist of the total amount of current data, but also every version of that data that has ever existed. Estimating the amount of storage you need now as well as in the future involves a lengthy calculation process, including analyzing the amount of current data you have, new data over time and the rate of change for your data.
  • A risk mitigation and communications plan. In the event your data cap is exceeded (and it almost certainly will be at some point), how will administrators be notified when the limits are close to being reached? What is the plan when that notification is received - buy more storage or spend time purging, cleaning up and relocating data? How quickly can this plan be executed with not just the current number of employees in place but with the number of employees the company is expected to have in the future? Failure to plan for when your storage limit is reached could result in data loss or productivity grinding to a halt while things get sorted out.
  • Additional budgeting, approval and purchasing decisions. Depending on the organization, the approval process to buy something might not be arduous and more storage can quickly be purchased when needed. Or every purchase approval might need to go through a formal procurement process and several levels of management before it's approved, leaving end-users unable to do their jobs as usual or vulnerable to data loss while management is deciding on a course of action.

Each of these items has a monetary cost, an opportunity cost and are based on estimates of growth determined by IT. But what happens to all this planning if the organization acquires a company, brings a design team in-house or falls under temporary spending holds? All the research and planning might need to be redone, which means more time and money being spent. Is it all really worth it?

Unlimited Storage Pricing = Simplicity
With an unlimited storage plan for your data, you pay one rate and store all of your information, no matter how much, in one convenient location at one consistent price. That's it.

Eventually, the capital it takes to continuously monitor, manage and acquire more storage will outpace the cost of holding an unlimited storage account. Adding to the long-term benefits of an unlimited storage package for your data is the ability to more easily and predictably plan your company finances. Organizations know the exact cost of adding each user and are thus able to budget appropriately, no matter the fluctuations in how much data each user produces.

It is easy to see that unlimited data storage plans are more simple, convenient, and cost-effective than storage-based pricing structures. Though it may sound too good to be true, the option for unlimited storage is one that's increasingly available at affordable prices, and over time, has the potential to save those few dollars that everyone is looking for in their budgets.

More Stories By Mat Hamlin

Mat Hamlin is the Director of Product at Spanning where he oversees the development of the industry’s most trusted, highest-ranked enterprise-class backup and recovery products for cloud applications including Google Apps and Salesforce.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...
We are all here because we are sold on the transformative promise of The Cloud. But what good is all of this ephemeral, on-demand infrastructure if your usage doesn't actually improve the agility and speed of your business? How must Operations adapt in order to avoid stifling your Cloud initiative? In his session at DevOps Summit, Damon Edwards, co-founder and managing partner of the DTO Solutions, will highlight the successful organizational, process, and tooling patterns of high-performing c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratogent will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Stratogent is a custom managed services organization based in San Mateo, California. We design, implement, and support mission critical infrastructure 24x7 on premises, in datacenters and in the Cloud. Since 2005, we have acted as an extension of internal IT teams, achieving a customer reten...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace. ...
Seagate has a strong track record of collaborating with others to develop better cloud solutions. The Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance program, for example, leverages the company’s knowledge of storage and cloud-optimized solutions to give cloud service providers the customized, flexible and scalable server and storage solutions to meet the high levels of service their customers demand. Seagate also is a member of the OpenStack Foundation and Open Compute Project to help define and promote open-so...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
What process has your provider undertaken to ensure that the cloud tenant will receive predictable performance and service? What was involved in the planning? Who owns and operates the data center? What technology is being used? How is it being supported? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Dave Weisbrot, Cloud Business Manager for QTS, will provide the attendees a look into what it takes to stand up and stand behind a highly available certified cloud IaaS.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gigaom Research has been named "Media Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, will also lead a Power Panel on the topic "Choosing the Right Cloud Option." Gigaom Research provides timely, in-depth analysis of emerging technologies for individual and corporate subscribers. Gigaom Research'...
I'll be hosting an SAP HANA Cloud webinar at 11am eastern time, Wednesday, October 29. You can sign up now. Featured speakers will be Allan Adler, Managing Partner, Channel Cloud Consulting, and Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP. Attendees will learn about • Cloud economics, hybrid cloud strategy, market size and opportunity • Introduction to SAP HANA Cloud Platform and how to: - Build new next-generation applications - Extend on-premise solutions non-disruptively throu...
How does one bridge the gap between traditional enterprise storage infrastructures and the private, hybrid, and public cloud? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Pollack, Chief Architect of Storage Operations at AOL Inc., will exam the workload differences and required changes to reuse existing knowledge and components when building and using a cloud infrastructure. He will look into the operational considerations, tool requirements, and behavioral changes required for private cloud storage...
Sanjeev Sharma is the latest author to join DevOps Journal. Sanjeev is a solution architect and DevOps Worldwide lead with Rational Software, an IBM brand and the author of 'DevOps for Dummies.' DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. SYS-CON Media CEO Carmen Gonzalez is founder and publisher of DevOps Journal, and Roger Strukhoff, long-time SYS-CON editor and the conference chair of Cloud Expo is the editor of the world's leading DevOps...
Join both SAP and Channel Cloud Consulting for our webcast and uncover how you can extend your reach to capture a piece of the US$17 billion cloud application services market with SAP. Learn about SAPs market-leading SAP HANA Cloud Platform and an exciting opportunity to join SAPs growing ecosystem of Application Development partners. When: October 29, 11:00am EST Speakers: Allan Adler, Managing Partner, Channel Cloud Consulting Thorsten Leiduck, Vice President ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM is holding a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm at 15th Cloud Expo. 15th Cloud Expo, co-located with @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit is taking place Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The labs, for developers of all levels, will highlight the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionality and provide short-term introductory projects that developers can complete betw...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Ashar Baig, Research ...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, da...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation...