7 Benefits of Using a Storage Service

Storage services can help reduce the risk of losing data or information in the event of a disaster. However, they can also provide a number of other benefits.

Purchasing new storage capacity can be a costly capital expenditure (CAPEX). Instead, use an STaaS service to purchase your storage needs on an OPEX basis with a predetermined rate for base and growth.

1. Scalability

A storage service provides access to a specialized, scale-out storage infrastructure via a network application and/or an application programming interface (API). It’s a highly scalable solution, allowing users to share or store data with each other or other organizations. It also eliminates the need to buy hardware upfront or to pay for costly capacity that might never be used.

As capacity and workload demands ebb and flow, it’s important to have a storage architecture that’s easily scaleable. With traditional, vertically-scaled storage, performance bottlenecks can occur as the system nears its limit. This is because the storage controllers can only handle so much, or the network interface can’t keep up with demand.

In contrast, StaaS removes this burden from IT staff. The vendor manages monitoring, load balancing and capacity planning – and dynamically adjusts storage resources on-demand. This eliminates over-provisioning, prevents resource sprawl and enables IT to optimize infrastructure costs on an ongoing basis with utility-like, consumption-based pricing.

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2. Reliability

Backing up data isn’t cheap, from the hardware equipment to the time it takes to complete routine backups. Storage as a service reduces these costs by offering ample storage space in the cloud for a low monthly fee.

Reliability is the degree to which a system consistently delivers expected performance. It’s important for businesses because downtime means lost revenue and productivity, and it often requires expensive restoration services to get back up and running. A reliable storage solution offers 24/7 availability with high levels of redundancy to mitigate equipment failure, manage disaster recovery situations and cope with surges in data use.

With more and more people working remotely, the ability to access their work from any location is crucial. A reliable storage solution provides this convenience, while also protecting the integrity of their files and keeping them secure at all times. It’s important to look for a storage service that offers encryption both during transmission and while at rest. This ensures that no unauthorized users can view files and protects valuable information against theft or loss. A good storage service should also offer a number of access methods, including file retrieval from the desktop and mobile devices.

3. Security

With more employees working remotely, the security of data storage becomes a critical concern. Malicious actors are constantly finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities. Building strong enough systems to withstand these attacks is an important goal. You want to ensure that breaching these systems will require potential attackers to expend more time and resources than the value of your data.

Many cloud storage providers offer a variety of security options that can help protect your data. These include two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional verification that your identity is authentic. Keeping strong, unique passwords is another way to help protect your account. These are less likely to be compromised by phishing or malware and can help keep your data safe in the event of a breach.

Using a cloud storage service can also reduce your risk of data loss from hardware failure or natural disasters. Most cloud storage services offer multiple copies of your data and provide excellent object durability, which can minimize the impact of a data loss event. Additionally, many of these services can offer geo-replication options to spread out copies across geographical regions for added protection.

4. Flexibility

As workplaces become increasingly mobile and collaborative, professionals need access to their files on any device at any time. Cloud storage provides this flexibility by storing files on servers that can be accessed from anywhere. This eliminates the need for physical storage media, such as hard drives or DVDs. It also makes file sharing easier, as files can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. Moreover, it provides a high level of redundancy to mitigate equipment failure and manage surges in data use.

Using a cloud storage service also cuts management expenses by eliminating the need to purchase hardware arrays, enclosures to house them, RAID cards to enable data redundancy and electricity to power them. Instead, it lets organizations buy storage on a consumption basis, with the vendor managing capacity planning and provisioning. This helps reduce upfront costs and enables the IT team to focus on other projects. Additionally, STaaS improves visibility into data and metadata, reduces infrastructure sprawl and aids consolidation efforts. As a result, it can help enterprises better rationalize storage spending and improve disaster recovery efforts.

5. Automation

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Automated storage processes improve IT efficiency and reduce operational costs by removing manual steps from the workflow. They also help to mitigate risks and maintain application service levels. Storage process automation can also be used to streamline data management by simplifying routine tasks such as backup and recovery, provisioning, allocation of storage resources, and monitoring of storage performance and capacity.

Automating these processes can also improve the consistency of IT operations, eliminating human errors. This can be particularly important when handling large, complex volumes of data and applications that require a high level of performance and security.

In addition, automation tools often have a low learning curve and don’t require a lot of IT expertise to deploy. This allows your IT team to focus on other projects.

By offloading the cost and effort of managing your storage infrastructure to a third-party CSP, you can treat it as operating expenses (OPEX) instead of a capital expenditure (CAPEX). This also allows you to scale up capacity faster and respond more quickly to market changes. For example, you can rent terabytes of storage in a matter of minutes without having to invest in new hardware. The same goes for adding new features at your self storage facility.

6. Accessibility

Having your storage areas accessible benefits everyone. It allows people with disabilities to easily access the materials they need to be productive in an environment that works for them. It also provides an experience that matches what they expect from businesses online, like being able to easily navigate your website or call you with questions.

Cloud storage also provides accessibility for remote workers. Many professionals work from home or other remote locations and need to be able to access their files from multiple devices. It also allows them to collaborate with coworkers no matter where they are located.

The last advantage of using a storage service is that it can save your company money. By having your data stored remotely, there is no need for expensive hard drives and enclosures to house them, RAID cards to enable data redundancy, electricity to power them, or hardware warranty services. Additionally, it can cut management costs by decreasing the need for in-depth capacity planning and streamlining monitoring. These savings can be used towards other, more critical projects. Lastly, using storage as a service is virtually invisible and requires no expert technical knowledge to implement. It is also easy to automate, further cutting back on administration and allowing administrators to focus their efforts elsewhere.

7. Scalability

The need for data storage is ever-growing. Organizations must store massive amounts of data to maintain customer records, analyze performance metrics and make data-backed decisions. Managing these data needs can become a challenge for IT departments. Fortunately, there are solutions to ease the strain. One option is to use a storage-as-a-service model.

Scaling storage capacity is relatively simple with larger drives in servers, hyper-converged infrastructure and SAN or NAS systems. However, scalability is more complicated when it comes to performance. Many organizations are still tightly coupling direct-attached storage solutions to their compute architectures, which can introduce bottlenecks and create performance silos that limit application availability.

This is where scale-out storage technology comes in. Scale-out storage is a network-attached storage system that enables you to expand the capacity of the entire system without creating data silos or disrupting applications. It also allows you to add storage with minimal disruption to operations, making it a valuable tool for IT administrators. Storage admins can find a range of storage services that promise scalable storage, but some ambiguity exists regarding what exactly they get with each solution. For example, some providers confuse storage scalability with storage elasticity or on-demand storage elasticity.

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