According to TechTarget Research, more than nine in 10 businesses now store at least some of their data in the cloud. A recent Teradata study suggests that more than half of all business-critical data will reside in cloud storage by next year.

Storage costs compel most organizations to consider a cloud storage option. There is a general assumption that cloud will always be significantly cheaper than on-premises storage because you’re able to offload management burdens that come with supporting physical hardware. Under some circumstances, however, cloud storage costs can spiral out of control.

According to a recent analysis from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), storage with hyperscale infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers can actually become cost-prohibitive as workloads scale up. Despite initial low pricing, the continual addition of capacity and extended retention timelines can drive up costs into budget-busting territory.  

However, ESG’s study concludes that a new software-defined storage offering will allow smaller cloud service providers to offer a more economical solution. The research firm finds that Kaminario’s Cloud Fabric solution — which combines low-cost, on-premises, all-flash storage hardware with a pay-per-use software consumption model — can reduce storage costs by up to 64 percent compared to renting block storage from one of the hyperscale providers.

Cloud Fabric provides a software-only consumption model for the Kaminario composable data platform. Customers deploy the VisionOS software-defined storage platform and the Clarity analytics suite with a simple “pay-as you go” software license, and the software is preinstalled on certified, industry-standard hardware. The storage infrastructure can be scaled up, out, in or off based on business requirements.

With the pay-per-use consumption model, cloud service providers license, provision and pay for only the amount of storage software that’s being used. Licenses are not tied to a specific hardware asset and can float between pools of capacity in one or more all-flash arrays and multiple data centers. Additional cost savings are provided through discounts based on one-year or three-year terms and capacity-based tiering.

ESG completed a total cost of ownership analysis of Cloud Fabric across five categories — cost of storage capacity, maintenance and support, power and cooling, and storage administration — for a prototypical service provider. ESG focused on how Cloud Fabric can support a storage infrastructure strategy that enables cloud service providers to directly compete with hyperscale providers.

ESG concluded that Cloud Fabric offers economic advantages in two major areas — procurement and utilization. A fixed pricing model for the hardware stack eliminates the need for long negotiation and purchasing processes. The result is significantly reduced costs and elapsed time from submitting a purchase order to storing data.

Cloud Fabric storage is preinstalled and available for immediate use to meet both planned and unplanned capacity requirements. This improves utilization economics by eliminating the need to overprovision capacity. In addition, Cloud Fabric virtual pooling enables service optimization for different levels of performance, availability and cost.

There has been a tendency to think of the cloud and its virtually unlimited capacity as the silver bullet that will solve all storage woes. However, as growing workloads create increasing demand for storage capacity, solutions from hyperscale providers lose some of their price advantages. Kaminario’s Cloud Fabric offers an alternative, allowing organizations to create an enterprise-class storage-as-a-service offering at a manageable price point.