OpEx Spending for Private Cloud Storage: Shifting the Corporate Mindset


The amount of data businesses require to support their operations is exploding year by year. Most of that growth in digital storage is taking place in the cloud. According to storage consultant Tom Coughlin, writing for Forbes magazine, “Cloud storage growth dominates projections for 2016 digital storage.”

And there’s good reason for that. Cloud storage offers an enterprise important advantages, both in operational flexibility and in significantly lower costs.

Yet most business data still resides in on-premises private storage. When it comes to their business-critical information, many companies value the control and security of keeping their data in their own data centers, behind their own firewalls. For these enterprises, the public cloud is simply not an option.

But now there’s a way to have the best of both worlds. The Zadara Storage On-Premise as-a-Service (OPaaS) offering brings all the advantages of secure cloud storage right into a company’s own data center. And it provides that private cloud storage at a significantly lower cost than most enterprises can achieve managing their own storage infrastructure.

How OPaaS Lowers Costs

OPaaS is an implementation of Zadara’s cloud-based Storage as a Service (STaaS) model that allows you as a customer to treat your ever-increasing data storage needs as operational expenses (OpEx) rather than capital expenditures (CapEx). Required storage systems are housed in your own dedicated data center, and are accessed through your company intranet rather than the public internet, thus maintaining the level of data security the enterprise demands. But you never have to purchase that equipment. Instead, you pay a monthly fee for only the amount of storage you actually use.

How does this approach lower your costs? When you acquire a capital asset, you pay for that asset up front, and you own it from then on. But data usage is growing at an almost exponential rate, and so are advances in storage system technology. Hardware that was leading edge when you purchased it can be practically obsolete within two or three years. Plus, as your company grows, its storage requirements will probably grow even faster. A business that treats its data storage infrastructure as CapEx may be required to repeat those purchases every few years.

What happens if you fail to accurately project what your data storage needs will be several years down the road? If you overestimate, you could end up owning unused capacity you don’t need but have already paid for. Or, as is more likely for a fast-growing business, if you underestimate your future data usage, you could find yourself facing urgent capital spending requirements you did not anticipate and may not be financially prepared to meet.

The OPaaS/OpEx model gives you maximum flexibility as conditions change

Because with OPaaS your data storage infrastructure is an operating, not capital, expense, you don’t have to worry about accurately estimating how much storage you’ll need at some future time. You continue to pay a predictable monthly charge based on your current usage.

Zadara will install, at no additional cost to you, extra capacity that can be brought online at the flip of a software switch. So, unanticipated spikes in data usage can be covered immediately. And if a storage unit should fail, a new one can be seamlessly swapped in with no downtime for maintenance.

We continuously monitor the amount of data you are using, and as that usage begins to outgrow your installed capacity, we can ship additional storage units to your data center in anticipation of it being needed in the near future. As advances in storage technology create more cost-effective solutions, Zadara will provide hardware upgrades behind the scenes with no required action (or expense) on your part.


Don’t Underestimate Your CapEx Costs

Many times, in performing a cloud storage comparison of the CapEx and OpEx approaches, companies fail to account for all the costs associated with owning and operating their own data storage infrastructure. For example, in addition to the up-front capital costs of purchasing the equipment and required software, there are also operating expenses associated with the use and maintenance of these assets. Items such as the cost of required floor space, air conditioning, and power for servers must be included. Then there are the costs associated with IT management and the employees required to operate and maintain both hardware and software.

An additional consideration with smaller or quickly expanding companies is that they may be constrained in their capital expenditures by the amount of money they can raise from potential funders. In such cases, reducing the amount required for upfront capital expenditures may be of primary importance. Not having to put any CapEx into their vital data storage infrastructure can make a major difference to a fast growing business’s viability or growth potential.


Is Private Cloud Storage Best For Your Business?

Private Cloud Storage using the OpEx model provides your company with maximum flexibility and agility in meeting its data requirements in a fast-changing business environment. Data usage can be scaled up (or down if appropriate) almost instantly to allow you to quickly take advantage of new opportunities. And still, even if additional capacity must be installed, or storage subsystems that fail have to be replaced, you pay only for the data you actually use.

Many companies haven’t seriously considered cloud data storage because they assumed that the public cloud was their only viable option. Not wanting to risk mission-critical data in the less secure environment of the public internet, they have continued to manage their data storage facilities entirely in-house. But by doing so, they miss out on the significant cost savings they could obtain by replacing the capital expenditures required to maintain their own infrastructure with the OpEx approach the STaaS model allows. Perhaps even more seriously, they limit their ability to quickly adjust their data usage to changing conditions in an environment where opportunities to grow the business can appear with astounding speed, and disappear just as quickly.

Here at Zadara Storage we specialize in helping companies find the most cost-effective solution to their data storage needs. If you would like to consider how private cloud storage can reduce your costs, please download our latest analyst paper: Zadara Storage Voted by IT Pros as On-Premise Enterprise Storage-as-a-Service Market Leader.

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