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Ramin Rouzbeh

Comparing Cloud Storage Offerings: Critical Factors Beyond Pricing

By | Cloud Computing, Storage | No Comments

It is amazing how quickly enterprises are looking to adopt cloud technologies in general. This kind of demand didn’t exist three years ago. Certainly a growing economy is contributing to this. With so many choices out there it can get a little crazy finding the perfect cloud offering. Organizations must take a lot into consideration, particularly critical factors that go beyond pricing.

Pricing: More Complicated Than $/Gig

The first phrase I hear all the time is “How much per Gig?” But in reality there is more to it then just the cost per GB alone. Cloud providers can make the financials of placing your data in the cloud much more complicated then it should be.

Cloud providers can make the financials of placing your data in the cloud much more complicated then it should be.

When you read between the lines you realize that most providers are charging you all sorts of fees and suddenly that dollar per GB usable figure in large bold font is not the only figure you should have paid attention to. Your invoice at the end of the month will include fees like data transfer out dollar per GB … yes it’s a two-way street.

Fees, Fees and More Fees

Another fee is for the number of PUT and GET requests, as well as how many can be done simultaneously. Did you change your mind and you want to delete your data? Well there is an early delete fee. How quickly do you need to restore your data? As you can guess, some providers will charge you a restore speed fee. There is also a limit on the amount of data you can restore on a daily or monthly basis and if you go over that—you got it—additional fees apply. When things go terribly wrong and you need to get someone on the phone there is also a technical support fee.

The bigger the cloud provider, the less that special concierge experience you will receive.

You are just another caller on the system waiting in queue. They don’t know your business or how your customers are affected. They don’t have engineering design diagrams that show how your data is created, how data flows in your environment, or how it is being leveraged.

Now that we have highlighted the economics of storing and accessing your data in the cloud, let’s take a look at more critical factors like security, durability, and availability.

Beyond Cost: Critical Cloud Factors

By now many people in the IT industry are familiar with the concept of object-based dispersed storage. One of these methods uses a type of erasure code known as Cauchy Reed-Solomon. In laymen’s terms, it is a software-defined storage solution that slices up your data and spreads it across a redundant array of inexpensive nodes, enabling you to provide much higher SLAs around security, availability, and durability—and do so in a much more cost effective manner, without having to make additional copies. This technology offers flexibility and efficiency far greater then what the typical RAID schemes have provided over the last 27 years.

This technology offers flexibility and efficiency far greater then what the typical RAID schemes have provided over the last 27 years.

A Software-Defined Storage Solution for Archiving

As Cloud Storage has gained popularity and business value in the Enterprise, this has become a big topic of discussion with our customers. At IDS, we chose to adopt Cleversafe’s software-defined storage solution in our Cloud as the storage foundation for our online archive services.

This has allowed us to set ourselves apart from most other cloud providers whose storage technologies rely on RAID and replication.

It has enabled IDS to offer our customers over 13 nines (9’s) of data durability with a mean time to data loss of 53,297,037,010,000 years. The Cleversafe storage cluster is deployed across four data centers, enabling the IDS Cloud the ability to tolerate an entire data center outage—even being wiped away from the face of the planet—while maintaining read and write access.

As an additional security measure, the information that sits in the individual data center is completely meaningless by itself. This is one of many reasons why the three-letter US government agencies have adopted the Cleversafe technology.

FREE Download: Excel Price Comparison List of Leading Cloud Storage Providers

Using the Cleversafe technology, IDS has been able to differentiate from the competition by offering our customers a simple all-inclusive price per GB model, while at the same time offering an unimaginable SLA.

The next time you are shopping for a cloud provider do the diligence to check and see what is under the hood and what is between the lines.

With that I will leave you with this Dilbert strip and ask, “Who do you trust your data with?”

Photo credit: pacgov via Flickr

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