StorONE has announced a whole new pricing model that it calls revolutionary. It claims this new model “enables customers to scale for free, driven by a significant software update to the StorONE Storage Engine. The combination enables companies to improve performance, increase density, lower costs and permanently end storage migrations.”
It’s a claim that its customers will want to explore. Cost pressures and the growth of online storage means companies are looking closely at what they are paying. Any change that lowers cost will get attention, but as usual, the devil will be in the detail.
Gal Naor, StorONE Co-Founder and CEO, said, “StorONE has always been about efficiency, and our Scale-for-Free, drive-based pricing model is the next step in maximizing storage environments.
“Now organizations can more easily take advantage of per-drive capacity expansion without worrying about their software licensing fees.”
What has StorONE changed?
The crucial part of this announcement is in how storage is defined and paid for. Interestingly, it has benefits for both sides. This is not just StorONE being altruistic, it will also gain some benefits to its own underlying cost base.
The keystone of this new policy is drive capacity and storage charging. What StorONE is saying is that customers will now be charged by the number of drives that they use, not the total capacity of storage. For the customer, this means they can track current storage density for no charge other than that of the drive. For StorONE, it should allow them to increase storage capacity without having to keep adding rack capacity.
In its press release, StorONE claims, “StorONE’s new pricing model encourages the use of the highest-density drives available and upgrades as newer higher-density options are available, without data migration and without paying additional software license fees. “
It all sounds win-win, but there are some configuration issues that will need to be thought through. For example, what sort of data is being stored on the drives? What levels of concurrent access and latency are acceptable under SLAs?
RAID users will be happy that StorONE has already thought some issues through. The major update to the StorONE Storage Engine has an advanced new auto-tiering algorithm.
The company says it “provides consistent performance in hybrid configurations, combined with StorONE vRAID, the company’s industry-leading RAID rebuild capabilities, organizations now can safely use the highest-density flash and hard disk drives without concern of inconsistent performance or prolonged drive-recovery efforts.”
What else is in this announcement?
The press release calls out several other new features. They include:
- Metadata management enhancements: These enable customers to scale to 20 PBs without needing a TB+ of memory like competing solutions require.
- Ransomware with Telemetry: StorONE has enhanced its 360° ransomware protection with new telemetry information. It alerts when an organization is under attack and pinpoints the best immutable copy of data to use for recovery. Additional protection has been added with two-factor authentication to help prohibit unauthorized access.
- Flexible Data Encryption: StorONE is now providing data encryption on either an application level, where supported, or volume level, where more appropriate, as with NAS or some hypervisors. Organizations that require complete encryption across all data can select self-encrypting drives, which the new release supports.
- HTML5 GUI interface: It allows control of the StorONE engine from any location and almost any device.
- RESTful API: Supports enables automation and integration of StorONE into existing operations consoles.
All of these will appeal to customers, especially the security upgrades for ransomware protection.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean?
Cloud storage growth is a challenge for customers and vendors alike. For customers, the lower cost of cloud storage compared to physical storage is attractive. The problem is that if management controls are not strong enough, it can grow relatively unchecked. It means that many organisations often have more storage than they require, but they don’t know why. The result is they are paying far more than they need to.
For vendors, the problem is slightly different. Some vendors oversell storage capacity in the hope customers don’t use all they have booked. When that happens, they have to upgrade their data centres. Other vendors are locked into lower density solutions that cap their ability to grow and leaves customers with higher prices.
This announcement addresses all of that. Customers can buy into the highest density drives available and take advantage of them without additional storage penalties. StorONE gets to sell more storage without increasing its data centre footprint.
It leaves two questions. Will customers continue to be lazy in policing what they store? Also, how far can StorONE go with this model before it has to expand its physical storage capacity to meet customer demand?