Storage as a Service (SaaS) involves transmission of the data over a network, in most cases over the Internet to a service provider run facility. Secondary storage applications like Backup and Archiving are the most popular SaaS applications. Industry analysts predict that worldwide, Storage as a Service will grow at a CAGR of double digit figures over the next 3 to 4 years. Heralding this trend all major storage vendors are now having or will soon have a SaaS offering. Although the customer adoption rate in the Middle East is low, this is increasing steadily with financial services taking lead.
SaaS insures organizations against runaway costs of data storage and protection by giving them a predictable per GB cost. These costs include Software, Hardware, Staffing, Management, Maintenance, Migration, Upgrades, Power, Cooling, Floor Space etc. Over a period of 3 years, it will help them reduce costs by up to 50% compared to traditional methods. It also enables organizations to focus on aligning IT with Business goals and not to being bogged down by data management tasks.
Another advantage is in the area of disaster recovery. Your data is moved over the internet and stored offsite in a highly secure and available environment protected from disasters. It also frees users of the headache of physically moving tapes offsite for disaster recovery and removes security risks associated with this.
Besides, the solution guarantees a service level that is required by the users. Recovery of their data whenever and whereever. Best of all you can recover a file which was modified minutes back, without rolling over tapes for a single file. The solution also enable customers to have a tiered Service levels depending on the importance and criticality or Recovery time and point objectives of the data that is being stored. For example some data has to be retained for 5+ years but other data could be securely purged after a few months. The solution also has an option to have a caching device which is used to store the most recent data on site for extremely fast retrieval.
With this model the customers can enjoy almost unlimited storage capacity with a pay as you go model. Just imagine the total elimination of the storage procurement cycle and hassle when you need more storage
Some of these service providers have a long track record of providing this service. And the service is analogous to trusting your money in a Bank. High levels of encryption is used before transmission. The encryption keys are created and managed by the end user or a third party escrow service. This encryption is ensures that the data cannot be accessed and read by even the service provider without the encryption key.