Features, Insight, Opinion

Cloud economics. What’s the true cost of cloud storage?

Mohammad Al-Jallad CTO & Director, UKIMEA, HPE, outlines the value of cloud experiences as well as their costs in this exclusive op-ed for tahawultech which sets up the potential of the HPE GreenLake hybrid cloud platform.

The cloud has empowered organisations to achieve remarkable outcomes in transforming the way they work, the services they provide, and the experiences they offer their customers and employees. The extraordinary and exponentially growing quantities of data these organisations are generating has been, by and large, successfully stored as advertised.

At first glance this should be a clear cut ‘win-win’ story. But recently business leaders, analysts and commentators have been taking a closer look at the cost provisioning of cloud, and public cloud in particular. Some are arguing that the rush to embrace this technology and a ‘cloud first’ strategy, has come at an unexpected price, only perpetuated by increasing quantities of data.

82% of organisations* using public cloud are spending far more than they need to.


You might be forgiven for being a touch confused. After all, wasn’t transitioning to cloud meant to save money? We discussed how the perception and reality of public cloud cost savings is misaligned with Blesson Vargese, Professor of Edge Computing at St Andrews University in Scotland.

“It might be the case that there are certain players in the industry who have now realised that making use of the cloud is not a cheap option. It’s a viable option. But it’s not necessarily a cheap option”.

Why is this the case? There’s plenty of evidence and opinion to support the Professor’s assertion.

The rush to public cloud for all workloads and data storage

Early adopters with big ambitions were quick to rubber stamp a cloud first strategy as they believed they would benefit not only from the agility of cloud, but the cost savings public cloud would offer. What many perhaps didn’t do was accurately calculate the cost of migrating workloads from a financial, operational and human capital cost point of view.

Forecasting usage – wide of the mark

It seems organisations may have overestimated the level of scalability, access and flexibility they require. Take data for example – whilst growing at pace, some datasets may remain standardised with little to no requirements to access. If storing data is a regulatory requirement with no need to analyse or draw value from it, it can be stored very differently to active data. In many cases, this means organisations purchase cloud capacity they do not use. Or they underestimated, and lost track of how much capacity they use, partially because more people have access to cloud services – and are incurring repeat costs.

‘Bill shock’ and the allure of ‘free’

Cloud economists believe that the well-documented phenomenon of ‘bill shock’ is a natural consequence of several factors over and above inaccurate usage forecasting.

‘Free’ onboarding and the ability to pay only for the public cloud you use has perhaps given a sense of artificial comfort. There’s the lack of public cloud billing transparency – either real or perceived, driven by the complexity of users, their visible general usage, and the less apparent, multiple, tiny, incremental usage charges they incur.

And then there’s the question of data storage. Research tells us that EMEA organisations hold on average 54% dark data – data that cannot be identified*. This has a significant impact on what organisations spend, and perhaps more importantly waste, on storage costs.


How will HPE GreenLake hybrid cloud help with cloud cost provisioning – including storage?

HPE GreenLake offers a cloud-like storage experience that provides organisations with a modern hybrid cloud solution. One with flexible payment options designed specifically to help manage costs and keep storage billing transparent.

Built on a common set of building blocks for you to scale, iterate and flex without needing to replace hardware, HPE GreenLake for Block Storage built on Alletra MP gives you the control back, providing choice, transparent cost forecasting and ease of management.

Complete control and customisation of your storage

Choose the term that suits you, with an option to own the solution at the end. This is a fully managed, no surprises storage consumption model – we’ll forecast your solution and flex it to your usage requirements, giving you ultimate flexibility and customisation.

Fixed, monthly forecast and subscription

A self-managed, fixed monthly subscription over a one, or a three-year period. This option is ideal for organisations looking for a cost predictable foundation for data modernisation. A simple, transparent cost model to meet budget, forecast and visibility objectives.

Traditional capex purchase

For some, ownership and upfront capital investment is key – a fully customisable solution with your storage requirements managed by HPE specialists. A cost model provides control and upfront investment in line with procurement requirements, legacy processes and financing need not hold you back.

For many, public cloud costs are spiralling parallel to data growth. With data vastly becoming a national asset, value on the balance sheet and the key to organisation’s evolution now is the time to consider alternative intelligent, secure, flexible storage solutions.

We provide data modernisation, choice and flexibility for all financing models. This is your storage building block for the future – we believe it is time to make conscious data decisions.

To learn more, visit: https://www.hpe.com/ae/en/storage.html

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