STaaS (Storage as a Service)

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STaaS stands for “Storage-as-a-Service”, which is a cloud computing managed service model. In STaaS, the provider rents storage resources to users with subscription-based payment methods. The service eliminates the upfront cost of creating an on-premise storage solution for organizations. STaaS allows users to pay for the storage they need and when they need it. Some other services, such as Database-as-a-Service, are built on top of STaaS solutions.

Like most other cloud services, STaaS is also very scalable, which makes it very beneficial for enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, home offices, and individuals. STaaS can be used for multimedia storage, data repositories, data backup and recovery, and disaster recovery.

How STaaS Storage as a Service works?

STaaS uses virtual machines to store the customers’ data. In basic terms, STaaS enables users to access their data stored in the solution from any location or device. Since it is sold as a standalone product, it is different from buying additional storage for an IaaS solution.

Types of STaaS

There are three types of STaaS; Object-based Storage, Block Storage and File Storage.

Object-based storage

In object-based storage, it is easy to recognize and retrieve data anytime. It adds meta information while organizing the data. It uses a technique of writing data and metadata for long-term storage, archiving, and some unique applications which benefit from the technology. It is not the highest performing STaaS method, but it is ideal for storing high amounts of cold media or data files. Providers are using specialized software for object-based storage, utilizing SAN, NAS, DAS, or similar technologies.

Block Storage

The most distinctive feature of block storage is that it breaks the data into pieces and then distributes it, wherever it offers better efficiency for the platform to store it. It is ideal for warm or hot data storage, allowing quick access, but it is also expensive compared to other methods. It uses a host server or virtual machine and allows users to add it to their existing virtual machines. It is mostly used as the primary volume for virtual machines and applications.

File Storage

File storage is similar to on-premise NAS solutions and stores files in an accessible shared drive. It is popular among end-users, allowing them to list the data in a navigable hierarchy in a file directory. It comes with effective scalability options, and it is also the most affordable type of STaaS. It is ideal for cold media and data files.

Advantages and disadvantages of STaaS?

Pros Cons
✔ Removes the costs to install and manage an on-premise storage solution. ✘ In some cases, exceeding the storage capacity can cause unexpected extra costs.
✔ Allows users to access the most up-to-date data by syncing continuously. ✘ STaaS solutions don’t have many customization options if it is needed.
✔ Most STaaS plans come with recovery features to protect the data against disasters. ✘ Since the data is stored elsewhere, it makes it complicated for the organization to comply with regulations, such as GDPR.
✔ Users can scale anytime they want, allowing them to minimize their STaaS budgets.
✔ Cloud service providers protect their customers’ data with the best possible security tools.

What are the examples of Storage as a Service?

In basic terms, STaaS enables companies to store their data in the cloud, but it can be used in multiple ways. For example, some organizations use STaaS solutions for disaster recovery purposes for data backup. It allows the organization to restore the data from the backup after a disaster or a cyber-attack to minimize downtime. Some organizations use STaaS temporarily for business application development and testing, which requires the use of large-capacity storage.

What are the top STaaS companies?

There are various STaaS providers, including the biggest cloud companies offering all sorts of cloud services and providers solely focusing on STaaS solutions. Some of them are:

  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Oracle Cloud Storage
  • Dropbox
  • Amazon Cloud Storage
  • Box Cloud Storage
  • Rackspace Cloud Files
  • IBM Cloud Object Storage
  • Zadara Cloud Platform
  • DataBank Storage as a Service

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