The Economic Benefits of Cloud Adjacent Storage

A recent report from Enterprise Strategy Group validates that a cloud adjacent approach to storage can reduce costs by up to 67%

Jason Powers
The Economic Benefits of Cloud Adjacent Storage

The value of business data is undeniable: Effectively using their data can help organizations deliver a better customer experience, understand market signals, design innovative products and services, and more. For these reasons, businesses that optimize their data architectures will realize competitive advantage. As data volumes are only expected to continue growing, the importance of that optimization will also increase.

Public cloud infrastructure can provide the scalable capacity needed to keep up with massive data growth. However, public cloud services aren’t right for every workload. Many businesses need both scalability and on-premises-like control. A recent report from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) by TechTarget found that 66% of organizations prefer a hybrid cloud strategy over cloud-first (24%) or on-premises (10%).[1] The same report found that 89% of organizations rely on multiple cloud providers.

While the theoretical benefits of hybrid multicloud architectures are clear, achieving those benefits isn’t always easy. It requires the agility to move the right data and workloads into the right environments at the right time, all while navigating the cost and complexity of data movement between environments.

Further, when data is spread across multiple clouds, it can impede visibility and control, which in turn complicates the task of data scientists and analysts as they consider compliance, security, and general data pipeline management requirements and tasks. This results in greater cost and less agility for teams.

Today’s enterprises need a way to unlock all the benefits of public cloud while mitigating costs and complexity. With cloud adjacent storage, that’s what they get.

Enabling cloud connectivity while maintaining data control

Cloud adjacent storage simply means storing data near the cloud, but not in the cloud. Specifically, it involves building a storage platform inside strategically positioned colocation data centers that are also home to low-latency cloud on-ramps and interconnection services. This allows you to get the best of both worlds for your hybrid multicloud environment: You can move data into different clouds quickly to access the ideal services for a particular use case, but you also maintain control over that data at all times.

Even when you move a dataset into a particular cloud, there’s no risk of vendor lock-in or unexpected costs. That’s because the data isn’t stored in the cloud permanently; you maintain the source of truth in that storage environment outside the clouds. Since you have complete control over that storage infrastructure, you’re free to use your data however and wherever you see fit. Better still, for certain applications, cloud adjacent storage can be attached via private, low-latency network interconnection directly to cloud services and treated as a network-attached storage volume, further reducing data movement and complexity of reconciliation.

Analyzing the cost benefits of cloud adjacent storage

The previously mentioned ESG report details a quantitative economic analysis of cloud adjacent storage at Equinix. This analysis, based on interviews ESG conducted with real Equinix customers, validates that cloud adjacent storage can drive cost savings in several ways. For instance, customers are able to avoid fees for data egress and storage operations such as API calls. The report found that cloud adjacent storage drives egress savings of up to 3.3x. The more data a customer needs to egress, the greater the savings.

Customers can also take advantage of a consistent edge-to-core-to-cloud data plane to simplify storage administration. Gaining greater visibility into their data all in one place, rather than spread out across various clouds, helps customers manage storage more efficiently. This allows them to scale their operations without needing to deploy additional storage resources or hire more staff to manage that storage.

Finally, ESG found that customers are using Equinix cloud adjacent storage to reduce their total storage capacity requirements. By ensuring high-speed access to all data from anywhere on their data plane, they’re able to store fewer copies of data and reduce the size of working datasets in the cloud at any one time. Deduplication and compression capabilities helped reduce the storage burden further, driving 5x to 7x space efficiency savings.

If we were going to store what we store in only 20 TB on our [cloud adjacent storage array] on public cloud storage, I would have to pay for at least 5 to 6 times this capacity, plus a lot of other costs like operations and egress.” - Equinix customer interviewed by ESG

Taken together, these benefits added up to significant cost savings for Equinix customers that use cloud adjacent storage. Using the results of the customer interviews, ESG created a model that compares the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a multicloud environment before and after implementing cloud adjacent storage at Equinix. The model looks at costs over a three-year period, and assumes that each option uses services from the same three cloud providers.

When both options were used to address the same set of business requirements, the ESG model found that the monthly TCO of cloud adjacent storage at Equinix was 67% lower than that of the “before” scenario.

Cloud adjacent storage drives benefits beyond costs

The ESG report also describes many of the qualitative benefits that customers experience when using cloud adjacent storage at Equinix, including:

  • Greater storage agility: ESG validated that cloud adjacent storage at Equinix makes it quick and cost-effective for customers to move data to applications running anywhere—in the data center or in any cloud. This agility helps customers unlock the full potential of hybrid multicloud.
  • Enterprise storage features: ESG noted that customers could use their cloud adjacent storage environments to access the same enterprise-class storage features and management software they’re accustomed to running on-premises. This includes the ability to choose from hosted Storage as a Service tools provided by Equinix partners like Dell Technologies, NetApp and Pure Storage.
  • Reduced storage risk: Customers can design their storage environments to protect against risks such as ransomware and other cyberattacks, workload downtime, and regulatory noncompliance.

To learn more about these and other benefits of cloud adjacent storage, read the ESG report Economic Validation: Analyzing the Economic Benefits of Equinix Cloud Adjacent Storage.

 

[1] Aviv Kaufmann, Economic Validation: Analyzing the Economic Benefits of Equinix Cloud Adjacent Storage, ESG by TechTarget, February 2024.

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