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Expert highlights cost analysis tips for cloud storage buyers

As more businesses move to cloud-based storage architecture, a greater importance must be place on comprehensive cost analysis.

IT spending is one of the primary topics that comes up in cloud discussions, and while saving money isn’t the only potential benefit of the technology, it’s an important one for organizations to consider. Facing tight budgets, companies can be quick to view cloud storage negatively if their deployments exceed expected costs. Some of the frustration, according to a TechTarget article written by industry analyst Arun Taneja, could be resolved through better cost analysis practices.

The vendor landscape can make it somewhat difficult to do a comprehensive comparison, as it is filled with a number of pricing models. In addition, Taneja noted, there are typically extra costs associated with high-performance options compared with lower tier storage. It is also important to consider other safeguards, such as additional redundancy, that may come with some cloud services. For this reason, it is critical for cloud storage companies to be clear about their offerings and how much the customer is expected to pay. Similarly, customers would be wise to determine how much performance and data protection their assets require before signing a contract. This would mitigate the risk of paying far more than expected and better optimize cloud deployments.

“Keep in mind there may be other costs you’ll incur as well,” Taneja wrote. “For example, if you’re using a cloud gateway to access your storage, you’ll have to bear the costs of equipment (e.g., gateway appliances) at your site and the associated support and maintenance fees. You’ll also need to account for the costs of any IT labor required to get your storage into the cloud and manage it once it’s there.”

Businesses have also been concerned with the ability of cloud storage providers to meet the evolving demands of the corporate technology world. However, this is one area in which Gartner analysts expressed support for the cloud storage market, Network World’s Brandon Butler reported. The research firm suggested a cautious approach due to the number of different options available.