Bandwidth considerations

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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As customers re-evaluate their capital IT budgets, yet still need more storage capacity, cloud storage solutions are garnering more interest as users look to on demand storage. ParaScale, The Planet, Nirvanix and Amazon S3, among others, may all have something to offer an IT solution provider's customers.

But there are also some lesser-known considerations, including whether or not vendors charge based on the number of times data is accessed, says Rob Walters, general manager of hosted services provider The Planet’s Storage and Data Protection division.

Walters says cloud storage fills a void for customers who need affordable storage for archiving, backup and disaster recovery purposes. Offering storage as a service via a "utility billing methodology" is a smart move for hosting providers such as The Planet and solution providers who deliver the services.

He says The Planet uses a fairly typical cloud pricing model, charging based on capacity used and the amount of bandwidth a customer needs to access their capacity. But where pricing "surprises" occur with other providers is when customers make demands to their data, and are charged for each request.

"At first it seems pretty cheap, because it’s a 'pay-as-you-go-for-only-what-you-use’ model. But then you realize that you’re making a lot of requests to call up that stored data – maybe you even write an application to automate calls to that data – and it starts to add up," Walters says. Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, or S3, charges per request in addition to standard capacity and bandwidth fees. But that doesn’t mean you should write off vendors based on different pricing models and fees if their offerings fit your customers' needs.

Often, it’s less a matter of cost than the types of data customers need to store.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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