Storage-as-a-service (STaaS) is a cloud service offered by storage providers to organizations that would prefer to rent infrastructure for their data storage needs rather than purchase it and manage it on site. The vendors that offer storage-as-a-service are often cloud service providers, but STaaS can also mean on-premises infrastructure, similar to a private cloud. Smaller businesses often use STaaS because it’s more difficult for a small company to manage and pay for their own infrastructure. But companies of any size might use STaaS because it’s flexible and convenient.
Benefits of STaaS include:
Economy: Storage-as-a-Service providers typically offer a pay-per-use plan or a monthly fee. This is attractive to businesses because their payments are based more on the actual storage services they’ll use, with no wasted capacity. STaaS payment plans also allow users to budget more accurately.
Security: STaaS providers use multiple methods of protecting data, including encryption. Using STaaS sometimes provides the option of storing data in multiple locations, which can help prevent data loss in case a natural disaster or other accident wipes out one storage facility.
Flexibility: Different STaaS providers generally offer different methods of data storage, which means companies can choose the right storage method for the data in question. They can also access stored data quickly from cloud providers when they need it.
Three types of data storage
The three most common methods of storing data each have benefits and drawbacks and are suitable for different storage needs.
Block storage divides data sets into segments called blocks, which come back together when recalled from storage. Block storage is helpful for businesses that need to access data and make changes to it quickly. However, it’s not very flexible and doesn’t store unorganized data.
File storage is extremely organized: data falls into files, folders, and directories. File storage benefits companies that need to organize structured data. It does not store much data, though, so companies that need to store huge amounts of unstructured data should not use file storage.
Object storage places any form of raw data into objects, or blobs, within a data pool. It’s very affordable and scalable, and it allows companies to retrieve data easily using the metadata of each object. Object storage is the best choice for companies that need to store enormous amounts of data. However, it is difficult to make changes to data in object storage. Companies may not benefit from object storage if they need to quickly edit pieces of data.