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    Falling Cloud Storage Costs Mask Growing Management Headache

    As the number of options for storing data in the cloud increases, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is getting more aggressive when it comes to storage pricing. AWS just reduced the cost for classes of services on the Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) One Zone platform nearly in half (47%) in one availability zone compared to previous classes of the service that spanned multiple regions.

    The goal is to provide IT organizations that don’t necessarily require the built-in redundancy that was provided by the previous classes of the storage service, says Wayne Duso, vice president of file, edge, and data services for AWS.

    On an annual basis, the cost of cloud storage continues to decline but in this specific instance the price reduction is enabled by giving IT organizations another cloud storage alternative. “It’s more about flexibility,” says Duso.

    That additional level of flexibility can come none too soon. As the amount of data that organizations generate steadily increases storage costs are starting to climb as an overall percentage of the IT budget. The cost of storage on a per-terabyte basis is declining, but the amount of data being stored is starting to approach petabyte levels for a lot more organizations. An analyst report now estimates the distributed storage market overall will increase from $49.13 billion in size to $297 billion size by 2027, a 25% compound annual growth rate.

    Also read: Creating a Cloud Migration Checklist

    Underscoring Data Management 

    While spending on storage will vary from one organization to another it’s all but certain there will soon be a lot more focus on data management. Many organizations are now starting to embrace data fabric platforms that promise to make it easier to manage data on an end-to-end basis. The issue is that many of those organizations have not been especially focused on unifying the management of data across the enterprise. Most data historically has been managed within the context of the application that created it, which generally ran on an on-premises server attached to a dedicated storage system.

    With the rise of the cloud a lot more data is now being hosted on massive data lakes that run on those platforms. That capability makes it a lot easier to manage data more holistically. The challenge IT organizations still face, however, is the bulk of the data they have stored still resides in isolated silos in an on-premises IT environment. To make matters worse, much of that data is conflicting simply because the way one application rendered a customer name is different from the way it was rendered in another application.

    Also read: Best Practices for Effective Cloud Control and Cost Management

    Managing Storage Costs

    Over time a lot more existing and new data will be moving into the cloud. However, it’s not likely cloud platforms will become the dominant place data resides any time soon. Servers and storage systems running on on-premises IT environments will exert a considerable amount of gravity for years to come. As such, applications running in on-premises IT environments are going to be generating massive amounts of data right alongside cloud applications for years to come. The hope is IT organizations will simply get a lot better at moving data from one platform to another to help rein in storage costs that are already spiraling out of control.

    The best way to achieve that goal is, of course, to manage data better. Of course, it might not hurt to reduce the cost of storage on an actual per TB basis as much and as often as possible.

    Read next: 5 Cloud Migration Strategies

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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