Cloud Storage Costs Less Than Traditional Enterprise File Storage: Customer Proof

March 22, 2018 | Anne Blanchard Cloud Storage Costs Less Than Traditional Enterprise File Storage: Customer Proof

Many enterprises want to modernize their file infrastructures using cloud storage. But how do cloud storage costs compare to traditional hardware-based infrastructure? Is there really a hard dollar savings in moving traditional file workloads to the cloud? Two Nasuni customers answered this question definitively a few weeks ago at HIMSS, the healthcare industry’s biggest annual technology conference. Austin Radiological Association (ARA) and Faith Regional Health Services were selected to present the education breakout session, Scalable Storage and Disaster Recovery Infrastructure for Medical Images. The focus of their joint session was how to address unstructured data challenges in healthcare: providing secure, HIPAA-compliant storage; accommodating rapid file growth; ensuring care providers have fast file access from any location; and, protecting patient data against Ransomware and disasters.

All these requirements take place in the real world, however, and in the real world, money is a factor. So, both were asked to compare the cost of their modern solution – cloud object storage and Nasuni’s global file system – to the cost of traditional NAS, backup, and DR.

Here are the results they presented.

Faith Regional: Cloud Storage and Nasuni Save 260% Over 3 Years

For Faith Regional, deploying cloud storage with Microsoft Azure and Nasuni has reduced annual storage hardware costs from $400,000 to about $100,000, even as their unstructured data has grown.

Faith Regional’s file data consists of:

  • User and department file shares
  • Marketing media and video files
  • Cardiology images
  • Sleep studies
  • Parts of patient health records
  • Radiology images
  • Pill cam video (shows pills being swallowed and processed through the body)

Nasuni stores the gold copies of these files in Azure, while caching the actively used files on-premises for high performance, local access. Because active data is typically 20% of total file capacity, Faith Regional has been able to reduce its on-premises storage hardware capacity needs – and costs – by about 80%, as well as the associated costs of floor space, power, and cooling.

Cost savings with cloud storage and Nasuni presented by Faith Regional Health Services at HIMSS 2018

The health system is also eliminating more than $20K per year in backup costs. Nasuni continuous file versioning, which stores changes to files as they occur in object storage to create a limitless file version history, makes backup obsolete.

Azure geo-redundancy, through which copies of all objects are replicated across multiple Azure data centers, combined with Nasuni’s ability to rapidly spin up edge appliances in any location for fast file access, provides built-in disaster recovery. This has enabled Faith Regional to avoid the high cost of building and maintaining a dedicated DR site.

Capital cost savings isn’t the only benefit being provided by Nasuni and cloud storage. Faith Regional also cited improved multi-site file access, better backup and recovery, and reduced IT complexity as key advantages.

Additional benefits being realized with cloud storage and Nasuni at Faith Regional Health Services

ARA: Cloud Storage and Nasuni Reduce Storage Costs 40-50% Over 3 Years

For ARA, a fast-growing radiology provider serving hospitals throughout central Texas, the cloud storage cost savings are measured a bit differently. Unlike Faith Regional Health Services, whose cloud strategy is “all-in,” ARA’s use of cloud storage is limited by SLAs with the hospitals it serves, many of whom have policies preventing patient data from being stored in public clouds.

ARA could have used private cloud object storage with Nasuni’s enterprise file services platform to overcome this issue. But since minimizing the amount of hardware in its data center was one of its storage modernization objectives, ARA opted for the combination of Nasuni and Azure.

While ARA couldn’t move all its rapidly increasing file data to Azure and Nasuni, moving a percentage of it – 2D and 3D mammograms, archived patient records, and marketing multimedia – has prevented on-prem storage costs from rising even more. While ARA’s traditional file storage costs have increased 500% over the last 3 years, cloud storage and Nasuni costs have risen only 44% even though capacity has tripled.

Cost savings with cloud storage and Nasuni presented by ARA at HIMSS 2018

Like Faith Regional, ARA is also realizing additional benefits beyond CapEx savings by shifting more of its unstructured data workloads to Nasuni and cloud storage. Cloud storage costs about half as much as their traditional hardware-based solution.

Additional benefits Austin Radiological Associates is seeing with cloud storage and Nasuni

How Nasuni Changes Cloud Storage Economics

Many enterprises that looked at cloud storage in the past rejected it for 2 main cost reasons:

  1. Egress and replication charges were high for active data.
  2. Cloud storage costs were unpredictable, resulting in month-to-month billing surprises.

Nasuni has completely changed this picture in 3 ways:

  1. Nasuni Edge Appliances cache active data wherever high performance file access is needed. With a nearly 99% cache hit rate, files rarely need to be retrieved from cloud storage, all but eliminating egress charges.
  2. Nasuni de-duplicates and compresses file data before storing it in the cloud, reducing the amount of cloud object storage needed by an average of 60%.
  3. Nasuni’s support for private cloud object storage enables customers to leverage their own data centers and increasingly cost-effective private cloud platforms, eliminating egress charges.

Can Cloud Storage and Nasuni Save You Money?

Limitless capacity on-demand, high-performance access to files from any location, enhanced cross-office collaboration, and improved data protection are certainly enticing. But can you really reduce the capital costs of file infrastructure with Nasuni and cloud storage, the way Faith Regional and ARA have?

Have us run a Business Value Assessment for you and find out. This customizable model will calculate the cost of doing business as usual with your existing file storage solutions, and compare it to the cost of a modern file infrastructure with Nasuni and the object storage of your choice. It’s free and it only takes an hour.

Give it a try, and see how your savings compare to these two customers.

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