Analysts on user benefits
- Service delivery and billing. Granular billing is expected to emerge as a favourite.
- Capacity planning. JIT storage enables users to manage storage over different applications daily in the most optimal way, and to practically obviate the need for detailed planning throughout the year. A major advance with JIT is seen as reducing manpower spend for capacity planning.
- Disaster/recovery/business continuity. Spare capacity in the event of a disaster is provided at minimal cost.
- Application development lifecycle and change management. Both these disciplines call for temporary storage and the model accommodates this with optimised costing.
- Administration. Short-term extra capacity is called for when a company runs certain routines (database work, archiving, etc). The model supports such working.
Types of service
- IBM's Managed Storage Services (MSS) is offered on a pay as you use basis, price/Gb/month, after one-off set-up, design, transition costs - www.ibm.com/services
- Hitachi Data Systems offers just-in-time storage, through global data centres in San Diego, California and Sefton Park near Slough, UK, on a purchase, lease or subscription basis over 12, 24 or 36 months. Prices range from under $.01/mb/month to $.05/mb/month depending on terms and level of service - www.hds.com
- EMC is responding to the market through StorageNetworks, the storage service provider, but is not seen as having a formal programme (it claims to offer individually-tailored on-demand offerings) - www.emc.com
- Managed Storage International, spun out of StorageTek and with exclusive access to StorageTek products and technologies, offers services under the pay as you use model - www.managedstorage.com and www.storagetek.com (or .co.uk)
- Sun's approach is to offer storage that is priced, and can be bought on a modular basis. Sun can offer SoD itself with appropriate provisioning and financing plans or through partner SSPs such as StorageNetworks (www.storagenetworks.com) and Intechnology - www.sun.co.uk
- Hewlett-Packard, building on product from Hitachi Data Systems, is servicing the sector under the strapline 'e-storage on demand' with XP256 and XP512 high-end disk systems (www.hp.com)
- Bull, building on product from EMC, with its CDA8 delivers an add-on in a few days (not a physical extra disk)
- Compaq offers what's considered to be an enhanced leasing model - customers install capacity based on anticipated needs but pay according to forecast usage
SSPs and case study
- Robert Ames, boss of The Data Company (Europe), says there are a number of different approaches to SSPs broadly summarised as: managed SSPs with a public utility model or private utility; SSP enablers; and enhanced SSPs.
- Managed SSPs, public utility, appear like traditional electric, gas, water, phone companies. Customers plug in to the san (cf the National Grid) to get as much or as little as needed, and only pay for the amount used.
- Managed SSPs, private utility, appear like an ASP to the customer company. All data resides on customer systems but SSP carries out a management function from its own management centre.
- SSP enablers are like a value-added reseller, akin to an 'SSP in a box' model. Third parties may be co-location provider, ISP or telco.
- Enhanced SSPs are more focused on the end-user with a personal model. If you go over the usage threshold, you have to pay a fee.
- Small mobile ASP 2sms.com (www.2sms.com) offers a 24x365 text messaging service with its systems located in Telecity. Downtime equates to lost revenues and lost customer goodwill. It wants data backed up off-site, business continuity, no additional fixed costs and no extra staff. The Data Company (www.the-data-company.com) enables 2sms.com to focus on core business in mobile text messaging.