Being a successful cloud storage provider means making it easy for end users to securely and seamlessly manage, access and collaborate on data from anywhere on any device, and not taxing customers with egress charges in local regions.
With the rapid growth of technologies that malicious hackers employ, data security is at more risk than ever before and it can lead to heavy losses if a company is compromised. Cloud storage providers have to create solutions to secure the data and offer some proof that the solution is effective.
IDC, members of the Channel Partners Business and Editorial Advisory Boards, and other industry experts shared their views with us on what it now takes to succeed in cloud storage.
“To thrive in today’s digital economy, a cutting-edge cloud provider must offer fast and easy access to multiple storage types and tiers, to accommodate for a wide array of application demands that exceed on-premises capabilities and provide agility, elasticity, performance and scale at competitive costs with simple management,” said John Tonthat, executive director, Ingram Micro, and editorial advisory board member.
Deepak Mohan, research director in IDC’s enterprise infrastructure practice, covering research on cloud infrastructure, said given the market has evolved and matured significantly in the last 10 years, a successful provider today needs to address the following:
- Low total cost of ownership.
- Be easy and intuitive to use (for object storage, that typically means compatibility with AWS today).
- Have tiers of services to cater to a range of use cases and performance requirements.
- Support automation and APIs to enable functionalities like automatic tiering.
- APIs to enable monitoring, audits and data/storage management functions.
- The ability to offer higher-layer services.
Vince Bradley, WTG‘s president and CEO, and business advisory board member, said the competitive landscape is growing as the list of providers continues to expand, making it tougher to compete.
“The use of online storage has become a utility and its value is equated with additional collaborated applications,” he said. “Service is being incorporated into suites such as Google Drive and G Suite. The added value of the collaboration of data within the suite is hard to compete with standalone services. The ability for third-party integration is critical to customize productivity suite offerings.”
|Our other “top 20” lists include providers of UCaaS, enterprise telephony, SD-WAN, antivirus software, colocation, and backup and DR. We also highlighted 20 top channel thought leaders.|
There are several factors challenging the cloud storage market – including the amount of vendors – but security has to be the No. 1 challenge they face, said Jim Lipps, Cyxtera’s vice president of sales engineering.
“Many companies are slow to adopt cloud because of the fear of their data being stolen,” he said. “With the upcoming evolution of 5G, data is going to grow at an incredible rate as the pace of IoT is going to skyrocket. Speed and ease of use will be the key to cloud storage providers’ success.”
Also, there is a lot of free storage available and expansion is inexpensive, Bradley said.
Based on feedback from industry experts, business and editorial advisory board members, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Storage Services Worldwide and recent news reports, we’ve compiled a list, in alphabetical order, of 20 cloud stage providers that are making the most of the current competitive landscape and charting success.
Tonthat said Alibaba Cloud is an example of a successful cloud storage provider. Gartner lists the Chinese company as a challenger and says its current portfolio of storage services demonstrates the vendor’s potential to “become an alternative to the global hyperscale cloud providers in select regions over time.”
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Tonthat, Bradley, Mohan and Lipps cite AWS as a successful provider. Gartner lists AWS as a leader in public cloud storage.
“AWS is one of the few capable providers that can provide end-to-end solutions from edge and on-premises enterprise data centers to public cloud storage services without making security trade-offs,” it said. “AWS can deliver such solutions in an integrated experience with an overlay consisting of robust security and performance features.
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