July 18, 2024

OpenStorage Beats the Vendor Lock-In Blues

3 min read
Image credit: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee for freedigitalphotos.net

There are plenty of interesting and exciting developments surrounding the world of data storage. But one of the most confusing aspects of this changing world has to do with how specific data – specifically hard disk storage – vendors setup their pricing models. The good news about hard disk and flash storage is that their cost per GB is steadily decreasing as time goes on. The problem is that vendor pricing is steadily going up. While it’s not hard to see the reasoning behind these price increases, it can be frustrating for businesses of any size.

Behind the Storage Pricing Hikes

Sure, there’s the profit motive for increasing vendor-specific storage prices, but how do they get away with it? Couldn’t a company just choose a different vendor with a lower cost-per-GB storage offering? Sure they could. That is, if they have a massive surplus of IT resources.

Most vendors understand this reality really well. They know that the prices of migrating from one enterprise-class storage provider to the next are too expensive to justify. This is why many enterprise companies are locked into a vendor agreement, and often for the entire life of the storage system. This allows storage companies to maintain high prices for their storage systems.

What is OpenStorage?

OpenStorage refers to a storage system architecture that is based on open source standards. This basically means that a company purchases state-of-the-art hardware and builds their own storage system completely independent of specific vendors for the life of the storage system. This allows companies to keep storage costs down and use the most advanced storage systems around without being stuck with one provider for an extended period of time. Companies like Rackspace are providing their customers with powerful infrastructural resources based on open standards and architecture.

Benefits of OpenStorage for the Enterprise

  • Cost Effective – According to a recent survey conducted by OpenStorage proponents, Nexenta, 52 percent of the companies surveyed reported major cost savings. This is largely due to the fact the companies can simply pay for what the storage hardware is worth at market value. There are no major implementation costs that are commonly associated with using storage vendors.
  • Flexibility/Scalability – With OpenStorage, companies can customize just about any aspect of their storage processes. Companies can easily manage data and on their terms. They don’t have to use rigid file systems. If they have the talent, which in today’s business climate this talent should be built into the IT department, they can build out powerful file management systems within their open storage architecture.


As the cost of data storage goes down, there’s no reason why companies should have to pay the exorbitant prices associated with some top vendors. To be fair, if a company has landed with a trusted vendor and don’t mind paying the price, then maybe they should avoid the headache of migrating to a new system. But the reality is that few companies can afford to be tied to a single vendor for the life of their storage cycle. Many companies are looking for new forms of data management, and the OpenStorage architecture is meeting that need with ease.

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