Cloud storage adoption barriers
Cloud storage adoption barriers – Performance is a bigger barrier than cost or security.

The number of enterprise applications with specific IOPS or other I/O performance requirements is on the rise. In a 451 Research survey, performance requirements for certain applications increased from 52% to 73% in just one year! (1)

This isn’t surprising, because applications continue to evolve and workloads that heavily rely on databases, like big data, e-commerce, and trading applications are becoming more integral to many large and midsized enterprise businesses.

Here’s the problem:  Many cloud providers aren’t ready to meet these technology requirements with their public cloud platforms — and that’s limiting their business growth. While security, cost concerns, and operational challenges stand in the way of public cloud adoption, lack of performance is also a top-five barrier. Channel Insider claims that when it comes to cloud storage, performance is a much bigger concern than cost or security. Other researchers say the biggest cloud concerns among global CIOs and senior IT pros are performance bottlenecks, which can slow down revenue-generating production applications (e.g., e-commerce) and result in a poor customer experience that could negatively impact business.

Even worse than slow performance, however, is variable performance. Performance issues are the #1 reason for support calls into service providers’ customer support centers, but lack of speed isn’t the only reason for the calls. 451 Research found that an application that performs erratically generates more complaints than one that is consistently slow! Sure, storage isn’t the only bottleneck; after all, fingers usually point to the network first. But with advances in network virtualization and software-defined networking, the network is losing its infamy and sadly, storage has become “the new network.” (1)

So what can service providers do to prepare for these rising application performance requirements? First, without a doubt, move to flash storage. 89% of your enterprise customers are doing that within their own data centers (2) and you should be, too. Second, create predictability within your storage platform by selecting a flash array with QoS controls. Only true QoS controls will allow you to remove the performance variability that pains customers.

To read more about the storage performance imperative within enterprise, download this free 451 Research report, “Storage performance tools hit ‘prime time’ with enterprises.”

1 Coulter, Marco, “Storage performance tools hit ‘prime time’ with enterprises,” 451 Research, December 3, 2014.

2ESG. Market Landscape Report: 2014 Solid-state Storage: The Case for, Types of, and Purchasing Considerations. Available at: Accessed February 17, 2015.


Mara McMahon

Mara McMahon is Segment Director at NetApp SolidFire, overseeing all go-to-market programs and initiatives for service providers.