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Nyriad aims to simplify storage-as-a-service pricing

Nyriad's UltraIO-as-a-Service enters the market, seeking to simplify purchasing and on-premises deployment. However, it's not a fit for every industry.

Nyriad wants to reduce storage-as-a-service complexity for customers by simplifying the process.

Nyriad's new UltraIO-as-a-Service, available now, breaks down STaaS pricing into three areas: length of time, type of service and needed capacity. Doing so provides a way to plan future price increases and have quick access to on-demand storage, reducing the risk of interruption of service.

Nyriad was founded in 2014 as a storage partner for the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope in New Zealand before the project was shut down in 2019. A year later, Nyriad began to work on commercializing its storage product.

UltraIO is an on-premises STaaS offering that uses high-capacity 18 TB Western Digital HDDs for its storage. The array uses a combination of midrange Nvidia GPUs -- two Nvidia A6000s per head node -- for erasure coding and writing to storage, and CPUs -- two 12-core Intel Xeon Gold 6226s -- for reading from storage. Erasure coding allows for a system to sustain up to 20 failed drives at one time, lowering the risk of using high-capacity drives.

Storage-as-a-service contracts can get complex, according to Dave Pearson, an analyst at IDC. Complexity, including around storage, prevents the breakdown of organizational and data silos and is the No. 1 reason why digital transformation initiatives fail.

Customers are hoping to leverage the most attractive parts of the cloud experience without getting some of the more problematic parts -- including complexity in operations, migration and billing.
Dave PearsonAnalyst, IDC

"Customers are hoping to leverage the most attractive parts of the cloud experience without getting some of the more problematic parts -- including complexity in operations, migration and billing," Pearson said.

Storage pricing in 3 steps

When it comes to STaaS, vendors can set up pricing based on different performance metrics for different workloads, according to Nyriad. Workloads and performance can be tied to specific storage devices that aren't obvious to a user who might unknowingly store data in the wrong place, adding to their costs. Nyriad's approach is for customers to select their time frame for use; up to three storage types, including block performance or block, file and object; and then capacity in terabytes.

Along with simplicity, Nyriad's UltraIO-as-a-Service also adds a level of flexibility, according to Pearson.

"You can both raise and lower your reserve commitment," he said, adding that reducing commitment is fairly unique in the market.

This is a useful feature for companies with a seasonality to their business, Pearson said.

Having the ability to scale down storage sounds good, but reducing a company's storage footprint isn't common, according to Marc Staimer, founder and president of Dragon Slayer Consulting.

"If you are going [to use less] storage, you have to delete your data. People don't do that," Staimer said.

There are cases where companies don't keep data long term, such as monitoring logs on smart meters in IoT devices, but deleting data is rare, he said.

Overprovisioned for ease, but not for everyone

Nyriad maintains a set price per terabyte, per month, for reserve and on-demand storage. Nyriad does this through overprovisioning during deployment, setting up more storage than needed on site. This keeps costs down for customers and prevents the vendor from delivering and deploying more appliances as demand goes up, according to Nyriad.

Nyriad UltraIO in rack.
Nyriad's STaaS is now available.

Not only is the price structure more transparent than some other STaaS vendors, but Nyriad is also reducing risk, Staimer said.

"The overprovisioning means that if you need more storage, it's already there," he said.

As companies grow, they can deploy the storage already on site and not have to pay for it until they're using it, Staimer said. This skips waiting for new appliances to be delivered and deployed.

Nyriad said it is not trying to be a storage provider for every use case. The vendor's main focus is media and entertainment, and it sees itself suited for high-performance computing, backup, recovery and active archiving.

Nyriad's focus is on areas that are served by HDDs, as HDDs work well for sequential performance such as streaming, analytics and AI, Staimer said.

While the simplicity of UltraIO-as-a-Service might mean limited use cases, choice is still a demand in the enterprise, and having options is still desirable, Pearson said.

"Looking at the number of vendors within typical data center footprints, it's over four for the average enterprise," he said.

Adam Armstrong is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering file and block storage hardware and private clouds. He previously worked at

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