Nov 04 2021

What Is Consumption-Based IT, and How Can Organizations Decide if It’s Right for Them?

This emerging option is aimed at organizations that want to scale on-premises data centers at their own pace.

Consumption-based IT is an emerging option for organizations that want to scale their data centers on their terms.

1. What Is Consumption-Based IT?

If you’ve ever leased a car, you get the idea: Consumption-based IT is hardware in your data center that you pay to use as much as you want. If you use more than a base level of CPU and storage, you pay a little extra. You might think of consumption-based IT as Data Center Hardware as a Service: Your preferred hardware vendor puts servers and storage in your data center, and you pay based on your actual usage above an agreed baseline.

2. How Does It Differ From Infrastructure as a Service?

Consumption-based IT is definitely not “IaaS in your data center.” The specifics vary by provider, but fundamentally it delivers only scalable hardware: create and destroy VMs on the fly or scale storage requirements up and down, paying only for the resources you use. The extra layer of management, prebuilt operating systems and services that IaaS and Platform as a Service vendors offer are not part of the equation.

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3. What’s the Bottom Line on Consumption-Based IT?

More than an IT product, consumption-based IT is fundamentally a financial product. It’s a tool for organizations that need to even out their capital expenses. But it’s not just leasing: Consumption-based IT brings an experienced hardware supplier to the table with insight and internal pipeline information and creates a partnership with the supplier to deliver IT resources closely matched to the current — and future — needs of the organization.

4. Who Is Best Suited for Consumption-Based IT?

These programs are designed to help organizations that are firmly committed to keeping their own data centers running and who are spending a lot of resources managing hardware acquisition and upgrades. An organization that’s aggressively shutting down its own data center in favor of cloud-based services won’t see any advantages.

5. Is Consumption-Based IT the Same as Hyperconvergence?

Hyperconverged infrastructure is a hardware and architectural choice. You can choose to build HCI in a consumption-based IT program if that’s the right technology for your business.

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