For the business process owner concerned with budgets and expenditures, Signiant Flight offers particular advantages not found with competing solutions. The SaaS model has intrinsic advantages that are well aligned with the realities of today’s dynamic business world, and Signiant has developed a unique pricing model to further accommodate customer needs. The following considerations will be of interest to business stakeholders:
As a maintenance-free, multi-tenancy SaaS solution, Flight ensures that customers are purchasing an industrial-strength cloud ingest solution with the lowest possible total cost of ownership.
Flight is sold via annual subscription, based solely on payload over the year, i.e. the volume of data moved. The cost per GByte decreases steeply with volume, so customers can secure a lower rate by committing to a higher-volume contract.
There are no incremental charges for bandwidth, file size, additional cloud providers, number of client-side locations, or any other variable. Since prices are based on data moved within a 12-month subscription period, Flight accommodates the seasonal, project- based fluctuations common to most modern organizations, allowing for variable monthly usage as activity peaks and troughs.
Flight allows customers to connect to both AWS and Azure cloud object storage — multiple buckets in Amazon AWS
S3, multiple containers in Microsoft Azure Blob, and/or any combination of the two. When support for additional cloud vendors becomes available, customers will be able to connect to those as well.
Signiant Flight can be purchased directly from Microsoft via the Developer Services category of the Azure Marketplace. Through this channel, it can be purchased on a pure consumption basis with no need for an annual commitment. Although the price per GByte is higher, this option might appeal to organizations that are in the very early stages of cloud exploration.
The cost of extracting data from cloud storage is an important consideration in financial modeling of any cloud project. Cloud storage providers typically do not impose network charges when customers upload data into cloud storage, but they do charge for downloading data — so-called ‘egress charges’ that vary by provider but can be substantial.
This artificially asymmetrical pricing model allows the cloud providers to derive some revenue to help cover network costs, but theoretically serves to drive adoption by removing friction from the process of getting data into the cloud in the first place. To date, all major cloud platforms have followed the lead of AWS and adopted this network pricing model.
It is important to note that egress charges apply regardless of how data is moved out of cloud storage. If the data is moved directly out of object storage, the charges accrue to the cloud storage account. If, however, the data leaves object storage and goes directly to a VM in the same cloud platform, the egress charges accrue to the VM account.
In the case of Flight, this means that egress charges accrue to the Flight servers and are therefore borne by Signiant — so the egress bill will come from Signiant rather than directly from the cloud provider. Signiant passes these charges on to the customer in a fully transparent manner with no mark-up, so egress charges paid to Signiant are the same as the cloud provider would have charged.
As a SaaS, all Flight data movement activity is managed and tracked on the Signiant-administered control layer on the cloud. Customers receive a monthly usage report based on this activity, detailing the volume of content moved in and out of their cloud object storage that month.
The statement makes it easy for customers to analyze on a month-to-month basis the cumulative payload, and determine whether or not they need to change their subscription tier.