The Cost and Ongoing Operations of Cloud Backup
In the last of this three-part article we discuss the costs and ongoing operations of cloud backups.
The complete articles were originally published by Asigra.
What level of IT resources will be required to setup and maintain a cloud backup solution?
For most companies, a cloud backup and recovery solution will eliminate, or significantly reduce, IT resources related to the mundane task of backup and allow your resources to be redeployed to more strategic projects. Working with a trusted cloud backup service provider enables you to leverage your existing network infrastructure while transferring the responsibility of backup to an outside expert.
This can be even more important considering the challenges some companies are facing hiring experienced IT backup administrators for on-premise solutions especially in smaller cities or remote geographies. It also enables CIOs to focus on spearheading significant transformational projects rather than backup implementation, which typically has a lower prestige value within most organizations.
Once you determine the appropriate settings, backups are automated, creating a “set-it and-forget-it” scenario. You will however, need to ensure that your cloud backup service provider is equipped to monitor your backups to identify and correct any possible problems. The price of your backup service will reflect the amount of responsibility you maintain versus your cloud backup service provider. Low cost service offerings could mean that you will be provided with marginal support, minimal senior technical resources and the ongoing burden for monitoring and managing your backups.
How is my data stored in the cloud?
Not all data is created equal therefore your cloud backup service provider will work with you to take a comprehensive approach to reviewing, assessing and classifying your data to gain a better understanding of your business needs and your recovery time objectives for your young versus old data. Tiered recovery known as Backup Lifecycle Management or BLM is the most cost effective approach to storing data in the cloud. Your cloud backup service provider should understand that organizations don’t value older data the same as younger, more critical data. Operationally critical data requires more frequent backups with a better SLA. Less critical backups are relegated to less expensive, lower SLA standards to save costs. In most companies, more than 50% of data is older, of less value, and should cost less to protect.
Your service provider should help you to align the value of your data with the cost of protecting it.
It appears as though a monthly subscription fee for cloud backups is equivalent to implementing a traditional tape backup system. Is this true?
Comparing the cost of a cloud backup solution against an equivalent tape system can be a tricky calculation. The best way to approach the issue is to consider total cost of ownership for both systems.
To determine the total cost for a tape backup system you will need to consider:
- Ongoing maintenance for both hardware and software
- Initial setup costs for configuration
- Time and resources for managing backup and restore, including periodic recovery drills
- Future scalability and costs of additional infrastructure
For a cloud-based backup service, costs to consider include:
- Recoverability assessment
- Initial implementation
- Pay-per-use for capacity
Your cloud backup service provider should have access to a ROI calculator that you can use to determine the cost savings over a multi-year period of a cloud backup and recovery solution as compared with an on-premise system. Many companies will discover that the total cost of ownership for a cloud backup and recovery system is significantly lower.
Along with total cost of ownership, there are other associated financial advantages of a cloud backup service including:
- Lower operating and administrative costs due to automated backups
- Built-in scalability which makes it easy to evolve with new business needs
- Cloud backup software that scans your data for integrity or corruption issues and alerts your company immediately, preventing costly problems in advance
- Deployment of IT resources in more strategic innovative initiatives that enable greater competitive advantages
- Simple recovery drills for peace of mind
Why cloud backup?
These answers should provide a better picture of what the switch to a cloud backup, recovery and restore solution involves. Given the reliability, cost savings and ease of operation associated with cloud backup, many companies are now moving to the cloud. The reasons include:
- Ability to leverage existing infrastructure — a cloud backup and recovery solution doesn’t require buying or installing expensive equipment as it takes advantage of your existing corporate network
- Set it and forget it — once you select a backup schedule, company data is saved automatically, providing a transparent solution
- Tape backup shortcomings — tape backups are often expensive, vulnerable to obsolescence and can be lost or stolen when being transported off-site
- Improved recovery time objectives — by using a managed backup service, the speed and reliability of your recovery and restore will be governed through your SLA
- Smarter use of IT resources — a cloud backup and recovery solution will allow your business to redirect IT resources to more pressing challenges within your organization
- Backup Lifecycle Management — a cloud backup and recovery solution aligns the value of your data with the cost of protecting it. As the value of your data declines over time the cost of protecting it also declines providing you with additional cost savings.
Talk to your Service Provider about cloud backup.