Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of an online (Hosted / Cloud based) backup solution can often be advertised as one thing, and end up being another by hosted service providers. More often than not, this can be a simple miscommunication or misunderstanding about what client resources a backup solution can provide. By asking a few simple questions and confirming a few solution requirements, an astute IT Executive can avoid any unexpected costs.
Costs to be considered:
- What is price of installation fees requested by your provider? What does it include?
- Shipping & Handling of any hardware?
- Hourly engineering/smart hands costs?
- Installation Troubleshooting?
- How much time and effort will be required by you and/or your team to successfully install the solution?
- Will it take your staff away from their regular duties? For how long?
- Do you have the necessary in-house expertise, or will you have to pay a third party consultant?
- Recurring fees from the service provider
- What is the monthly amount that will be invoiced? Are there annual increases?
- Is there any way your recurring costs can increase or change?
- Data limits
- Data transfer caps
- Is support included in your recurring costs?
- Is there a limit to how many hours of support you can use?
- Are there activities that may not be included in support? (Site visits, etc)
Testing – This is a Big one and is most often overlooked
- Does your service provider include any testing in your recurring costs?
- Do you want to test more than is specifically allowed for in your service contract?
- Is there a limit to the type of, timing of, or support provided during your testing operations?
Indirect costs (costs you don’t get an invoice for)
- Do you have enough bandwidth to support this backup operation? Is the solution using too much bandwidth affecting other aspects of your IT environment? Do you have to upgrade your bandwidth?
- Do you currently have the staff to support this backup operation? Will you have to hire/train new/existing employees to support it?
- Is there hardware that will increase costs associated with hosting in your datacenter?
As with any vendor, providing any service, performing complete due diligence before committing will avoid any surprises. It is most important to have a full understanding of what services you are being provided and exactly what they will cost. Any vendor that has an interest in working with you as a partner will be more than happy to answer all of your questions.
Replicator Cost – The Replicator costs are calculated on a combination of number of servers + data. In general the price ranges around $100-$200 per month per server with testing, recovery, implementation etc.