Replicator – Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

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:

Installation Fees

  • 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?

Installation Labor

  • 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?

Ongoing Costs

  • 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
  • Support
    • 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?
    • Cooling
    • Power
    • Space

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.