Tech/Engineering

Does backup in the cloud always reduce TCO?

October 1, 2019 Julie Herd, Director, Solutions Marketing

Many organizations are looking to reduce their TCO for data protection by utilizing the cloud. As a result, most backup solutions have introduced some form of cloud support. However, how a backup solution leverages the cloud can significantly impact the TCO. In fact, most cloud options, when bolted on to legacy solutions, actually increase the TCO of backup.

Does cloud support lead to reduced on-premises infrastructure?

One of the most obvious ways a cloud-based data protection solution can reduce backup TCO is by eliminating as much of the on-premises backup infrastructure as possible. The problem is that most legacy on-premises backup solutions do very little to decrease on-premise infrastructure. The first step in most on-premises based data protection solutions offering cloud support is to use the cloud as a tape replacement by mirroring backup copies to the cloud. At best, this is a TCO-wash, trading one capacity resource for another.

Does disaster recovery in the cloud reduce TCO?

Disaster recovery in the cloud is another aspect of back up TCO and is being offered by on-premises data protection vendors. These solutions, in wildly varying degrees, try to eliminate the need for a dedicated second site for disaster recovery. The problem is the variance in these solutions’ abilities, and most of these cloud DR solutions still require on-premises backup infrastructure. While DR in the cloud results in a TCO reduction of the second site, it does little to reduce the TCO of backup at the primary site. Those costs are still fully intact.

Beyond TCO impacts, customers need to clearly understand the time required to initialize a fully functional version of production applications, at scale, in the cloud. They may be surprised to learn that many “push-button” recoveries can take six hours or more to execute fully, which can be devastating to a companies financials as it goes through the DR process.

Does archiving older backups reduce costs?

The third aspect of using the cloud to reduce TCO is archiving older backups to a less expensive, cold storage tier. However, only a small handful of on-premises data protection vendors can implement this within their software architecture. Most data protection solutions today are image-based. This means they can only archive old backups by triggering a new complete backup – and then archiving the complete old backup; this does reduce some on-premises storage requirements but only minimally and thus the reduction in TCO is very small.

Only cloud-native backup reduces on-premises infrastructure

At Druva, we believe that only a cloud-native approach reduces on-premises data protection infrastructure in a way that truly reduces your TCO. Druva was built on AWS and natively leverages cloud compute and storage for backup and disaster recovery. We eliminate on-premises backup infrastructure and its associated maintenance: no backup server, no on-premises backup storage, and no requirement for a high bandwidth backup network. We manage it all as-a-service, in the cloud, for our customers.

The impact of Druva’s approach on back up reduces TCO by up to 50%. By eliminating a large portion of legacy backup infrastructure results in a significant savings starting at on day 1. We also believe you’ll see savings in day-to-day operations and significant TCO reduction when you factor in periodic upgrades to the on-premises data protection alternative.

We’ve created a TCO calculation tool for you to put in your values and see for yourself, and I encourage you to try it out.