Tech/Engineering

Understanding the TCO of cloud-based backup

August 23, 2019 Julie Herd, Director, Solutions Marketing

Most organizations view backup as an insurance policy that protects against threats like cyber-attack, human error, and natural disasters. It’s a necessary expense, one that every organization would like to reduce as much as possible. However, in most cases, cutting costs compromises ITs ability to deliver adequate data protection coverage. As a result, when a disaster occurs, IT is left scrambling and the organization’s data is at risk because of those cost-cutting decisions.

Thankfully, this is no longer the case with cloud-based backup and recovery, where organizations can save up to 50 percent on their total cost of ownership by moving to cloud-native backup and recovery. TCO goes beyond just the cost of the initial purchase of backup software, and includes ongoing maintenance, storage costs, infrastructure, etc. Let’s explore several key areas that impact the TCO of backup and recovery

The data explosion driving increased infrastructure costs

The number of applications that are business critical has increased over the years. Twenty years ago, there might have been three or four “mission critical” applications to be protected, but now there are dozens of “business critical” applications that keep your business running that need to be protected. Add to that the need to protect end-user data, since an ever growing amount of important business information lives on end user devices or SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) applications.

All of this data drives up the cost of the infrastructure required for backup if your are still using an on-premise data protection solution. In order to architect for near-term growth, on-premises solutions require up front purchases of backup storage capacity that may not be used for some time. This ‘stranded capacity’ is quite costly; not only is it purchased at today’s storage prices ($ / GB goes down annually as much as 20%), the capacity sits idle, consuming power even while not being used.

With cloud-native backup, this is no longer a problem. Capacity is only purchased as needed, at the current costs of cloud storage, not yesterday’s prices. Because capacity is elastic in the cloud, there’s no stranded capacity in your infrastructure.

Long term data retention

The length of time that organizations want to or are required to keep backup data is also a factor impacting backup TCO. The challenge is that the longer the retention period, the more uncertainty there is on the total capacity required. The choices are to either pre-purchase capacity (which is expensive as we already noted), or to add an additional backup device into the backup infrastructure when needed.

Given that most organizations select the option of adding another storage device, IT needs to reroute specific backup jobs to that new device. The rerouting is almost always a manual “educated guess” process. Also, if the organization was counting on deduplication to keep storage capacity requirements down, then the addition of a new device means resetting the deduplication process since the new device doesn’t have a base set of data for comparison.

With cloud-native backup, backup capacity can be expanded as needed, yet maintain a single unified view of all of the backup data. Global deduplication is applied across the full dataset, reducing the overall backup storage capacity required over time.

Meeting RTO and RPO requirements 

Another factor driving up the cost of backup TCO is the demand for rapid recovery. Today’s business critical applications demand RTO (Recovery Time Objective) of minutes, rather than hours or days. Using legacy data protection solutions, replacement servers have to be procured in advance and standing ready in order to meet the required RTO, which means that only the most mission critical applications are included in the DR (Disaster Recovery) plan.

Cloud-native disaster recovery eliminates those hardware costs and allows businesses to expand DR plans to all their business critical applications. With disaster recovery in the cloud, VMs can be initialized and run in the cloud within minutes, keeping the lights on while the data center recovery happens in the background.

The TCO of cloud-native backup

Cloud-native backup and recovery eliminates most of the hardware, software and infrastructure costs that impact the TCO of backup and recovery solutions. There are many factors that impact your total cost of ownership, and Druva would like to help you understand your TCO for moving to cloud-native backup.

We’ve released a Backup TCO calculation tool, that does all the hard work for you and can do a side by side comparison between an on-premise and a cloud-native data protection strategy.