Many businesses rely on disaster recovery services to prevent service disruptions in case disaster strikes, resulting in the emerging model of Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS), or Disaster Recovery (DR) on demand. Unfortunately, many of the current DR services available to small and mid-sized market come at a very high price when the entire cost of lost data lost, the time required to restart operations, and the price associated with failing over to the cloud, is factored in.
Generally speaking, the industry has gathered around two pricing metrics: "price per gig" or "price per server." But it’s rare that either pricing model takes a holistic approach to hardware or software purchases for business continuity. A holistic approach must evaluate multiple factors on the business and technical fronts.
To analyze the true costs of a DR solution consider the following nine questions:
- What does the solution’s pricing include? More importantly, what does it not include?
- Will the pricing model allow you to predict how much you will be spending on the DR solution on a monthly or annual basis?
- What is your projected ROI, and what is the timeline before you will see return on your investment?
- If purchasing BDR (backup and disaster recovery) hardware up front, what can you expect as far as depreciation in the hardware?
- How much development time will it take you to migrate to the new solution?
- What are the projected technical support costs over the lifetime of the solution?
- Will the solution help me decrease RTOs, and in turn mean less hours spent on recovering data and applications and bringing the server environment back online?
- Does the solution provide a test environment, allowing you to reduce planned downtime for your clients?
- Does the service allow you to test the integrity and restorability of your server images?
Using the cloud for offsite disaster recovery means a business will actually have the ability to recover the servers in the cloud environment as opposed to simply using the cloud for offsite storage. This reduces TCO by reducing hardware costs, as you don't have to maintain redundant data center or duplicate hardware.
When dealing with prospects for our Disaster Recovery service, it's not surprising that one of the main areas of interest is pricing. As any good business owner would, they'll price out what a service such as Doyenz will cost. However, this does not always result in an apples to apples approach as some compare cloud recovery services to online backup or other local recovery options – apples to oranges.
Virtualized cloud platforms like Doyenz rCloud have helped drive the creation of Recovery-as-a-Service. The use of automated virtualization means that entire production environments, including applications and data, can be rapidly and easily brought online once the disaster is detected. This can dramatically reduce RTOs after a disaster, which is a key factor in enabling true business continuity.
When you’re weighing solutions offsite backup and recovery, have a clear understanding of your clients’ recovery time objectives. Chances are they are not able to wait around for someone to ship a pre-loaded BDR with all your data to somewhere that may or may not exist. With RaaS, you can restore the physical or virtual environment, and get back to work immediately.
Calculating the true cost of a DR solution takes more time than a simple price-per-gig or price-per-server comparison. Referring back to the list of questions above and gathering the proper data on DR services upfront can save you time and money in the long run.
Eric Webster is chief revenue officer at Doyenz, a provider of cloud-based disaster recovery services. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.