How To Calculate The Total Cost Of BCDR: Start With Up-Front Costs

Nov 16, 2016

How To Calculate The Total Cost Of BCDR: Start With Up-Front Costs

BY Chris Brunau

Business Continuity

When selecting business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) technology, IT service providers must choose between a variety of integrated solutions from BCDR vendors or to build their own. As with everything in IT, there are pros and cons to each approach.

Obviously, you start with the technology itself—does it deliver the performance, capacity and functionality you need? Then, you move on to cost calculations. However, it can be difficult to compare the total cost of ownership (TCO) between integrated solutions from vendors, let alone a DIY solution—it’s an apples to oranges comparison.

We’ll discuss the pros and cons of vendor solutions versus build it yourself, how to weigh upfront and ongoing costs for either, and additional factors to consider, so you can make an informed decision on what’s right for your needs. We’ve also provided a free checklist that can help with your calculations.

When deciding which approach is right for you, it is important to think big picture. The raw cost of hardware is often the main number IT providers look at—but it actually represents a relatively small percentage of the total cost.

Hardware costs vary based on capacity and performance. If you are taking the DIY approach, you can use commodity x86 servers. Many like the DIY approach because upfront hardware costs are relatively low. BCDR vendors, on the other hand, offer specialized devices with tightly integrated hardware and software that often come at a higher cost. Because of this, you don’t need to consider software costs as a separate item. If you are taking the DIY route, you’ll need to consider software costs separately from hardware. You’ll also need to determine whether the hardware you choose has the capacity and compute resources necessary to deliver efficient performance.

Setup is another important consideration. With a purpose-built BCDR, software is optimized by the vendor to work with the device, so setup is generally straightforward. When taking the DIY approach, it’s important to understand that you may spend significantly more time setting the system up, testing and tuning it, etc. You need to factor that extra labor cost into the TCO, even if you pass some of it to your clients. But, if you take the build-it-yourself route, you’ll also get flexibility. You can choose whatever software you prefer, license the specific functionality you need, and switch software providers without needing to purchase new hardware.

Finally, you need to consider cloud setup costs. Some BCDR providers factor cloud setup costs into the monthly cost of the service while others charge separate fees. If the BCDR vendor you work with does not cover cloud setup costs or if you build your own, you’ll need to factor these costs into the TCO.

To learn even more about the TCO of BCDR, download our new eBook. We’ve created a profitability checklist which can help you calculate the economics of a build-your-own vs. a complete BCDR offering. Learn more about the total cost of ownership when it comes to BCDR. Download today and determine the best backup solution for your business.

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