Debunking BCDR Myths: Software-Only BCDR Vendors are Cheaper

February 10, 2021

Debunking BCDR Myths: Software-Only BCDR Vendors are Cheaper

By Courtney Heinbach

In our latest eBook, the BCDR Buyer’s Guide for MSPs, we’re breaking down some common myths about business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions. In this blog, we’ll focus on myth number two: vendors who sell software-only BCDR are more affordable than those that sell hardware options or both. You can check out other blogs in the series here.

Are vendors that sell software-only BCDR cheaper?

It’s understandable why this myth exists. Software-only products do often have lower up-front costs when compared with all-in-one solutions. That’s largely because you can deploy them on any hardware (e.g., inexpensive, commodity x86 servers) and the public cloud. However, if you look at the total cost of ownership (TCO), software-only products can actually be more expensive than all-in-one solutions in the long run.

Advantages of all-in-one solutions:

  • Ease of use is prioritised.
  • It’s a single vendor (and monthly fee) for hardware, software, and cloud.
  • Technical support is straightforward, no matter where the issue originates.
  • Hardware is right-sized for client deployments, reducing manual labour, configuration errors, and the associated costs of each.
  • May include hardware replacement and capacity upgrades, easing scalability over time.
  • No unexpected cloud costs.

What do we mean by unexpected cloud costs?

For starters, cloud compute costs spike during disaster recovery and the MSP must conduct disaster recovery operations, including potentially complex failback, without assistance. You also have to keep in mind that the cloud provider may not provide performance guarantees/minimums (or costs may increase to meet performance needs) and they charge egress fees for moving data out of the cloud. So, large restores can be expensive. Finally, public cloud pricing is based on a shared-tenant model by default. You can set up a single-tenant (private) cloud, but that comes with additional fees.

All of these cloud costs can vary considerably and impede your ability to respond quickly when a disaster strikes. They can also complicate billing. For example, if you opt to use a public cloud will you build (estimated) restore costs into your monthly fees for clients? Or, will you bill them separately for restore costs? What happens if you underestimate costs? By contrast, all-in-one solutions make billing straightforward, with a single flat fee that includes cloud storage, compute, and restore costs. This provides a better customer experience and ensures predictable margins on services delivered.

Software-only better for your business? Prioritise flat-fee

As you can see, one of the primary differences between software-only BCDR and all-in-one is ensuring you know what fees to expect. However, if software-only BCDR is better for your business, look for a flat-fee offering that can ensure consistent costs even without the all-in-one model. Datto offers completely flat-fee, software-only BCDR through vSIRIS.

Looking for more tips on how to find the right BCDR solution for you and your clients? Check out our BCDR Buyer’s Guide for MSPs.

BCDR Buyer’s Guide For MSPs

Download our eBook today for insights on the BCDR buying process.

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