As an IT service provider, choosing between an out-of-the-box backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution or building your own is no easy task. Neither solution is one-size-fits-all as every business is different. Depending on your own needs, there are pros and cons of each option to consider. Here’s how to get started with the evaluation process so you can make the best, informed decision possible.
Consider the Upfront Costs
Hardware costs can vary based on the capacity and performance needed. While hardware costs tend to be low if you’re going for a build it approach, it’s important to note that software isn’t included in that cost. If you were to go through a BDR vendor, hardware is tightly wound with software so you won’t have to worry about additional software costs later.
Setup through a BDR vendor tends be pretty streamlined as they optimize software to work with their devices. If you plan to setup the devices yourself, you’ll have to integrate additional software, test it, fine-tune it, etc.
Once you’ve purchased all necessary hardware and got it configured, operational costs will follow.
Consider the Ongoing Operational Costs
Whether you choose to buy it or build it, the recurring costs incurred from cloud storage and computing over time will be very expensive. Some cloud storage providers will charge by the sheer volume of data while others will charge for the retention period you require.
Software licensing and updates are another cost to consider. Depending on whether or not your business requires basic or premium feature sets and platforms to be supported (i.e. Linux, Windows, VMware, etc.), prices can range quite a bit. Thinking about your projected business growth, and the growth of your customers (and their data) can be helpful in deciding between features and platforms you’ll need to support.
Technical support is a huge piece of your operational puzzle as well. Building your own solution will require you to go through multiple vendors. Your hardware vendor may differ from your software vendor. This method can get tricky as vendors may try to place the blame for performance issues on the other vendor’s products, making it cumbersome to solve problems quickly and efficiently.
With a single BDR vendor, you’ll have one point of contact for all technical issues. Since one partner will be responsible for troubleshooting issues, problems are solved as quickly and efficiently as possible. The game of phone tag will be much shorter, and customers will appreciate that.
If you choose to go through a single BDR vendor, don’t choose your partner hastily. An important thing to note about technical support is that not every vendor will offer top-notch service. Big questions to ask are where their support team is located, if they operate during off-peak hours, and if additional fees are applied for calling into support.
By considering up-front fees and ongoing operational costs, the choice between building your own backup and disaster recovery solution or partnering with a vendor should be a bit easier. If you’d like a more granular explanation of how to break down costs, we’ve included a checklist in the guide, “Build vs. Buy: Calculating the TCO of BDR.”