Consider Total Cost of Operations for BCDR Solutions

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Christian Kane, manager, product marketing, Datto
Author: Christian Kane, manager, product marketing, Datto

Datto’s latest Global State of the Channel Ransomware Report revealed that 91% of MSPs report clients with Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) solutions in place are less likely to experience significant downtime during a ransomware attack. But how do you find the right BCDR solution for your business, and what should you consider before you make your selection?

While there are many factors MSPs have to consider when evaluating BCDR products, the total cost of ownership (TCO) should be high on the list. TCO has a direct impact on your ability to build a margin on your services. If the BCDR solution you deploy requires constant attention, you’ll chip away at that margin quickly. Let’s break down how to calculate TCO.

Start with hard costs, such as:

  • Upfront hardware and software costs
  • Ongoing licensing fees
  • Ongoing cloud compute and storage fees

Then you can move on to other factors that impact TCO, such as:

  • Ease of use
  • BCDR capabilities that offset costs (e.g., automation, scripting)
  • Support & management costs (e.g., additional fees, time & resources spent troubleshooting)
  • Employee salaries/cost of living in your region
  • Staff knowledge/experience
  • Vendors’ partner program and volume discounts

Some of these factors, of course, can be hard to quantify. However, they can have a large impact on your ability to deliver profitable services. So, it’s important to give them careful consideration.

As an example, let’s say you need to dedicate two full-time employees to manage BCDR services for 20 clients using solution X, which has a low up-front cost. Salaries, of course, can vary widely, but for the sake of this example, let’s say they each make $75,000 a year. So, you are looking at upwards of $150k a year in salaries for managing BCDR. Total employee time, level of experience, and number of employees required to support and manage BCDR services can drastically impact TCO and your margin.

All-In-One vs. Build-Your-Own BCDR
One of the largest considerations in evaluating TCO is whether you’ll choose an all-in-one BCDR solution or build your own using a software-only product combined with other services. There are a variety of excellent products on either side, offering similar capabilities. Here are two key areas where they differ.

Build-Your-Own BCDR
In many cases, build-your-own systems may have lower up-front costs since you can deploy them on any hardware (e.g., inexpensive, commodity x86 servers). However, they also require you to source each individual piece of a complete BCDR solution (e.g., software, hardware, cloud, etc), likely from multiple vendors. This means you take on more risk if you build your solution because you need to coordinate between all your vendors if there is an issue.

All-In-One BCDR
All-in-one solutions, of course, come with a higher upfront price tag. However, deploying an all-in-one solution is relatively easy since the hardware is optimized to run that vendor’s software and cloud out of the box. With an all-in-one solution, you get single-vendor support, eliminating finger-pointing when issues arise, easing troubleshooting, and ensuring you can get clients back up and running quickly.

Datto SIRIS is one example of an all-in-one BCDR solution. SIRIS is a complete BCDR solution including software, hardware, and the powerful Datto cloud. No additional services or configurations are required to deliver best-in-class BCDR services to your clients. SIRIS is designed end-to-end to save your techs time and reduces OpEx spending—increasing margins and driving revenue. Our recent State of the MSP Report data bears this out; we found that Datto partners attributed nearly 10% of their growth to the Datto partnership. Visit our website to learn more about Datto SIRIS.

Author Christian Kane is manager, product marketing, at Datto. Read more guest blogs from Datto here.