There are many roads to a good BDR solution. You might build your own ecosystem, opt for DRaaS or use a vendor to help you create the perfect hybrid cloud solution. But no matter what you choose, your thoughts are likely guided by cost.

Efficiency, security, performance and capacity matter – but they have to come at the right price. But given the high number of variables in BDR, it can be hard to accurately evaluate your total cost of ownership (TCO.)

Here are a few considerations that can help you understand exactly what your BDR system is costing you.

Getting Started

Hardware is probably what your leaders think of when it comes to budget, but that’s only part of your TCO. Go with a vendor that’s software only and it can initially look like great savings until you realize you still need to supply your own hardware. If you’re trying to build your system using existing hardware, that could lower your costs – but you’ll need to ensure you have sufficient capacity and compute resources. Other vendors offer sophisticated packages involving intertwined hardware and software where you pay for the entire package.

You also need to think about implementation requirements. Will the vendor take care of it or is your team facing a serious disruption in their day to day duties? Testing, tuning and getting a new BDR system off the ground can be labor intensive.

Ongoing Expenses

If you choose a cloud solution, you’ll need to determine whether your fees are part of your monthly service or an additional cost. You’ll also need to understand how your provider is charging you. Is it by retention period or data volume? Break down your cloud fees to understand what you’re paying for.

Because your data will almost certainly grow, you’ll need to account for those costs down the road and not just what your BDR footprint costs today. Is your BDR solution scalable enough to grow with you without recurring an extreme rise in costs?

Another consideration: your software licensing costs. These are typically renewed annually, but you’ll need to check with your vendor on what’s due and when to accurately predict your costs over the long haul.

After the initial launch, your team will have plenty of ongoing labor to do. Resolving outages, troubleshooting simple system failures, integrating new applications and servers will all require hands-on work, unless you’ve chosen a vendor who’s handling all of that.

Technical support is another area that can be more expensive than leaders initially expect. If you’ve created your own BDR solution, you probably have multiple vendors in play – and that can involve frustrating situations when they point the finger at each other rather than step up to fix the problem. To get an idea of how quickly your issues will be resolved, find out where the support team is located, their hours of availability and if any additional fees are involved. If .evaluating BDR vendors, look for reviews of their technical support team


After assessing your solution’s price tag, you’ll need to assess other areas it can cost you, such as:

  • How fast is your backup performance? Will your staff and customers get the user experience they expect or will they experience a lagging, limited environment that drives away business?
  • How easy is the solution to use for your team? Is testing automated, can they recover deleted files without much trouble? Do they need to babysit backups and perform tedious manual tasks? The wrong solution can cost your team time and productivity.
  • Are you hitting your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO)? Are you achieving consistent uptime and minimal data loss – and are you positioned to recover quickly from a ransomware attack without paying the ransom?

Finally, try to get to know a vendor before you sign with them. A sales pitch is one thing; getting a feel for a vendor’s internal culture and commitment to service can be far more valuable. Choose a vendor who’s transparent and invested in your data protection, and you’ll be more likely to avoid hidden costs and get the performance you’re looking for.

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