Cloud Backup Pricing: Factors to Consider
Cloud backup pricing is a major concern for anyone shopping for a solution that will fit their needs and stay within their budget. However, cloud backup cost is calculated differently by every provider. It’s important to be aware of the features and services available to you before you sign up – that way you won’t get thrown off by unexpected charges, and can stay within your budget. So what do you need to be aware of when shopping for a cloud backup solution?
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Consumer vs. Enterprise-Grade Cloud Backup Cost
Not all cloud backup is created equal - cloud backup aimed at consumers versus business can vary greatly in features, support, and of course, price. Depending on the size and complexity of your data, you could expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars per month to a few thousand. Most consumer-based solutions that are used to back up files and simple data will average about $0.20 to $1.50 per GB of storage. Enterprise-grade solutions involve data management, technical support, data retention and strict security policies, so they start their pricing higher - roughly between $2 to $4 per GB. There are also various fees depending on the provider and service level. Here are some of the factors that go into calculating cloud backup costs:
- Base Footprint. This is the total amount of data you are backing up to the cloud. It’s the most critical factor that is taken into consideration when looking to back up your data to the cloud. The type of data you’re backing up can also affect cost depending on the provider – uploading and recovering SQL servers or VMs involve more complexity than just files and documents.
- Bandwidth. Bandwidth is critical when it comes to backing up data to the cloud. That’s because your bandwidth impacts how fast your data gets uploaded to the cloud and how quickly you can recover it when you need to. Depending on the provider, some may charge extra per bandwidth, so you need to ask about any potential extra costs. Not having enough bandwidth can significantly impact the speed of the data recovery process – and in the event of a disaster, this could mean prolonged downtime, which could end business for good. That’s why finding a provider who can ensure enough bandwidth to meet your RPO and RTO is critical - more on that later.
- Change Rate. Change rate is all about how much of the data being backed up to the cloud is changing over time. This is needed to calculate the amount of data you’ll be backing up regularly. There are different tools that can help you determine your data change rate, but a provider can help you determine it as well. Zetta Data Protection works by doing an initial sync of data and then only reverse incremental backups to back up the changed data. This makes backups efficient and doesn’t slow down your systems during regularly scheduled daily backups.
- Growth of Data. Determining how much your data is expected to grow over time is also important in calculating your backup costs. There are different software tools available to help you calculate your storage capacity planning, though they are usually better suited for larger companies.
- Retention Policies. Retention policies give rules and regulations about how long you are obligated to keep your data. Depending on your industry, you may need to keep data for up to a year or even longer. You have to keep this in mind for when you determine how much cloud storage space you’ll need as backups accumulate over time. Make sure you ask about your backup provider’s retention policies.
- Support. Support is something you definitely don’t want to overlook when shopping for a cloud backup provider. Ask how often support is available to you – is it 24/7? Does your support include weekends? Does it include phone support or just online and email support? Where is the support based? The last thing you want to find out in the middle of a disaster recovery scenario is that you don’t have the support to help you recover - that is why we provide engineer-level U.S. based support 24x7x365.
- Local Storage / Backup Appliance. If your cloud backup provider requires an appliance to send data to the cloud, there are additional costs you need to be aware of. For example, what happens when you outgrow your appliance capacity? What do you do with your old appliance, and how much extra do you have to pay for a replacement appliance with extra storage space? How does that affect your contract with your provider? A software-only solution eliminates the complexities and extra costs associated with maintaining an appliance. That’s why you need to be aware of the different types of cloud backup providers as they are not all created equal.
- Knowing Your RTO and RPO. Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) are worth considering when determining your potential cloud backup costs. RTO is how long you can afford to be without your data, while RPO is the amount of data you are okay with losing. This comes into play when it comes to recovery. If you don’t have enough bandwidth to recover your critical data and meet your RTO, that can be a major issue. The same issue can come into play if you have a disaster scenario occur and don’t have support on weekends, how will you recover? Make sure to work with your cloud backup provider to ensure that your costs match up with your RTO and RPO needs.
Cloud backup costs vary greatly among providers, and there are a lot of factors that go into determining how they are calculated. That’s why you need to go to any potential future providers with awareness of what your needs are and preparedness to ask the right questions.