Woo: Determining ROI, TCO of a cloud backup solution

Turning to cloud backup isn't a simple task of handing the keys to your data over to a third party, dusting off your hands and walking away with visions of lower operating costs and fewer infrastructure headaches dancing in your head.

According to Ben Woo, founder of the analyst firm Neuralytix Inc., when searching for the right cloud backup solution, organizations need to take a hard look at the return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO), even if cloud backup is something that will never operate in-house.

"I'm not going to arm you with answers. I'm going to arm you with more questions, and hopefully they'll be the right questions to ask while you engage in this," said Woo.

In this Storage Decisions presentation, Woo discusses some of the issues that IT admins should consider when they're reviewing cloud backup solutions.

"In terms of ROI, what is your purpose in backing up to the cloud? That's a very basic question, right? And [if] the purpose is simply that I don't want to use tape, it's going to be a challenging ROI for you," said Woo. "Data that goes into the cloud should have a purpose in the cloud."

Woo said admins should ask whether cloud data will be used for some other purpose in order to get a return on cloud backup.

And when it comes to the total cost of ownership, admins should look beyond the dollars-per-gig pricing, and consider how long the cloud will be used to store data.

"A lot of people think [about just] the dollars-per-gig … but you've got to multiply that by the number of years you intend to keep it in there. Think about a tape cartridge, LTO-6 …. We're putting a hell of a lot of data in there, but when you divide it out, it's fractions of a penny per gigabyte [using tape]."

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