After still hearing stories of frustration with tape backup from several clients over the past year , we thought it would be valuable to find out what it really costs the average small business to manage what was once considered an “inexpensive” method of tape backup and recovery. The high costs we came up with may surprise you.
Almost $60 per day, when nothing goes wrong
To see how much is wasted on tape backup management, consider the daily life of the average IT technician. He or she manually backs up to tape each day, then moves each day’s backup to an offsite location in case of an emergency like a theft, fire, or natural disaster.
Keep these numbers in mind: the average 2012 U.S. mileage rate is $0.55 cents per mile, the average IT technician makes $33.25 an hour, and a company’s offsite tape storage location should be at least 46 miles away from its office. If it takes your IT technician one hour to reach your tape offsite storage location and they travel there once a day, every day, you’re paying $58.55 a day. Multiply that number by 250 (the number of working days in a year) and your company is spending an additional $14,637.50 a year on tape offsiting alone.
If you think you can avoid this cost by having a service offsite your tapes for you, you might be in for a shock. Some offsite companies can charge as much as $200 an hour. That’s $25,000 a year just for someone to offsite your tapes once per day – not to mention the risk of possible security breaches and additional downtime waiting for someone who is not invested in your company’s success to retrieve the tapes. If you simply reduce your offsite rotation to once a week, then you’re leaving your business vulnerable to greater loss of data and downtime when a server fails or other emergency hits. And if you think your company can survive downtime, you might want to read How Much Downtime Can Your SMB Afford.
PLUS almost $50,000 When Something Goes Wrong
But what about the costs when everything goes wrong? We hear one of those “everything goes wrong” stories every couple of months, coming into the office on a Monday morning:
Picture this: You’re the head IT technician at a law firm that’s about to start working a high-profile case. A partner and her team of associates and paralegals at your firm have worked for several weeks to pull together the evidence, research and arguments they need. Then the firm’s main server fails and you’re expected to restore all the files immediately.
You hit bumper to bumper traffic on the drive to the offsite location and it takes more than an hour to reach your exit. Upon arriving at your storage facility, you discover that one of the cooling appliances burned out and it’s been an especially hot day. As a result, you spend the next hour collecting the damaged tapes to inspect back at the office. It’s way past the end of the work day when you finally make it back only to discover that 25% of the files needed are unrecoverable because of the damaged tape.
In those six hours of downtime spent traveling to get the tape and retrieve and restore the files, your company lost at least $12,600 in billable time in one day. Recreating the unrecoverable/lost files would take an additional four days, or at least $47,800 in billable time.
Unfortunately, your law firm will never see that $47,800 back in its bank account because the reality is that “inexpensive” tape is now an ironic way to describe something that can be cheap to purchase, but will empty your wallet in the end.
Replace your tape backup “solution” with a server backup virtual appliance and online cloud business continuity service, one that keeps your company running even while the failed server is being repaired or rebuilt.