Why are backups important and how much do they cost?
I used to think every business at least paid lip service to the importance of having backups of their data, but I was wrong! Many organizations are rolling the dice, betting on ancient servers, workstations, and USB drives to not fail...but I'm sure that is not you, right?
Backups are important because data is available in the event of cybercrime, natural disasters, and malicious behavior. For local and remote backups to be professionally deployed & managed, it can cost between $0.50-$1 per gigabyte of production data per month.
Why are data backups important?
In short, backups are how you recover. Backups and Disaster Recovery (BDR) go hand in hand. You must have some form of backup to be able to implement Disaster Recovery. Disaster recovery is more about how fast your business can get back up and running. Backups store data that can then be used to recover from a disaster.
Alan McDonald from All Connected recently related a story where a business office was in the direct path of a California wildfire. There was no time to go get computers and servers out of the building, but All Connected was able to spin up remote servers and within an hour the entire organization was operating as normal. Without a comprehensive backup architecture, there is no way this type of recovery can happen!
Kosh has partnered with All Connected to deliver enterprise-class BDR to our customers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Southern Colorado, and Orange County, CA.
Check out our BDR Readiness Quiz to assess your organization's current state.
Qualifying for Cyber Insurance
Another reason having professionally managed backups is important is it makes it easier to qualify for cyber liability insurance. Most insurance companies will want to know how your organization is prepared to handle cybercrime and other disasters. They want to see you are protecting your data and handling it properly.
We have a full article on the requirements of cyber insurance and backups are a big requirement.
Where do you store your backups?
There are many ways to store your backup files but here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Be sure to have 3 copies of your data.
Store your data on 2 different mediums.
Make sure 1 copy is stored offsite and preferably air-gapped.
For example, one of our Albuquerque customers stores their data:
on a local server that is dedicated to backups,
at Kosh's data center that is located in downtown Albuquerque, and
remote at All Connected's air-gapped repository that is located in Nevada.
This is a robust backup architecture that protects this customer from losing their data or having to worry about paying ransoms.
"Air gapped" means the repository is not connected to the internet. This is great for protecting against cybercrime like ransomware.
Consequences of poor backups
One of the consequences of unstable backups is poor sleep! We could write a long laundry list of things that can go wrong if you don't have solid backups in place, but here is just one example where the organization could have really benefited from good backups.
A business in the financial services industry got hit with ransomware. They had been warned that their backups were vulnerable and inconsistent but the company's leadership didn't want to update their system. When they got hacked, they had to physically take their servers to a technology company that specialized in retrieving encrypted data. Time was of the essence, so the company chartered a jet to deliver the servers from New Mexico to Nevada! The cost to hire the jet, hire the specialists, and the cost to their reputation were all significant. Needless to say, it would have been a lot cheaper and less stressful to just have fantastic backups in place.
The costs of backing up your data
There are quite a few variables when it comes to pricing backups but the three critical ones are:
How much data?
How fast do you need it in the event of a disaster?
compliance and regulations
It's pretty easy to understand that the more data you have the more backups will cost. And the faster you need that data, the more backups will cost. Complying with government and industry regulations can also increase costs due to specifications in security measures, type of storage, location of storage, and how long you have to store data.
The costs of backups example - medium-sized business
Let's say we have a company that has 100 users and does about $20 million in revenue. They have 5 terabytes of data that need to be backed up. They're in the healthcare industry and require long-term data storage.
Please remember this is just a rough example with round ballpark numbers. Accurately pricing out a backup solution would need to take in many variables and be performed by a professional.
The hypothetical IT bill for backups might look like this:
Local backup device for 5 terabytes of production data
30 days of backup retention
The appliance will last 5 years
The backup appliance will require 25TB of storage.
Estimated one-time cost of $30,000 that includes:
labor to install
11 terabytes of space required
7 days of backup retention
$1,100 per month
10 terabytes of space required
$500 per month
Ongoing backup support
$1,000 per month
Altogether over the 5 year period, this comes to $186,000
Local backups $30,000
Offsite backup storage $66,000
Long-term storage $30,000
Ongoing tech support $60,000
This comes to a monthly cost of $3,100.
Per terabyte of production data, this comes to $620 per terabyte per month.
Per gigabyte of production data, this comes to $0.62 per gigabyte per month.
Backups can get pretty complicated. If you have questions about your organization's backups, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The information contained in this communication is intended for limited use for informational purposes only. It is not considered professional advice, and instead, is general information that may or may not apply to specific situations. Each case is unique and should be evaluated on its own by a professional qualified to provide advice specifically intended to protect your individual situation. Kosh is not liable for improper use of this information.