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Cost Benefit Analysis of In-House Backups vs. secure, offsite and automatic ITS Online Backup service

Copying data to CDs/DVDs or tapes that are left on premises only insures that some data will be available for restore if the backup media is accessible after a data loss event – and if this data is taken offsite it is usually unencrypted, making it available for viewing and use by virtually anyone that might come into contact with it. Fires usually destroy backup media that are left onsite, and in many cases the affected premises are off-limits to everyone for many days after a fire or other disaster. Proper backups are done automatically, at non-peak business hours, are securely encrypted, are available for restore at any time, and are taken offsite – every night.


Costs for proper in-house backup include:

  • Employee time - backing up: (daily) ½ - 1 hour
  • Backup Media: $2 - $200 – depending on format
  • Hardware: $200 to $8000 depending on format
  • Employee time - verifying backups: (weekly) 1 hour
  • Employee time – swapping media: (daily) .25 hours+

Assuming that the employee responsible for the backups, removal of media, verifications and restore processes is on a salary of at least $30,000 per year, and using the minimum time dedications outlined above, the cost of properly backing up an SMBs data is about $71.25 per week, $285 per month, and $3420 per year – not including hardware. If you factor in the cost of true manual ‘rotation’ of backup copies to a secure offsite location using a courier service ($300 per month+) and the aggregate costs associated with restoring data from tapes or the internal costs of managing a single total loss/restore event, the costs of in-house backup can skyrocket to well over double the previous estimate.

Compare this to the ITS Online Backup service, operating automatically at non-peak hours, and without imposing on your existing staff or adding hardware or media resources of any type. Typical average charges for ITS Online Backup service might be $50-$75 per month, resulting in a minimum cost savings of between $2520 and $2820 per year.