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Is SaaS a good fit?
When considering costs, there's almost always no investment in hardware or software needed to start doing business with a SaaS provider, says Balaouras. The average pricing for online server backup today is approximately $7.50 per gigabyte per month, according to a recent Forrester report on backup software as a service, although some companies are offering lower prices to lure new business. Capacity pricing, where a vendor charges a fee for each gigabyte of capacity per machine per month, has the advantage of being predictable; however, a pricing model based on vault capacity is probably a less-expensive option for users, says Balaouras. For example, under the vault capacity pricing model, if you have a file server that has 100GB of capacity and you achieve at least a two times compression ratio, you would be charged for only 50GB in the first full backup (see "SaaS negotiating tips," below).
Geokinetics' Lewis figured out that over five years, the SaaS model will likely be more expensive than keeping his backup in-house. But the cost analysis doesn't take into account that new hardware
| investments and upgrades will be required after five years, he says. Also, there's the cost of possible human error, which is tough to nail down.
"I don't have anyone swapping tapes," says Lewis. "I don't have to monitor all those humans who [occasionally] make mistakes."
This was first published in August 2008