Jenn Yey, Synology

Hidden costs to watch out for when purchasing a back-up solution

Jenn Yey, Synology

19 February 2019

Have you been tasked with finding and comparing different back-up solutions? Only to become overwhelmed with various options, features, and licensing models? If you’re looking for a back-up solution, Synology can give you the insight and help to steer clear of potential pricing pitfalls.

are two types of business models in the back-up market:

  • Back-up
    hardware and back-up software sold separately
  • All-in-one
    integrated back-up appliance

For most companies, a major reason they purchase back-up software is to leverage existing hardware. However, they often overlook software license fees associated with the total cost of ownership.




Take VMware back-up for example. Below are three common hidden costs.

1. Licensing and maintenance cost

In most VM back-up cases, vendors typically take different approaches to how they charge you; either per CPU socket or per VM host (system). Depending on your setup, a per host charge may not always be more expensive than per socket. For example, if running services on a two-socket VMware server at $500 per socket, that’s going to cost you more than a charge of $800 for just the host itself. When comparing vendor pricing, be sure to consider the total cost.

table below shows how licensing models work in different use cases.

from licensing fees, don’t forget maintenance renewal costs for
software updates, patches, and technical support. Did you know
the cost of annual
support renewals 
account for 22% to 27% of the perpetual license cost?

As the graph below shows, if we compare three-year total cost on back-up software, there’s almost no cost difference between perpetual and subscription licenses after counting in support renewal costs.

2. Management cost

When it comes to software management, since the integration of software and hardware involves two different companies with different support systems, businesses need to look at the software and hardware separately to determine the root cause when a problem arises.

If you don’t have an in-house IT team, you’ll probably have to reach out to different vendors, going back and forth, which often leads to reduced productivity. 

3. Storage cost

The last thing to keep in mind is the cost of hardware. Many businesses are limited by budget and usually opt for freemium software. However, freemiums can come with feature limitations, the major drawback of which would be to perform a full back-up every time.

For example, if you want to keep daily back-ups for seven days, and the data size is 1Tb with the average daily change rate at 5%, you’ll find incremental back-ups will save 80% on storage. By contrast, it’s very likely you’d waste over 6x more space at the destination server compared with freemium software. Make sure to include the cost of hard drives and server hardware, especially when you want to back up complex business workloads.

It all adds up in the end

How about a back-up solution that can help you minimise all hidden costs? We compared the license fees from other back-up vendors with similar feature sets. In just the first year alone, Synology Active Backup solution saves you more than 50%. The cost savings can be even more significant when compared to Dell EMC or HPE as back-up storage servers, or when you need to back up larger business workloads.

In short, with the money you pay for a back-up software license for the first year, you can get a Synology NAS while protecting business workloads on virtual machines, physical servers, Office 365, and G Suite – both accessible with a price approximately the same or even less than the first-year license fee.

You can further improve storage efficiency with global deduplication, which prevents redundant data when backing up from multiple devices. For example, global cosmetics brand Shiseido saved 54% (28Tb out of the total 58Tb) storage usage with global deduplication in its business environment. Without this technology, it could have cost approximately $1,500 to store the extra 30Tb of data on hard drives and expansion units.


The table below shows how Synology Active Backup for Business compares with other back-up solutions (freemium or premium licensed software).

Besides the cost advantages, Active Backup integrates plenty of features you can find in modern back-up software, allowing you to manage back-up tasks from one simple console, ensuing fast and reliable recovery.

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This article was supplied by Synology

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