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July 08, 2009


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W. Curtis Preston

I again say the numbers that this post is based on are completely bogus.

Stephen Foskett

I'm trying to figure out these numbers...

Let's start with media: $36,000 buys 800 LTO-4 tapes with 640 TB of raw capacity. $36,000 for offsite storage at $1 per tape per month is 3,000 tapes. This is a huge environment.

Then we have Avamar backing up 40 GB. This is a tiny environment.

What am I missing here?

Scott Waterhouse


Again--focus on the process and the reasoning, not the conclusion. And if you want something that isn't completely bogus (Mr. Diplomacy) then use $5k for the Avamar price. I won't attempt to defend the other two colummns as they aren't my numbers. The whole point of the two posts was to point out that they were suspect. So I guess we actually agree. Except that you are missing the forest for the trees if you think the post is worthless.

Scott Waterhouse


We are discussing 20 remote offices. I guess I could envision a rotation policy with daily off sites that only used 40 tapes per office. Remember--it doesn't matter if they are LTO1 or LTO4, they aren't going to get filled if they need to go off site. As I said to Curtis, the numbers are Double Take's and I wasn't trying to say their numbers were flawed, more that their process is flawed. So I am not terrible inclined to defend them.

The 40 GB comes from trying to extrapolate based on the cost of lost data how much data is at stake (assuming a .1% daily change rate). Since they don't really explain how much data is in their test case, this is the best I could come up with.

Preston de Guise


I just don't buy the numbers you're talking about. EMC continues to push the Avamar barrow pretty hard, but how can anyone read those numbers without thinking they're made up? $800 for hard setup costs for Avamar? How can you justify that number?

Curtis may have been blunt, but I have to agree with him.

Please justify how $800 is all that's required in a comparative Avamar setup for hard costs.



Scott Waterhouse


See comments in previous post for my clarification. If you are not willing to accept an incremental cost basis ($800) then I suggest that $5000 would suffice for a complete solution.

Preston de Guise

Can I assume then that you're doing comparative costs to bolting on each of those 3 systems to a central already configured/setup system to support remote office backup?

This isn't properly spelled out in your post.

If that is your intent, it's perhaps the only way that the numbers come any way close to being justifiable, and even then I still think they're way out. (In particular in that scenario I think your costs on tape setup for a remote office is unrealistic in comparison.)

I.e., the only way I see the Avamar cost as being justified is if it has already been purchased, setup and configured. Is this what your post is meant to be about? Extension of the backup system to support remote offices?


Scott Waterhouse


The first two sets of numbers are from Double Take (for tape and their software). There is not much I can say in defense of them, as their white paper does a poor job of outlining the assumptions used to generate them.

As I commented in the previous post to Curtis Preston, it is possible to imagine a "new" Avamar system for $5k in some circumstances.

As for the tape being way out--maybe. I think the math comes to 40 tapes per site, with a robot, and a server at each site too. That is only $18,000 per year per site. That doesn't strike me as wildly unrealistic.

Brace Rennels

I think it is pretty clear in the footnotes the sources that were used to calculate the ROI. Whether you agree with them or not is certainly a valid debate since some of them are a few years old. Maybe it would be best to provide a link to the disputed charts in the white paper and let readers decide for themselves. Either way I think we all agree that there are more cost effective solutions than tape alone.


1 See Double-Take whitepaper "Reducing Costs and Risks of Branch Office Data Protection"
2 Regan, Keith. "Concerns Raised on Tape Backup Methods." SearchSecurity.com 15 April 2004
3 Smith, David M. "The Cost of Lost Data." Graziadio Business Report Vol. 6 No. 3
4 Meta Group 2000 data
5 Smith, David M. "The Cost of Lost Data." Graziadio Business Report Vol. 6 No. 3
6 www.nwfusion.com/careers/2004/0105man.html
7 Zaffos, Stanley and Phillip R. Sargeant. "Designing to Restore from Disk: Backup Futures." www.gartner.com. 19 March 2001
8 Goldworm, Barb. "Alternatives to Tapes on Trucks." DM Review. 28 October 2005

Scott Waterhouse

Thanks for providing the references. I should have made it clear that you were citing 3rd party data to substantiate your claims, not just making stuff up as you went!

I think we can both agree the numbers are a little out of data, and in the case of the value of lost data, perhaps a little suspect.

And we can definitely agree that tape alone is not the most cost effective, reliable or secure way to protect data.

Rhinebeck IT Support

I can see how the loss of data can really hurt a company. Imagine losing all the contact info for all your clients, or losing track of what services each client signed up for. It can be a real headache to try and re-gather all that information ; not to mention it could make you look really unprofessional to have to ask for information again. You could waste payroll and lose customers. Easy solution: hire someone else to look after backing up your files regularly and even recover them if you need.

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