How Much Does Data Backup Cost for Associations (Trade/Professional)?

Your server goes down. It doesn’t matter why—all that matters is that your network is down, and you and your 40 staff members need to get back up and running.
With your current backup solution, it takes three days to get that server rebuilt and operational. In that time you've lost:

  • Almost 1,000 hours of time that could have been spent serving your members.
  • The cost of rebuilding your server and transferring your data onto it. (This may or may not be covered by insurance.)
  • The time it takes to recreate data that wasn’t backed up before the crash.

This might seem like an extreme scenario, but it really isn’t all that unbelievable; in fact, this is far from worst-case, as an organization without any backup solution in place wouldn’t be able to recover at all.
So, how do you determine what sort of backup solution fits your organization’s needs, and what will it end up costing you?
After serving the association community in DC for almost 25 years, we’ve addressed quite a few questions about data backup, and what companies can expect to invest on a monthly basis. It’s an incredibly important question to ask if you value your data, and it’s one we’re always happy to discuss.
Below we’ll walk through the factors that most closely influence costs, along with the average price range for data backup solutions within the context of your industry.

What main factors influence the cost of your data backup?

We discussed these two factors in another article, but they are precisely the factors that dictate what kind of backup solution your association would need:

1. RPO (Recovery Point Objective). What, in quantifiable terms, is your tolerance for lost data? Would you be okay if you lost a week’s worth of work? Or would losing much more than 30 minutes’ worth be serious cause for concern?

2. RTO (Recovery Time Objective). What, in equally as quantifiable terms, is your tolerance for downtime? Are you comfortable being unable to access your network for a few days? Or do you want a solution that will get you back up and running in less than an hour?

Your answers to these questions will help indicate the type of backup solution that is the best fit for your association. As you can probably guess, the lower your tolerance, the higher the price tag.

What is the average price range for association data backup?

After all is said and done, your organization can expect to pay the equivalent of $2 to $4 per GB per month for more comprehensive backup solutions, and closer to an average of $1 per GB per month for lower-level data backup.
We, for example, provide a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution to a 40-person trade association in DC. This solution takes full images of each server at customizable increments, and has both on- and off-site virtualization capabilities within roughly ten to thirty minutes of the disaster. They are protected at all levels of disaster (from file loss to complete office destruction), and they invest over $1,000 per month to get there.
On the other end of the spectrum, we provide file-level cloud backup, which runs just a touch over $1/GB all-inclusive. File retrieval is a breeze with this solution, but in the event that a server actually goes down, we will need to rebuild the device, get the server’s data shipped to us from our datacenter, and then put that data back onto the new server. Some associations are comfortable with this level of risk in exchange for the cost savings.
In the end, the most important question to ask yourself is what level of protection you’re looking to achieve with your data backup, and doing the best you can to fit the appropriate solution into your budget.
That way, you’re free to focus on your members and your mission, not the fate of your data.

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Topics: associations, backup, cost, disaster, DR, nonprofits, planning, pricing, recovery