The Hard and Soft Costs of Legacy File Storage vs. Nasuni Cloud-Based File Storage

August 25, 2020

Does this describe your organization? You’ve got a legacy file infrastructure that is causing you headaches. The delays in sharing files across different locations in your organization, the demands on the IT department to keep everything running, the fears of running out of capacity, the inability to recover key files, and the constant fear that your out-of-date hardware could come crashing down at any moment – all of this is making you consider moving to the cloud.

But what about costs? How do you compare what you’re paying now with what you’d pay for a cloud-based solution? That’s what we’re here to address. To get a full understanding of the costs (and likely savings) of Nasuni cloud file storage-, let’s walk through the hard costs and soft costs of each to see why modernizing file infrastructure with Nasuni makes fiscal sense.

What are the hard costs for legacy vs. cloud?

Hard costs are those associated with maintaining or refreshing your existing file infrastructure. These include:

  • The upfront costs of refreshing production file storage hardware (NAS, Windows File Servers)
  • Annual maintenance costs of NAS and file servers
  • Annual costs of backup software (new licenses for capacity growth, maintenance on existing licenses)
  • Annual costs of backup tape, disk, or cloud storage (as targets for backed up data)
  • Annual costs of backup/media servers
  • Data center costs (power, AC, real estate)
  • Data transfer costs to share files across multiple locations, including costs associated with remote access, replication software, network bandwidth, and WAN optimization
  • Cost of disaster recovery (DR) infrastructure
  • Annual DR co-location or site fee

Switching to Nasuni cloud file storage eliminates many of these expenses. With Nasuni, your hard costs are:

  • The annual cost of your Nasuni subscription
  • The annual cost of the cloud object storage (e.g. Amazon S3 Infrequent Access, Azure Cool Blob, Google Cloud Storage) Nasuni uses as the back-end for all file data and metadata
  • The cost of virtual appliances on-prem or in the cloud to cache copies of just the active file data for high performance access

All the other costs go away. There are no hard costs attributable to backup or disaster recovery, since Nasuni continuously captures changes to the file system across all locations, cloud object storage keeps multiple copies of your data, and new Nasuni edge appliance access points can be up and running within 15 minutes of a disaster or outage. There are no hard costs for multi-site file sharing, since file synchronization between any number of on-premises or cloud locations is a basic part of Nasuni’s hub-and-spoke architecture.

And because Nasuni and cloud storage subscriptions are both based on usable capacity – not raw capacity like on-prem hardware, which must account for RAID levels, less than 100% utilization rates, snapshots, and capacity growth – you only pay for the capacity you really need (read this white paper that explores these cost comparisons in detail).

What are the soft costs for legacy file storage vs. cloud file storage?

Here’s where things get even more interesting: you’re likely paying a lot in soft costs – that is, the human effort required to administer or use legacy file infrastructure. These costs are not always obvious, but they can include IT staff hours spent:

  • Managing file servers, volumes, and shares
  • Managing backup and replication
  • Responding to out-of-space requests from users
  • Configuring and managing WAN acceleration and remote access tools
  • Upgrading and migrating data to new file servers
  • Restoring files from backups to meet recovery demands
  • Configuring and testing DR sites

Soft costs also include the knowledge worker time and effort that is not spent advancing business initiatives, sometimes classified as lost productivity. These costs include:

  • Idle time waiting for files to open or transfer across the WAN
  • Idle time waiting for files to be restored from off-site locations or tapes
  • Idle time waiting for files after ransomware attacks or disasters

Even small 15-minute losses each week will add up over the course of a year when you consider how they impact well-paid employees.

These soft costs are minimized or eliminated entirely with a switch to Nasuni. Most customers report that their IT staff costs associated with managing file infrastructure are cut by 75% by using the single-pane-of-glass Nasuni Management Console instead of numerous disparate point tools. This frees up valuable IT resources for other critical projects.

The idle time lost waiting for files to open or be restored are also slashed to a fraction of what they were previously, greatly improving worker productivity.

How much will you save?

Combined, these hard and soft costs savings can add up to tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars over a five-year period. The larger your enterprise and the more locations that need to store and share files, the greater the savings.

Apart from the bottom-line cost savings a shift to Nasuni cloud file storage generally provides, most enterprises also appreciate the ability to shift their file infrastructure expenses from a CapEx model to a more predictable, controllable, and pay-as-you-grow OpEx model.

Stop paying more for a file infrastructure that locks you in to on-premises hardware and lacks multi-site file sharing capabilities. Download the Cost Savings White Paper to get an idea of how much your organization can save or email [email protected] for a free assessment. We’ve done this already for hundreds of enterprises and can quickly build one tailored for your environment.

Ready to dive deeper into a new approach to data infrastructure?