Uncovering the True Costs of On-premises Archiving

We’ve just completed some very interesting research that may be of use to those who may be wondering when is the right time to finally pull the plug on the good-ole on-premises email archive.

The research entailed the interview of 73 current users of Veritas Enterprise Vault by an independent, outside industry consultant to understand the real-world experiences of managing those environments, including gathering the full cost impact on those systems. The results of this research was captured in this Osterman research report, and also served as the basis of an new Total Cost of Ownership cost model that we’ve just published to the Actiance web site.

Click here to get the full report.
“Assessing the Total Cost of Ownership
for Veritas Enterprise Vault”

The conclusion of the research – that on-premises technology can be significantly higher than cloud-based alternatives – did not come as a surprise, but it did reveal some insights that some organizations may have not considered. For example:

  • “True Cost” is often difficult to capture: when organizations invest in systems that run inside of their IT organization, it can be easy to miss some of the cost components as those items may be owned by others or spread over time. Hardware, storage, and the infrastructure required to support and enterprise system such as an email archive are often difficult to quantity, either because they are shared by other applications or systems, or may be considered as fully depreciated, sunk costs.However, in attempting to construct an apples-to-apples comparison, firms should attempt include these investments, using industry benchmarks or peer group comparisons if lacking the internal data. This is the approach we’ve utilized in conducting the research to gather data from current users and factoring those results into our cost model
  • Don’t underestimate the cost of “keeping everything forever”: it’s no surprise that many firms continue with the practice of not disposing of information, either because of the lack of systems or concern that disposition of data could result in loss of data that may have value somewhere in the future (which, in reality, rarely happens).However, that extra data needs to be stored, maintained, backed up, etc. This practice resulted in a surprisingly huge average volume of information being stored per user (including data from departed users) – was in excess of 35 GB per user!
  • System replication is a major cost driver:  Due to the critical nature of business communications being stored, most organizations maintain a fully replicated archiving environments, and 54 percent of those surveyed said the cost of replication is equal to or exceeds that of the primary EV environment. So, when considering the total cost of maintaining on-premises systems, understanding which components in the technology stack will require replication will have a large impact on the analysis.
  • Let’s buy again every 3-4 years:  As many firms have realized, upgrades and system refreshes are not fun or cheap. In fact, for firms that have fallen multiple versions behind from current releases, they have to step upgrade through each step to be current (for example, from version 9, to 9.5 to 10 to 11 to 12). Since these upgrades often impact multiple levels of supporting infrastructure, firms can easily add a significant chunk of expense when factoring in today’s cost of those components.

The analysis and resulting tools can be useful for those who have not yet decided when is the best time to think about migration. For those that have progressed from the question of “When?” to the next phase of “How?”, we have constructed additional tools to assist including legacy system health checks, policy migration tools, and more detailed ROI modeling tools that are available by contacting our sales team at sales@actiance.com.


Free Resources: