Not Cloud vs Cloud: let's look at the real costs

When it comes to replacing aging equipment the cost can be daunting. But did you know that in the long term, virtualised Cloud desktops could be more cost effective? The monthly fees of cloud can seem relatively high and sometimes a little scary. However, you might be pleasant surprised when you examine and compare the cost of hosted desktops, and add up the total costs of replacing your old hardware.

As a cost benchmark, we'll work out the cost for a business with ten users, with no specialist software licences, just Microsoft Office, antivirus and an internal server for email. For businesses with access to specialist software, both the physical desktops and cloud would be a higher price. The costs below are not intended to be final costs, and are only intended as ballpark figures. For a quote or estimated cost for your particular business please call Dawn on 01226 736673.

Hardware replacement: the cost

The first initial cost would be for the desktop computers. For a midrange PC with an i5 processor, and 4GB of memory (RAM) you're looking at about £450 for each unit. Excluding the cost of new monitors and other peripherals, you would be looking at spending about £4,500 on the workstations alone. This excludes peripheral, and accessory costs. Microsoft Office is constantly evolving and so you will require a new licence. Each user needs their own licence and with Microsoft Office moving to a subscription-based product,  the cost of single licences have gone up drastically. At the time of writing, single license of Microsoft Office for professional use equates to approximately £169. Therefore based on ten users you're looking at spending around £1,690 on Microsoft Office licences. In addition to Microsoft Office licences, you will need AVG antivirus. As with any windows based PC, an antivirus is required. This protects you from many of the cybernasties out there, including computer viruses, trojans and adware. The annual cost of AVG for 10 workstations and one server will cost about £223.30.  Furthermore, there is a cost involved for backup. The ongoing cost of backup for nonessential data is free, there is an initial setup fee of £35. For ten devices it's an upfront fee of £350. For backup of email, and other data such as server databases it's £1.50 per GB per month. For onsite installation and configuration of the new hardware and software, you're looking at a cost of around £800. Again this is for about ten desktops. Every business has different needs so the installation cost does vary for everyone. The next large cost would be the server, which is required to handle email and remote access. For a basic server the cost is likely to be around £2,100, and on top of that the installation and configuration fee would be around £1,200. Again, this cost will vary depending on business size and needs. With an annual IT support cost of about £1,440 this includes both email and telephone support for server and desktop. A helpdesk is also included. So even if there is no issue, you can call and email in for help. All these costs start to rack up. In short, to the tune of about £12,300 plus. That is roughly the cost of two years on the Cultrix Cloud with virtualised desktops.

Cultrix Cloud: cost savings and other benefits

Moving to the cloud can appear to be an expensive outlay. At around £6,000 per year, or if you prefer, around £500 per month it seems like a large cost. However. when you compare it to replacing your old equipment, you could live in the Cultrix Cloud for two years for a similar cost. This seems great! You might be thinking this but wondering if in the long term it will work out even more expensive? Not strictly true. Once you start to add on annual costs that come with physical equipment it starts to make a bit more sense as to why it's cheaper. When you add IT support cost for two years of physical equipment, and antivirus cost you're looking at an additional cost of about £1886 for ten users. When you're on the Cultrix Cloud your IT support cost is also slashed by more than 50%! Firstly, the cost falls because the cost of supporting the server is removed as there is no server. So that is taken away from the initial cost, and then the ten user support is literally cut by 50% when you're on the Cultrix Cloud. So it's more than half the cost of supporting your physical desktops. These aren't the only costs however of having physical equipment. Replacements, and repairs are also an issue. With virtualised desktops in the datacentre, if there's an issue we have someone onsite at the datacentre 24/7. So if something does go wrong someone can be there immediately. Therefore you save because there's no need for onsite visits because of a server mishap. With not having an onsite server, you're also saving not just on money but also on energy. Microsoft Office, antivirus, email and backup are all things that come as standard with our UK-based cloud desktops. Microsoft Office licences are available at a much cheaper rate for cloud users at just a few pound per month (included in the price), so the cost is much lower. Email is also included in the packing, which is why an onsite server is not required. As well as emails and Microsoft Office being covered when you're on our virtualised desktops, backup and antivirus are also included. Both are centrally managed, and cover the whole system. It's worth noting that free backup on a physical system just covers nonessential data, whereas backup on the Cultrix Cloud covers nonessential data, email and databases. And don't forget that when you're on the Cultrix Cloud your desktops are available from anywhere. Train, and tube strikes won't stop you from working and neither will snowstorms. People within your organisation can work from virtually anywhere which also reduces travel costs for all concerned. With hosted desktops in the Cultrix Cloud, the costs are much more predictable. You know exactly what you'll pay for the year with no unexpected surprises. Whereas with physical desktops, unexpected surprises such as an office disaster could leave you with a surprise bill due to hardware failure. This is something that doesn't happen in a cloud environment. The final saving to mention with the cloud is scalability. If you grow or shrink your organisation, it's something that can be done on the fly. If your organisation shrinks, you can remove users from the cloud at a lower cost rather than having redundant computers lying around that you've spent good money on. And, if you need to grow your organisation, you can add users as a much lower cost than that of buying new computers and software licences. Beyond just the physical machines, you may also need to upgrade your physical server which can be a great cost. All food for thought in the not cloud vs cloud debate...