In the last year, with revitalization of the Domino platform by HCL there have been renewed discussions about the merits of moving on-premise Domino environments to the cloud. Not all cloud providers are created equal, especially when it comes to hosting Domino, and the overall provider’s size or a big name is not at all a guarantee of the best possible combination of value and quality of service.
Not All Cloud Providers Are The Same
We cannot speak for other providers but we can with complete confidence say why we are THE best cloud provider for hosting the HCL Domino suite. By the time you’re done reading this post you’ll understand why.
For now, we’ll just mention the fact that Prominic.NET is the only authorized HCL Cloud Hosting Partner in North America. You may not know some of the thorough vetting process that HCL puts its cloud partners through, but some of the criteria used are:
- Ability to host multi-tenant Connections, plus Sametime and Domino (for mail and apps) in a dedicated, private cloud
- Global data center ability (Prominic has its own data centers in US and partners with Equinix in Europe)
- Ability to provide L1 & L2 support
- Ability to provide 24×7 support with the exception of scheduled maintenance
- Minimum 5 years of experience hosting and operating HCL (or IBM) products (over 20 years and counting for Prominic)
- Minimum 1 HCL Ambassador
- Provides major data-security certifications and compliance ( Prominic is SSAE-18 SOC-1 and SOC-2 certified and has a full-time compliance officer on staff)
- Meets or exceeds industry standard requirements for both physical and data security and compliance (you’ll see more below)
- Provides disaster recovery capabilities (also more on that below)
Prominic.NET Cloud vs On-Premise Hosting for Domino: Let’s Compare The Costs
Let’s talk about the proverbial bottom line. If the only thing that matters in deciding on Prominic cloud vs on-premise is cost, how do they compare? Some of the components of our hosting service are similar enough to the hard costs of running Domino internally.
While infrastructure, support and licensing are hard costs that are easy to calculate, there is also a list of other costs related to operating an on-premises data center or running Domino servers on-premises that are less obvious or harder to put a figure on. These are all by default built into our hosting model:
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR)
- Data Privacy & Compliance
- Admin & Support Expertise
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR)
Minimizing interruptions to the business operations based on technology failure is the primary concern of business continuity efforts. Every minute an organization or business can’t function because of a data or service failure has very direct financial repercussions that become exponentially more costly with the size and/or type of business.
Gartner research data indicates that the average cost of network downtime for businesses is $5,600 per minute. There are many formulas available to calculate your unique cost of network downtime, for example:
Here is what each of the components of the formula are and how to calculate their costs:
This is a helpful and crucially important exercise to do when considering hosting any technology on-premise and evaluating potential cloud hosting providers from the standpoint of reliability of service.
As a dedicated cloud hosting provider for over 20 years, we have invested heavily and continue to invest into the infrastructure and reliability of our data centers. Some components are both a financial investment and technologically out of reach for most small to mid-sized organizations:
- backup generators for power failures
- diverse providers for Internet outages
- diverse power networks inside the data centers (A/B sides)
- redundant servers in geographically different data centers
- deep 24 x 7 monitoring with dedicated personnel and custom-built deep server monitoring software
All of these are automatically built into our hosting packages, including disaster recovery with server clustering across two completely separate physical datacenters and independent data backups in each datacenter.
Disaster recovery (DR) costs after catastrophic events like fires or floods are exponentially higher when hosting your data on-premise.
Eliminating single points of failure and preventing data loss are two critical steps in DR planning. When hosting your data on-premises, the server/s represent that very single point of failure.
Even if you have an on-premises data backup system, these are often located in the same room or building as the servers instead of off-site. In case of a fire, water damage, vandalism etc some or all of your data, both digital and physical records may be lost permanently. Domino data at Prominic is replicated across two completely separate datacenters in real time, and independently backed up in each datacenter.
Even in a disaster at your location, as long as you can have an Internet connection, you can access your data at Prominic at all times. If you’ve done the exercise above, you can see the difference in financial impact.
After all, when it comes to either hardware failure or a major event, it’s not a question of if, but when.
Data Privacy & Compliance
A recent study from Ponemon and Globalscape reports that it is 2.71 times more costly for an organization to not comply with mandates. The average cost of compliance is $5.47 million versus an average of $14.82 million for noncompliance, which is an average difference of $9.35 million annually.
It’s not surprising that the most complicated compliance regulations are technology related and aim to safeguard data privacy.
If you consider the man-hours necessary to dedicate to stay in compliance, it usually translates to adding a full-time compliance specialist on the payroll or dedicating a heavy portion of someone’s duties to assume the role of a compliance officer.
When you remove the physical servers from your business and all your data is located inside a compliant third-party data center like one of ours, you simplify the digital and technology portion of your compliance, as well as improve the overall physical security of your data.
The true cost of non-compliance is the reputational damage that it can cause. A study from ECGI showed that stock price reactions of negative press were 9x larger than the penalties themselves and, according to a Deloitte survey, 87 percent of executives rate reputational risk as more important than other strategic risks. These executives say that the areas of their business that were impacted the most after a negative reputational event were revenue (41 percent), loss of brand value (41 percent), and regulatory investigations (37 percent).
Here at Prominic, we believe in preserving our customers’ data privacy. Every one of our customers have separate VMs, and have full control over their virtual environment. We believe that it is our duty to protect our customers’ right to own their data, without concerns of it being mined or used for competitive advantage by their cloud provider.
When considering single points of failure for strong business continuity, don’t overlook your IT admin staff.
The difference in lost man-hours on solving problems with your Domino environment when your admin lacks the needed expertise in the Domino technology is easy enough to calculate. The lost productivity, increased stress, and decreased job satisfaction (which leads to increased turnover) are other consequences of lack of experience in administering Domino. They each have a financial impact on the organization.
With Prominic, you get 23 years of some of the deepest administrative expertise with Domino in the country, with 24 x 7 accessibility to decades worth of experience managing thousands of Domino servers.
So, what does it all translate to? For most businesses, the cost-benefit analysis would weigh heavily in favor of going with Prominic’s Domino private cloud versus hosting it on-premises.
The benefits extend far beyond the simple bottom line, however. To begin with, the first outcome our customers get is a peace of mind. Our extensive BC/DR measures and staff expertise make sure your business can keep running and your data is reliably available to internal and/or external users. We really have thought of everything with regards to running their Domino applications and Notes Verse mail, so you don’t have to.
This, in turn, frees up your IT and business management to focus on other tasks and areas of the business. Reliable service and competent support improves your user experience, both internally and externally. Improved data privacy protection and improved compliance mean lessened risks of penalties and reputational damage.
Hopefully, this article gave you some clarity on the subject of costs of Domino on-premise vs our cloud. If you have some questions or comments, please feel welcome to reach out to us.