MFT as a Service: Total Cost of Ownership (MFTaaS TCO) Comparison


A Comparison of the Top Three Leading Managed File Transfer Providers

Navigating the various price models for managed file transfer as a service (MFTaaS) vendors can be challenging since the features may be similar but how they are priced can be vastly different. So, to make an accurate value-based buying decision, you need to know the total cost of ownership (TCO). Otherwise, misinterpreting the pricing—through lack of knowledge or visibility of what is included or not—leads to unforeseen expenses and costs resulting in negative return on investment (ROI).

This blog is an introduction to TCO: what it is, how to calculate it and how to get a comparison of the leading MFTaaS offerings. Additionally, download the complete analysis of GoAnywhere, MOVEit and Thru.

What Is Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)?

Gartner defines total cost of ownership (TCO) as “a comprehensive assessment of information technology (IT) or other costs across enterprise boundaries over time. For IT, TCO includes hardware and software acquisition, management and support, communications, end-user expenses and the opportunity cost of downtime, training and other productivity losses.”

As the Gartner definition points out, TCO includes the obvious costs such as the application plus several hidden costs which are harder to ascertain because they are likely associated with implementation and ongoing operations. The key challenge here is identifying the entire scope of work that is involved, which takes time and a clear understanding of all details associated with a solution to calculate its TCO.

Costs Required to Calculate “Real” TCO

To ensure a 360-degree view of all possible costs, we created a categorized list of questions you should be asking as you plan your MFT project:

Category Questions
Application License What features do I need?
Cloud Infrastructure What is included and what do I need to cover? What are all the options?
High Availability Is this included? If not, what are the options and their costs?
Additional Capacity What happens if I need more throughput, bandwidth or storage?
Bandwidth What is the cost for data transfer?
Training How much do I need and how is this delivered?
Deployment How is this deployed, by whom? What costs should I expect?
Integration What are the integration stories? What is the effort? Who does it and how is it done?
Migration Are we migrating from an older system or do we only use this system for new file transfer connections? If the migration is from an old system, then this is a project in itself and must be scoped. See Thru MFT Migration Playbook »
Operation Who is running this application and how much time will it take? How is the system monitored for integrity and resilience?
Support What is the process for ticket creation and remediation? Who is involved and what volumes should we expect?
Professional Services What other costs are associated with implementation?
Software Updates What are the costs associated with upgrading software releases?
Time to Value What is the cost of paying for old and new system at the same time?

Comparing Price Models of GoAnywhere, MOVEit and Thru

In the eGuide MFT as a Service: Total Cost of Ownership (MFTaaS TCO) available for download, the focus is on the TCO for Thru in comparison to two of our competitors: Fortra’s GoAnywhere and Progress MOVEit.

On the face of it, these three MFT products are similar in terms of feature set. However, when it comes to comparing the TCO of each of them, the differences become quite clear.

As we consider the three product options, we’ll start by unpacking their pricing models.

Functional Criterion

** To get a fair and as close to a like-for-like comparison, we are comparing each vendor as a SaaS deployment model with a functional criterion that each should meet, as listed below. **

  • Monthly Data Transfer: >85 GB
  • File Sizes: >50GB
  • Seats for Secure File Transfer: 400
  • MFT Agents Quantity: 5
  • Load Balancing
  • SSO via SAML2.0
  • Data Residency Storage Options: US, UK or EU
  • Protocols: SFTP, FTPS, HTTPS
  • API: RESTful
  • Connectors: Amazon S3, Azure, SharePoint, Outlook
  • File Transfer Retry and Resume
  • End-to-End Encryption (E2EE)
  • Antivirus Scanning
  • Role-Based Access (RBA)
  • User Interface (UI) for Administration
  • Reporting and Alerts
  • Environments:
    • Development/Test
    • High Availability (HA)
  • Use Cases:
    • Automated System-to-System
    • User-Centric Ad Hoc File Exchange

Thru Pricing Model

Thru offers MFTaaS with pricing based on data egress usage. (Thru also offers private cloud but this is not a service, and we are comparing SaaS models when available.)

Step 1: Select Tier

Each tier includes a capacity of data egress bandwidth. The four Enterprise tiers include different levels of

  • Annual Data Egress Capacity
  • Number of MFT Agents

Step 2: Select Region

Select the region you want your MFTaaS deployed in:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Australia

Analysis of Thru’s Pricing Model

Thru’s MFTaaS option is a true cloud-native service based on an architecture of distributed microservices that delivers a truly scalable service. This removes any limitations on performance or scale as it is not limited to finite virtual machines (VM) or servers. Note: GoAnywhere and MOVEit licenses are tied to servers.

The price model for Thru is based on a tiered usage model only. Each tier provides a capacity of data transfer without limitations on functionality or connectivity on any given tier. High availability comes as a standard feature, as does access to other non-production environments for development and testing. Continuous seamless updates are made to the platform with zero downtime. Every function of the platform has an API, known as API-first.

The Complete Analysis of GoAnywhere, MOVEit and Thru

When comparing different vendor offerings, you need to be able to identify all costs incurred with each product offering so you can make an apples-to-apples comparison and adequately forecast for budgetary discussions.

Complete the form to receive the eGuide MFT as a Service: Total Cost of Ownership (MFTaaS TCO) which breaks out and analyzes in depth the TCO for Thru, Fortra’s GoAnywhere and Progress MOVEit.



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