Our sales and marketing department often fields questions about Team Foundation Server pricing. Those question range from clarification of the tiered user pricing to a very general and straightforward, “Why is it so expensive?”

We don’t believe it is expensive, considering the service provided, but one particular argument we often hear is, “I can buy TFS and run it myself, why should I pay you to host it?”

That’s a fair question. There are a few good reasons why you might not want to host your own TFS server:

– Hardware costs
– Maintenance and upgrades
– Access outside of your LAN
– Security

Okay, I know what you’re going to say about the first one; “Man, I have fifteen old computers in my basement I could use as TFS servers!” That’s probably true for most of us. But do you really want to trust your source code (i.e., your hours, days or months of hard work) to that dusty old Compaq? Kind of scary when you think about it. Especially if that code belongs to a paying client.

And what if you want to open your source code to someone else to work along with you, only you live and work in Atlanta and they are in Iceland? I’m sure most of us can poke a hole in our local firewall (you have a local hardware firewall, right?) to allow your new Icelandic coworker to connect to the server, but do you know how to keep everyone else on the Internet out? Ask yourself honestly how much of your own time you spend keeping up with the latest security issues and best practices. Probably not as much as you should, if you are like most busy people.

Okay, so lets say that you have a powerful, enterprise-level server that you can use and you are a network security guru. You still have to keep up with O/S updates, SQL updates and TFS updates – at the bare minimum. If you run any additional services parallel with TFS, those have to be maintained as well.

When you take all of that into consideration, I suppose whether or not our TFS service seems expensive depends on how much you believe your time is worth. Not to mention the safety and security of your work.

It’s an old saying, but it’s true; time is money. If you agree, do a quick calculation and add up the time that you’ll save using our hosted TFS compared to the time you would spend maintaining it yourself. You may be surprised to find that the price we charge to take that job off your hands is actually quite reasonable, and in many cases is even less than the cost of doing it yourself.


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