What is our primary use case?
We primarily use this product for backups, reporting, and auditing. As we are a publicly listed company, we rely heavily on the reporting that comes out of Cohesity to ensure that we are compliant across all aspects.
The backup and restore solution is a big step forward from our last solution and packs more than just backup in a box, allowing for additional features such as Disaster Recovery and utilising the space available in the cluster for storing files.
The auditing and reporting features are as important as the backups themselves.
How has it helped my organization?
We moved over from another backup solution that wasn't as innovative, which made it an easy solution to move away from. Cohesity uses up less rack space in the datacentre and allows for more than just backups, paving the way for more hyper-converged solutions, not just physically.
The initial contract with Cohesity is an improvement in terms of pricing above our previous solution but it remains to be seen what will happen after the contract comes to an end. The fundamental tasks of backups are restores are ahead of its game, relative to our previous solution.
What is most valuable?
The backup and restore feature is the most valuable.
Instant recovery options are a big benefit for urgent restores, as we don't need to wait for hours or days for a restore to complete before being able to access the files.
The restore to the appliance itself allows for faster (instant) access that saves us from waiting for the restores to happen to the datastores/volume/containers, which can take upwards of weeks in our case if we were to restore the larger VM guests.
We have seen many iterations of this such as restoring to the cloud but the outcome has always been a hit-and-miss solution.
What needs improvement?
The canned reporting could be improved. Many of the reports are basic, at most, and at times we had to open a support ticket to help find or develop a report for our needs. This is something that even our last solution had in place already.
Error reporting could also be improved. Rather than 'errorcode -2', it needs to be more descriptive or at least, provide KB articles related to the error or problem. This would save time in creating a ticket and try to describe to the support engineer what happened to cause an 'errorcode -2' that most of the time, we don't know either.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using Cohesity DataProtect for seven months.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability-wise, so far so good.
The initial implementation requires a lot of babysitting and reporting on issues is a bit lacking. Hopefully, you've purchased a good support contract to help with those teething issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The solution is very scalable. It doesn't require a replacement appliance to expand for more capacity. Simply purchase another block/node and it's done.
How are customer service and technical support?
My experience with support is mixed. There are times where the response and resolution are quick but at times, there are large gaps in the response. I'm not sure whether this is timezone-related.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We switched over, as the previous solution was very lacking behind in innovation. It was missing basic features such as finding VMs and we were told to simply use "ctrl+f" to find them. However, this didn't help if the screen spanned across multiple pages.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was straightforward, as we engaged with the company to help with the deployment. As long as the provided templates are completed and networking is done properly, it should be a smooth ride.
What about the implementation team?
Our deployment was completed by a mix of both. The vendor team was very qualified and personnel was made available at each region to assist the local teams with implementation.
What was our ROI?
This is difficult to measure and quantify but the time saved across the regions baby-sitting the previous solution would be about eight hours per week.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
My advice is to always negotiate for better pricing.
A contract with any backup vendor will always be a long-term deal, so think ahead and force them to sharpen their pencils. Never sign up without evaluating the price of other vendors over a three to a five-year term.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated Rubrik, Veeam, Nutanix Mine, Barracuda Backup, and Commvault.
What other advice do I have?
Although the NPS score was rated highly, this should not be the only factor to consider. There may be other factors involved that affect this score and as mentioned, backup solutions are a long-term deal. Not many companies will be willing to jump ship, risking their backups that are kept on proprietary platforms.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?