What is our primary use case?
We use the cluster for local backup and restore as well as for sending backups offsite. We make use of the file server capabilities as well. We can spin up test and dev workloads as needed without impacting our production storage. This solution replaced Veeam and ExaGrid.
How has it helped my organization?
Backups and restores are much faster and we were able to increase our backup frequency where it made sense to do so in order to have lower RPO. We were also able to move our backup solution off of the fiber channel, which will help with our eventual decommissioning of that portion of our infrastructure.
What is most valuable?
Instant volume mount and the SpanFS filesystem itself, which has great dedupe and compression across all of our backups. Our admins have been able to run restore jobs with little training, as well. The dashboard makes it easy to see if you have any issues with your backup jobs.
What needs improvement?
Reporting is one area that isn't as robust as it could be. The next release supposedly improves upon that but I have not seen it yet.
We had real issues with restores on our older Red Hat 5.x systems, but we have upgraded those and no longer need support for that OS.
For how long have I used the solution?
We've had our Cohesity cluster in place for more than one year.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We previously used Veeam and ExaGrid. We liked Veeam, but we did not see any innovation out of ExaGrid and they were becoming progressively more expensive. I was wary of vendor lock-in if we continued to invest in that platform. The speed of their solution was just not good enough for us.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I advise others to spin up a Cohesity virtual edition on their infrastructure. We ran backups in parallel for a month to test all features before even bringing in test hardware. Spinning up the virtual edition was quick and painless.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated Veeam with other back end storage as well as Rubrik. Rubrik looked nice but was more expensive and we felt it was lacking features. It would have been a step up from our tired ExaGrid solution.
What other advice do I have?
I would say that Cohesity seems like they are a very forward looking company. They are adding features with each release and seem to be investing heavily in extending their product. I feel like we will get good value out of our investment.