What is our primary use case?
We have two primary use cases. The first was a replacement for magnetic tape backups via Backup Exec. We were tired of continually handling physical tapes, the increasingly long backup windows, and the cost of all of the tape infrastructure. We are backing up about 20TB of data between VMware and legacy NAS appliances.
Our second use case was a replacement for a legacy IBM/NetApp device and a legacy NETGEAR NAS. Both devices were substantially older with no inline compression or dedupe. We were running out of space at a time when we knew that modern storage features such as compression and deduplication would give us substantial space savings.
How has it helped my organization?
The change has been night and day. Our backups have gotten MUCH faster and MUCH simpler. Our weekend full-backups were taking close to 48 hours to write to LTO8 tape. We are capturing a full backup nightly now in under three hours for all of our VMware and NAS data. We are able to replicate that data to our colocation facility seamlessly.
The storage features have been easy to use right out of the box. We have been able to provision "copies" of our legacy NAS devices into Cohesity for testing purposes in seconds. Speed is substantially faster than our legacy devices, even with Cohesity's lowest tier of storage.
What is most valuable?
The backup features have saved us enormous amounts of time and money already. We have been able to stop buying media, stop licensing BE, stop paying for service on the physical backup server, stop paying for service on tape library, and stop paying for another Windows Server license.
The restores are easy to do and have made it so that we can incorporate restores into our troubleshooting processes. The fact that we can provision copies of storage in a few seconds has been great for testing. Cohesity has a growing pool of third-party apps that can run on your Cohesity environment. Antivirus tools and tools to analyze file usage patterns are things we are looking to utilize in the near future.
What needs improvement?
There were a few things that required quick support calls in order to get to function correctly. We were told that the issues that impacted us were going to be corrected on the next release and would not impact other customers.
We would love to see direct compatibility with HPE Simplivity, which we also leverage.
Cohesity could do a little better job communicating features in new releases and helping customers to understand when features will be released. For example, I found literature indicating that version 6.3.1 would have support for Active Directory backups when installed. That feature appears to have been pushed to version 6.4, but is still available in 6.3.1 if you call support and have them toggle it on.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have had Cohesity installed for about six months.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
This solution is very stable. Upgrades are easy and do not require downtime. Set and forget.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We haven't had to scale and don't anticipate needing to do so in that we bought enough capacity to last us for some time. However, based on my other experiences with the software, I don't think this would be an issue.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have had a few support tickets, which have been dealt with quickly and appropriately. We did have one ticket where we requested an escalation and this was also handled appropriately. Support did a good job of periodically checking with us to verify that the fix resolved our issue, which it did.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We previously used Backup Exec teamed with an IBM Tape Library for magnetic tape backups. Legacy IBM/NetApp and NETGEAR NAS devices were also replaced by Cohesity.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was very straightforward. It took a couple of hours for each cluster at each of our sites.
What about the implementation team?
Our Cohesity sales engineer along with an engineer from our VAR assisted in getting the solution in place. Each cluster in each location took a day to deploy.
What was our ROI?
We have not calculated a formal ROI, but we have already saved tons of time. I expect the system to probably pay off within the first two years.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at Rubrik and StorageCraft.
Rubrik seemed like a solid product but was substantially more expensive then Cohesity. They also did not do anything outside of backups. StorageCraft offers good value but doesn't have the same expansive features as Cohesity.
What other advice do I have?
We have been very happy with Cohesity and it has solved several major problems for us. At the same time, they are aggressively adding and further refining features.
We are now backing up our O365 email via Cohesity, which is something we didn't even know it could do when we purchased it.
They really are developing a great platform for unstructured data and backups.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
Which version of this solution are you currently using?