What is our primary use case?
Primary Use: PoC to test and evaluate DPS solutions with production workloads. Overall, the use case is to evaluate solutions in a multi-petabyte environment with more than 100 remote sites. The majority of the environment supports more than 5,000 VMs (VMware ESX) and several physical systems. The key criteria is the support of more than 100 remote sites connected together over slow WAN links with limited bandwidth. Image-level backups, Windows, Linux, SQL, Oracle, etc. are all key. This environment is primarily focused on traditional on-prem applications with an eye towards leveraging public cloud initiatives in the near future.
How has it helped my organization?
The Cohesity firmware upgrade process was a surprise benefit. We expected ease of setup, policy settings, single management interface, search capabilities, flexible architecture and scalability would be key features to help reduce operational management overhead. But, a nice & unexpected benefit was our ability to quickly upgrade the Cohesity ecosystem. Our legacy systems require coordination between internal personnel as well as the OEM Vendor to complete Firmware\Software upgrades. Dealing with our internal change control process as well as a remote vendor's change control process requires a lot of coordination\communication and typically took 3 months to complete all 100+ systems. With Cohesity, we can centralize a deployment package and automatically schedule upgrades - We can complete system-wide upgrades within a few days.
What is most valuable?
There are many features that make Cohesity stand out. A single, global federated search engine from a single, unified interface is a key standout feature.
We can easily search for any file/folder/DB/system and quickly restore from any point in time across any globally deployed cluster. From the same management console, we can quickly monitor the health of the entire DPS ecosystem. We can also manage any system from the same interface: check policies, dive into configurations, perform audit inquiries, etc. The overall simplicity and design of the management interface has quickly become one of most valuable features for me.
What needs improvement?
The one area where we would like to see additional improvements is with reporting. There are very granular reports from each grid. There are also some built-in reports within Helios (SAS Management Console) that offers basic reporting. However, for complex, large-enterprise environments, a more robust reporting engine that supports detailed audit reporting and enhanced ad hoc reports would be welcome. There are REST APIs which can be leveraged and most of the data we need is tracked and stored within the Cohesity ecosystem.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Cohesity on production workloads for several months now.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Cohesity's web-scale architecture enables us to scale up as needed. Currently, we need to deploy several point solutions and manage many storage silos within our major data centers. This complicates asset management and requires additional data migration resources to replace legacy systems every few years. Due to the scale-out architecture, we are able to expand easier with the Cohesity solution.
How are customer service and technical support?
We lack an easy way to access the data without involving a developer. For their part, Cohesity has provided talented resources to help script the reports we need, dedicating those resources and their time for free. This is refreshing and welcome.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We currently use several different products and are seeking to standardize on a single, simpler solution that meets our needs today as well as supports more cloud options/tools.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Pricing, setup costs, etc. are pretty typical. The initial cost for Cohesity was less than other products the we evaluated. Cohesity's pricing does offer benefits as DR target costs are less than other solutions. You are not charged for DataProtect licensing for target DR data consumption.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
What other advice do I have?
Overall, it is an easy to use, flexible backup solution.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
Which version of this solution are you currently using?