Backup Infrastructure Modernization and Data Migration at a Large Federal Agency

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The Assessment: Our client, a large federal agency, wanted to modernize their backup infrastructure. In addition, NetBackup, their backup software, had become too costly to maintain, and so they needed an alternative.

The DSS Solution: DSS subject matter experts (SMEs) tested multiple products and chose Cohesity due to its technical capabilities, roadmap, and aggressive pricing.  DSS SMEs worked with the client’s team on the installation and configuration of both a 48-node and 8-node Cohesity cluster to service assets residing in two data centers.  We completed the initial migration from NetBackup to Cohesity within three months of installation, leaving behind only unsupported servers for NetBackup to continue to service.  With the retirement of Veritas NetBackup as the primary backup software solution, the client is estimated to have avoided approximately $3M. Today, Cohesity protects approximately 9 PB of data on 1.4 PB of disk, showing a better than 6:1 storage savings through deduplication and compression.  A year following deployment, Cohesity backup success rates routinely exceed 99%, outpacing the 90% key performance indicator (KPI) target set by the client.   

The DSS Team also created a self-service portal to provide end users information about their application’s data protection status and history. Users can also drill down further and validate the filesystems’ protected GB based on their backup policy.  

Figure 1: Self-Service Portal Gives End Users Information About Their Data Protection Status

Cohesity has now been deployed to the cloud for the client. Working with Azure teams, DSS SMEs launched virtual Cohesity clusters for testing in development and production Azure instances.  Cohesity demonstrated that it can provide storage savings, even in the public cloud.    Team DSS maintains Cohesity software both on premises and in the cloud and continues to work with customers on the testing and proper configuration of Cohesity for VMs, physical servers, applications, and file storage.  Recent efforts with Enterprise Data Warehouse have shown Cohesity’s value as a replacement for block-based storage used for Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) backups.  By replacing costly TBs of SiMS block with a Cohesity NFS mount, we were able to provide a suitable backup target offering deduplication, compression, daily snapshot protection, and encryption at rest, none of which were supported by SiMS.

The DSS Difference: Our solution saved the client $3 M, and we provided them with a superior alternative to their costly legacy software.  A year following deployment, Cohesity backup success rates routinely exceed 99%, outpacing the 90% key performance indicator (KPI) target that the client set. 

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