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"Cohesity is designed to optimize capacity and performance. With Cohesity we can meet our customer requirements without complicating our secondary storage environment. Besides ease of use and simple integration, Cohesity is dedicated in its customers success."

Eirik Toft, Systems Administration

Overview

XO Communications, a Verizon Company, owns and operates one of the largest IP and Ethernet networks that customers rely on for their private data network, cloud connectivity, unified communications, internet access, and managed services. The company has 1.5 million fiber strand miles in its network, including approximately 20,000 route-miles of intercity and 13,500 route-miles of metro fiber. Besides the United States, XO servers in over 50 countries via a variety of partnerships.

Over the years, XO has received number of awards, including “2016 Unified Communications Product of the Year Award”.

Challenges

XO Communications is in the business of providing VoIP, telecommunications and cloud services to its customers, and it is the IT team’s responsibility to achieve and maintain high-availability and uptime for its customers. The team operates eight data centers across the country, out of which three are managed for various government entities. Currently the team has three vCenters and over 1200 physical servers, which they are virtualizing.

Some of XO’s government contracts require them to keep logs, backups and audits for three years, which is resulting in a lot of data that needs to be protected and archived. To meet their customer needs and accommodate the growing data, the team was contemplating with the idea of deploying rows of racks across their data centers, and hiring 5 to 6 additional admins to manage the new infrastructure. In their business, XO needs to control their administrative cost, and this option would have negatively impacted their bottom line.

Selection criteria while evaluating all the available solutions included

  • The new solution should be easy to manage and administer
  • Their next generation secondary storage should easily scale-out to address growing needs without complicating the environment and
  • Lowers their TCO

Solution

XO heard about Cohesity and after running an extensive proof-of-concept, which included Dell EMC Isilon and Veeam, the decision was made to deploy Cohesity, a scale-out hyperconverged secondary storage solution. What sold the team on Cohesity was its ease of use and manageability. The ability to have 100TB of raw storage in a 2U appliance helped the team to reduce their data center footprint and eliminated the need to hire an army of professionals to manage it. This positively impacted XO’s bottom line, plus kept the secondary storage environment simple.

To protect their physical and virtual environment, XO deployed a combination of Cohesity C2300 and C2500. With Cohesity DataProtect the team could now clone and run VM’s directly on Cohesity, which helped to optimize their primary storage capacity. They could also use Cohesity for their test/dev environment.

Results

XO Communications dramatically increased their ROI with Cohesity and lowered their TCO by 60%.

  • Simplified Operations: As a unified, hyperconverged secondary storage solution, Cohesity simplified XO’s data protection. Cohesity’s easy to use and manage interface allowed the team to reduce the learning curve and quickly ramp up.
  • Lower CapEx: Out of the gate, Cohesity was less than half what it would have cost to deploy the alternate solution. Cohesity’s design to optimize storage capacity allowed XO to reduce their overall footprint and deploy less hardware.
  • Lower OpEx: Instead of hiring an army of five to six admins, a single admin could manage XO’s entire secondary storage. With a smaller footprint, the team also saved on power and cooling costs.