How Cohesity Data Management Platform Helps Whoa.com Sleep Better at Night

By Nikitha Omkar • July 25, 2019

What do service providers look for when evaluating backup and disaster recovery (DR) solutions? Is it the reduction in backup times or efficiency of deduplication? Is it the ease of deployment and management? Or is it the cost savings realized by replacing multiple point products for different use cases causing mass data fragmentation? In the case of Whoa.com, a Small & Medium Business (SMB)-focused cloud and managed services provider based out of Hollywood, Florida, the answer is all of the above. But most importantly, it is the proven reliability of the robust web-scale, software-defined architecture offered by Cohesity that was most attractive to Whoa.com. This dependability is what gives peace of mind, knowing that no matter what their customers demand from a backup and DR perspective, Cohesity has their back.

To better understand this, we’ll need to go back to when Whoa.com was still evaluating next-generation backup and recovery solutions to replace their existing legacy solution which was fraught with issues, literally giving them sleepless nights. This coincided with their acquisition of a Midwest service provider which had a diverse Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) portfolio with five specialized engineers across six data protection solutions. Whoa.com evaluated as many as six data protection solutions before they shortlisted Cohesity to do a Proof of Concept (PoC) that lasted 90 days. In the PoC, they tested Cohesity DataProtect against peak workload performance, stringent quality standards, as well as integration with their API infrastructure, among other criteria.

“We were very happy with the deduplication and compression ratio that we were seeing in our backup jobs with Cohesity. There was night and day difference from our previous vendor, where we would be lucky if we even saw 2x deduplication ratio. With Cohesity, we saw around 30x deduplication ratio across our three data centers in the United States. We saw our backup windows shrink considerably, and in addition, incremental backups throughout the day or throughout the lifecycle of the backup were significantly faster,” said Brock Mowry, Chief Technologist, Whoa.com.

“But most importantly, the simplicity, ease of use and management, and reliability of Cohesity’s data management platform helped us be more efficient and better able to handle scale, avoiding service disruptions that were a frequent occurrence with our previous legacy solution. We finally found the ‘configure it, set it and forget it’ solution that we were looking for.”

This unique platform approach and superior performance, efficiency, and reliability offered by the enterprise-grade, service provider-ready Cohesity solution, convinced Whoa.com to switch over from their legacy solution. With this change, they were able to replace all six acquired data protection solutions with a single integrated Cohesity DataProtect solution and also optimize their technical resources to two Cohesity lead engineers, freeing up the other three specialized IT resources for more strategic business priorities. And because the Cohesity interface is so simple and intuitive, they were able to cross-train the entire engineering team to be able to perform backup and restore operations, minimizing the risk associated with dependency on platform-specific subject matter experts (SMEs). Additionally, they were able to eliminate on-going OpEx expenses on maintenance of their legacy backup systems. Lastly, the Cohesity solution considerably reduced their storage footprint by eliminating more than half a rack of storage and replacing it in 8U (Rack Units). Whoa…that’s some ROI, right?!

The story doesn’t end here. Whoa.com now has between 150-200 customers, including their service provider partners, supported on SYNC – their proprietary managed backup and DR service based on the Cohesity data management platform. Across all clusters, Whoa.com protects 456.4 TB of physically written data, which expands to 28.2 PB and is constantly growing. Some of the real-life customer benefits from the Cohesity-enabled managed service solution were so great, we had to use Brock’s own words to convey their impact:

The Salvation Army USA Central Territory – “Reliability and speed have been huge for them. They currently have 111 VMs in a single backup job completing seamlessly every night. This was a challenge that their last backup solution could not overcome with multiple backup jobs, and never in a reliable manner. In the past, DR test was a multi-step process that consumed time from multiple engineers. The customer is very happy with the new solution based on Cohesity.”

A Midwest medical school – “Finally found a solution that works! The previous solution couldn’t properly restore systems. DR tests prior to Cohesity took 24 hours to complete; now with Cohesity instant mass restore, a full DR test of nearly 100 TB was achieved under an hour.”

A manufactured housing communities operator – “Customer is very happy with speed and a huge fan of instant volume mount. They are now able to back up their Dell EMC Isilon platform quickly, something their previous backup system was not able to do.”

A Midwest managed service provider – “Since moving their customers’ VMs to Whoa.com protected by Cohesity, they have been able to eliminate the need to manage backups, freeing up technical staff to focus on more strategic, value-added tasks for their customers.

  • Whoa.com with Cohesity has been able to deliver on frequent full VM restore requests much faster than the previous solution. This has been instrumental to their large customer base that has seen restore needs resulting from failed Windows updates, Crypto incidents, and user errors. They have experienced “too many cases” where their previous vendor failed to meet the restore requests in a timely manner, and in some cases failed to restore at all. That is a thing of the past with Whoa.com and Cohesity. Now ALL restore requests have been quick and successful.
  • After moving to the Cohesity platform, they are achieving a much higher dedupe ratio across their customers. This allowed them to remove 15U of storage space in their datacenter, cutting their storage spend in half and resulting in massive cost savings in delivering solutions to their customer base.”

Encouraged with the success of managed services deployed around Backup and DR-as-a Service, Whoa.com is also evaluating Cohesity for other use cases such as Object and File Shares-as-a-Service and Ransomware Protection-as-a-Service. They are also considering the idea of using Cohesity DataPlatform for sensitive data scanning for compliance-centric customers. But for now the ‘configure it, set it and forget it’ approach of Cohesity is greatly simplifying life for Whoa.com and their customers, proving that peace of mind is definitely priceless.

If you want to be a Cohesity Service provider and learn more about the benefits of the Cohesity data management platform, visit our service provider solutions page on cohesity.com.

If you are a customer looking for Cohesity solutions as managed services, visit the service provider partner page to find Cohesity service provider partners.

Other Useful Resources:

  • Blog: Demand More from Your Backup and Less from IT with As-a-Service Solutions
  • Solution Brief: Drive Continuous Innovation with a Cohesity Powered Service Provider
  • Blog: Cohesity for VMware vCloud Director: Backup and Recovery at Your Fingertips

Whoa.com’s Chief Technologist, Brock Mowry, and Cohesity’s Sanjeev Desai, Senior Director, Solutions Marketing, contributed to this blog.