The City of Santa Barbara, California is located just 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles is the county seat of Santa Barbara County with a population of just over 90,000. Often referred to as the ‘American Riviera’, Santa Barbara is located between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains.
Santa Barbara functions similar to a big city because it manages its own police and fire departments, city waterfront, and airport, managing an annual operating budget of just over $350M with approximately 1600 employees. The IT team supports all technology functions and operations for the City, including data backup and protection.
The City had a variety of solutions for secondary data infrastructure in its datacenter environment, including Dell, Microsoft, Veeam, and VMware. When it became time for a backup storage refresh, the IT team began to explore modern solutions available on the market, rather than adding more servers with storage capacity.
Santa Barbara was experiencing exponential data growth, estimated at 30% per year. Retention requirements for legal departments and public records with HIPAA and PCI data required the City to manage data for longer periods of time. The current legacy environment was running out of capacity and did not make sense for future scalability. Instead of purchasing additional Dell servers loaded with disks, the City looked for a next-generation solution to back up its existing environment and prepare for future growth.
Santa Barbara aimed for the following capabilities in a secondary storage solution:
- Superior deduplication and compression capabilities
- Move away from independent servers and storage environment
- Lower TCO for modern secondary data infrastructure
- Cloud integration features for future proof solution
After evaluating options and costs, including comparing Cohesity and Rubrik, the IT team chose Cohesity DataPlatform and Cohesity C2600 nodes for backup storage. While the IT team wanted a solution with cloud features, they also needed a solution like Cohesity that could offer a strong on-premises solution as well. As a software agnostic solution, Cohesity DataPlatform can seamlessly integrate with other backup software as a scale-out deduplication target storage, alongside its own backup capabilities. The City is using Cohesity to back up 150 virtual machines, as well as its SQL database and other files.
Santa Barbara has a data center located away from its main offices at an Emergency Operations Center at the fire station, and will eventually leverage Cohesity’s built-in integration with public clouds, such as Microsoft Azure, in order to more cost effectively manage disaster recovery out of the region. The City eventually hopes to use Cohesity’s native cloud back up features to back up its critical VMs and data to the cloud, and the ability to snapshot and replicate data is critical to mitigate risk.
The City of Santa Barbara saw immediate results in storage capacity with better deduplication rates and a simplified, cost-effective secondary data solution from Cohesity. We are confident Cohesity will enable the City to soon utilize cloud backup and archiving, as well as replicate and snapshot backup data so that we can continue to mitigate risk to protect our overall environment. Cohesity continues to develop and add features at a rapid pace, and we look forward to seeing additional benefits in the future.”
– Cazi Brasga, Information Technology Supervisor, City of Santa Barbara
The Cohesity solution is both flexible and future-proof, to meet the current needs for Santa Barbara and to prepare for scale-out expansion and cloud storage with Azure and AWS down the road. A huge benefit with Cohesity is its deduplication and compression capabilities that has helped the City use its storage capacity much more efficiently. Previously, the City had deduplication rates of 3:1, but now with Cohesity has achieved a rate of 10:1, a leap from what Windows and Dell achieved previously. With superior deduplication, the City has flexibility to retain data for longer periods of time, as well as the ability to meet storage capacity needs. The Cohesity solution enables cost savings by providing greater storage and eliminating the costs associated with buying more appliances or building its own servers to accommodate growth.
The intuitive interface with Cohesity has given the entire IT team more simplicity to manage the secondary storage environment. The IT team can go into the dashboard, set up a view, attach a replication job and it is done in a matter of minutes. The backup copy used to take up to 12 hours, but now is completed in under eight hours and the time for replication of backups from City Hall to the Emergency Operations Center was cut in half.
The overall backup process is greatly simplified, now only requiring the City to copy backups to one repository and automatically replicating to its disaster recovery site, instead of the need to manage multiple copy jobs to replicate backups to the two locations. The City of Santa Barbara prides itself on being environmentally conscious, and by reducing the number of servers and storage that required power and cooling in the data center through more efficient deduplication and compression, the City can boast of a ‘green’ solution with Cohesity.
The City of Santa Barbara realized many benefits with Cohesity including:
- Significant improvement in deduplication and compression rates for backups
- Simplified management of secondary storage for greater efficiency
- Time to replicate backups reduced by 50%
- Lower TCO with modern, scale-out solution with native cloud integration