Lighthouse Resources Saves $400K and Gains Ease-of-Management with Cohesity

Energy Company Attains Impressive 100x Storage Reduction

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At a Glance

Lighthouse Resources delivers responsibly-sourced natural resources and infrastructure solutions. Lighthouse has a highly virtualized environment running a combination of Pure and Dell EMC for primary storage, and Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers.

Challenges

The company had implemented Dell EMC Avamar but began to experience increasing issues, which led to exorbitant maintenance and support costs that could no longer be supported.

Solution

After evaluating Cohesity and Rubrik, Lighthouse decided to deploy Cohesity across all locations. Lighthouse Resources is backing up all VMs and its entire SQL environment with Cohesity, along with 65% of its desktop and end points.

Results

By moving away from Avamar, Lighthouse Resources saved $400K, and gained efficiency and ease-of-management with Cohesity. With global deduplication and compression, Lighthouse attained an impressive 100x storage reduction across its environment. Time dedicated to support and troubleshooting reduced by more than 80% and freed up IT staff to focus on mission-critical projects.

Overview

Lighthouse Resources delivers responsibly-sourced natural resources and infrastructure solutions. The company operates thermal coal mines in and around the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana to provide reliable energy for use in the U.S. and abroad. Lighthouse Resources also manages port export facilities to enable essential, high-demand materials and commodities to efficiently move between the Pacific Northwest and foreign markets. The privately-held energy supply chain company is based in Salt Lake City, with three additional locations and data centers in the western United States.

Challenges

Lighthouse began to take a look at its existing infrastructure across its four datacenter locations. The main data center is located in Salt Lake City, with additional locations in Wyoming and Washington, as well as a disaster recovery (DR) site in Montana. Lighthouse has a highly virtualized environment running a combination of Pure and Dell EMC for primary storage, and Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers.

The company had implemented Dell EMC Avamar but began to experience increasing issues, which led to exorbitant maintenance and support costs that could no longer be supported. The Avamar solution had a taxing interface and it took too long to set up restore jobs, and often the only solution for resolving issues was to turn to costly support.

At the sites in Montana and Wyoming, the terrain is remote and there are frequent brownouts. Sometimes it took up to two weeks to completely resolve and restore a cluster that didn’t shut down properly after a brownout. Since Lighthouse runs a nimble IT team, outside support is sometimes required, particularly for systems that are complex to manage. System management was even more tedious and costs became escalated when outside support needed to be called to remote sites.

Lighthouse Resources aimed for the following capabilities in a data protection solution:

  • Cost-effective, reliable data protection across all four datacenter locations
  • Ensure solid disaster recovery plan, with ability to migrate data to the cloud
  • Intuitive interface to manage backup and recovery for entire enterprise from single pane of glass
  • Scalable solution with future capabilities for data management

Solution

After evaluating Cohesity and Rubrik, Lighthouse decided to deploy Cohesity across all locations. Lighthouse Resources is backing up all VMs and its entire SQL environment with Cohesity, along with 65% of its desktop and end points. With Cohesity DataPlatform Virtual Edition, the company can deploy to remote locations as a single virtual appliance on its existing VMware environment.

The company uses Cohesity CloudArchive for long-term retention to back up to Google Cloud. In addition, Lighthouse uses Cohesity Helios in order to manage all sites globally from a single pane of glass, as well as benefiting from additional ransomware features.

Cohesity is all about the customer. Where with other providers you feel like you’re hitting a brick wall, Cohesity always puts the customer at the forefront. Since deploying Cohesity at Lighthouse Resources, we’ve seen products and features integrated into the solution that we didn’t even realize we needed. Although it might sound cliché, data management with Cohesity is effortless. With data in multiple locations across a number of silos, the global search capability is a lifesaver to easily locate data and tackle challenges around mass data fragmentation in the enterprise.”

–Mike O’Rourke, Director of IT

Results

By moving away from Avamar, Lighthouse Resources saved $400K right off the bat, and gained efficiency and ease-of-management with Cohesity. With global deduplication and compression, Lighthouse attained an impressive 100x storage reduction across its environment. Time dedicated to support and troubleshooting reduced by more than 80% and freed up IT staff to focus on mission-critical projects. Backup and restore functions are as easy as click and drag, and the company now has reliable data protection in place. Cohesity Helios allows Lighthouse to upgrade all its clusters in two to three clicks, giving the IT team a global view of data management from a single view with greater efficiency and time savings.

One of the biggest benefits with Cohesity is the ability to deploy Cohesity DataPlatform Virtual Edition to its remote locations. It allowed Lighthouse to leverage the Cohesity solution that it was already purchasing to act like a regular Cohesity node, including the same UI, APIs, and policy-driven automation. It gave Lighthouse cost-effective options, and this was especially helpful for sites still under development.

Cohesity ensures a solid DR strategy going forward, with the flexibility to replicate data at a granular level, which is imperative for a company with locations in remote terrain. “When you have a disaster you don’t want to be pulling your hair out or trying to understand why the restore process isn’t working. In our previous environment, it was difficult to even test restoring a VM to a new host, but now it is straightforward and easy to do snapshots and restore VMs in a few clicks. With Cohesity, I never doubt expecting the same outcome over and over,” explains O’Rourke.

Lighthouse set up external targets among all four locations, with all data replicating to the Salt Lake City headquarters. Critical infrastructure is backed up to the Montana location, and using Helios the IT team can restore workloads to have the environment back up and running within a couple hours.

Before Cohesity, Lighthouse did not have the ability to archive data to the cloud. Now, the company has taken advantage of cost savings to migrate data to a secure environment with Google Cloud. This gives the IT team additional options for data management from Cohesity’s single pane of glass.

In the future, Lighthouse will look at additional Cohesity features, including leveraging Helios for more mature ransomware capabilities. The existing IT environment with Pure Storage and Cisco UCS is poised for possible further integration and API links with Cohesity.

Lighthouse Resources realized many benefits with Cohesity including:

  • Tremendous cost savings with Cohesity Virtual Edition to extend the solution across its remote locations with no additional hardware expense
  • Cost savings of $400K by choosing Cohesity over Avamar
  • Hours dedicated to support and troubleshooting reduced by more than 80%
  • 100x storage reduction with global deduplication and compression

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