MDL runs its business on MongoDB, a distributed database built for modern applications. All of the automotive leader’s mission-critical data including communications, customer information, and more is housed across 15 nodes in a sharded cluster distributed across three data centers. “If we don’t back our data up and we lose it, our company doesn’t exist,” explains Eric Gutmann, MDL’s Infrastructure Manager.
As utilization and reporting workforce needs were rising, resulting in higher TCO, MDL started looking for a way to improve its backup and data management solution. The first backup and recovery product it used missed the company’s RTOs because data restores took three-to-four days. MDL hoped to quickly pivot to using Rubrik for backup, but Rubrik’s product took six months to deploy and was complex to operate and manage. Staff wasted days stabilizing the system and creating new policies each time a developer added a new database to the MongoDB cluster. Gutmann admits feeling pressure to “check every single day to see if a policy change had to be made.”
Then MDL discovered Cohesity’s modern backup and data management solution. More robust, simpler to use, and cost-efficient for backups, Cohesity also delivered greater functionality. It enabled dev/test and modern workload reporting—minimizing MDL IT staff time on management.
It took MDL just a few hours to deploy Cohesity for MongoDB backup and recovery. With it, MDL gains a double-layer of data protection through on-prem and archived backups to Amazon S3—for data older than seven days. Cohesity ensures minimum downtime because MDL can quickly restore its application data from local, on-prem backups.
“There’s a two-fold reason why we really like Cohesity,” says Gutmann. “We can back up our data to make sure it’s protected on-premises and in the cloud. And if something catastrophic does happen, we still have backup data in Amazon S3 that we can quickly rebuild and restore.”
At MDL, Cohesity is also being used to refresh the company’s non-production database with live data from its production environment. Data in the non-production database is incrementally updated every hour—all without negatively impacting the performance of MDL’s very large production database. Developers can now offload production reporting to this database and test code changes against this database prior to rolling it out into production. Traditionally, MDL housed data each night in a data warehouse on a SQL Server database for staff to run reports. Using Cohesity, MDL can save valuable developer time and budget compared to its traditional approach.
“This was never an option with the previous backup solution,” says Gutmann. “Instead development used an old database for testing without knowing if new code and data were compatible before migration. Because of Cohesity, we redesigned the process to near real time, which was a game-changer for our development team.”
With Cohesity, we get better, faster, and cheaper all in one. That never happens; it’s an anomaly.”
— Eric Gutmann, Manager of Infrastructure, MDL autoMation
Compared to Rubrik and native MongoDB tools that MDL previously deployed for backup and recovery, Cohesity delivers significant savings and more functionality. Easy to manage, Cohesity has reduced MDL’s capital and operating costs while delivering powerful new capabilities.
The automotive technology leader experiences 10x storage efficiency compared to legacy solutions. Restores also are faster with Cohesity—a couple of hours versus a few days. Because of Cohesity’s dev/test efficiencies, MDL anticipates eliminating its data warehouse, which would free servers, disk space, and considerable management resources.
With Cohesity, MDL streamlined and automated its backup process. The company is no longer required to break backup jobs into multiple chunks, each with its own policy to create and manage; nor is MDL challenged to manually intervene to accommodate policy changes or add new ones for more databases. Fewer policies to manage—from 42 to 1—and the Cohesity auto-detect and auto-protect features reduce stress and free IT staff for more innovative projects.
Hourly refreshes of MDL’s non-production database, which used to be impossible to support, are simple with Cohesity incremental restore. While its prior product required a complete 40-hour database restore, Cohesity hourly refreshes complete in just six minutes. User access control is easier with Active Directory integration, and there is faster resolution when issues do arise with Cohesity’s automated notifications.
“We fell in love with Cohesity,” Gutmann says. “And I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the new features coming out in the new release. It’s only getting better.”
With Cohesity, MDL has achieved these benefits:
- 400x faster QA refresh—from 40 hours to six minutes
- 98% reduction in the number of policies to manage—from 42 to 1
- 10x backup storage efficiency
- Simpler, cost-efficient operations and management for lower TCO with fast restores
- Use of existing Active Directory policies to manage Cohesity user access
- Deployment in hours, not months
About MDL autoMation
Founded in 2006, MDL autoMation (MDL) is one of the automotive industry’s leaders in the application of IoT and SaaS-based technologies for process improvement, automated customer recognition, vehicle tracking and monitoring, personalized customer service and sales, and inventory management.