Facing aging solutions across many of its IT operations, Navis began to take a harder look at its entire ecosystem and started consolidating many of its datacenters. In addition, the IT team needed to adapt to evolving business demands, including a corporate transition to a DevOps model, as well as increased migration to cloud-based services and applications. Having moved away from its tape environment more than five years ago, the existing infrastructure of EMC Isilon, Data Domain, and Avamar were not keeping up with newer technologies. As the EMC deployment got bigger and more complex, the management and maintenance were becoming a full-time job.
The end goal for Navis was to ensure the company could replicate data among all its global datacenters. The IT team set out at first to find a backup solution, but after determining its requirements and exploring solutions in the market, Navis recognized a secondary data solution would help meet its overall business continuity goals.
With a lean and agile IT team, Navis aimed for the following capabilities in a secondary storage solution:
- Simplified solution with ease of management
- Faster restores with secure reliability
- Seamless integration with leading cloud providers, including AWS
- Scalable solution to meet future business needs, including disaster recovery and NFS mount capabilities
The IT team at Navis did its research, including looking at Gartner reports, talking to IT colleagues at Stanford, and then narrowing its search down to Cohesity and Rubrik. Cohesity proved to be the superior solution with its intuitive interface and additional capabilities that would allow the lean IT team to better manage its overall storage environment through a single platform.
Navis implemented Cohesity C2500 nodes, Cohesity DataPlatform and DataProtect for an enterprise secondary data solution across its global operations. Cohesity is now rolled out to three sites in California and Germany, with plans to deploy soon in India. Navis is backing up hundreds of VMs, multiple databases such as Oracle and SQL, and will soon replace Isilon entirely. The company is a large Cisco shop, and until recently had additional storage from EMC VNX, Data Domain and Avamar, but will now transition to Cisco and Pure for primary storage.
Cohesity has enabled us to greatly simplify and consolidate secondary workloads across our entire global operations, reducing our datacenter footprint, and creating efficiency across our IT Infrastructure and Service Delivery teams. With native integration with Cisco, Oracle, and Pure, we have a single, unified platform for secondary data to deliver not only superior backup and recovery, but meeting requirements for disaster recovery and cloud integration in the future.”
– Jim Wild, Manager, R&D Infrastructure Operations
From its original 14 global data centers, Navis has now reduced down to five production data centers worldwide, with two in California, two in India and one in Germany. Navis has replaced all its Data Domain backups to Cohesity, and has eliminated the need for additional hardware across all its datacenters. Navis saved over $25K in CapEx savings with Cohesity and will save two to three times the amount in OpEx savings with the elimination of multiple support contracts.
In addition, the Cohesity solution has freed up staff time and resources. The previous solution was a full time job in itself to manage, and it would typically take one person an entire week to resolve issues. “It took days to learn our previous solution and we felt like we barely scratched the surface,” explains Steve Culy, Senior System Engineer at Navis. “With Cohesity, even as a new player in the market, the interface is very mature and far more intuitive. Our team was off and running after an hour of training.”
Navis saved considerable time and operations with fast backups and restores from Cohesity. When Navis needs to add a new VM it only takes a matter of minutes, and now restores take longer to log into the GUI interface than to actually restore a VM with Cohesity. The previous solution would run backups for 12 hours straight overnight, and large databases would take days, whereas with Cohesity backups are on a staggered schedule, completed on time, and take less than four hours.
Using Cohesity DataPlatform with Cisco UCS enables Navis to consolidate file and object data, and achieves unified management from one pane of glass. Because restores under the previous solution were so cumbersome, it was difficult to define and measure RPO and RTO. Now, restores take longer to log into the GUI interface than to actually restore a VM with Cohesity. Also, the deduplication and compression rate is 5:1, a vast improvement from the previous infrastructure and a true global dedupe solution.
The capabilities of Cohesity beyond backup and recovery will allow the IT team to put a business continuity plan in place and leverage Cohesity for disaster recovery. With Cohesity’s native integration with Oracle RMAN, Navis can set up an NFS mount for scale out storage. Soon the company will also explore ways to use Cohesity among its business units for simplified test and development. Once Pure Storage is implemented over the next year, Navis plans to take snapshots and grab the Pure snapshot back onto Cohesity, instead of going into a VM and backing up through vCenter. This will provide greater productivity for other workloads.
Navis has realized many benefits with Cohesity including:
- CapEx and OpEx savings of more than $80K
- Faster and simplified backup and recovery across all global operations
- Features like native integration with Oracle RMAN and test/dev
- Robust solution extends to provide disaster recovery and cloud integration