Quantium manages more than 6PB of data company-wide in two main datacenters, with exponential data growth for a growing company. Managing and protecting big data is not only at the heart of the IT team, but the core of its business. Quantium had pieced together backup and recovery in its environment with numerous platforms, and stitching together reliable backups was becoming more and more cumbersome, as well as leading to frequent failures. Quantium recognized the industry was moving away from servers with heavy storage and compute and toward a hyperconverged data management solution.
Quantium has a large Cisco environment, managing workloads with Cisco UCS across Windows servers, an Apache Hadoop server farm, and running Nimble for primary storage. The company had outgrown its Unitrends solution for backups, and the challenges and issues were beginning to affect performance and impact disaster recovery capabilities.
Quantium aimed for the following capabilities in a data management solution:
- Single, unified solution for backup and recovery, as well as additional capabilities such as web-scale file and object management to reduce NAS silos
- Hyperconverged solution to eliminate need for both software and hardware
- Seamless integration for future cloud archival, including Microsoft Azure
- Simplified management for agile IT team with lower TCO
As science is the core of Quantium’s business, backing up to primary storage carried too much risk, was a waste of resources, and a poor way to use primary storage. After attempting to restore a server from a Unitrends backup, the IT team uncovered that some backups had corruption, and the technology was not even able to alert that the backups were not successful. The IT team realized it needed a solution and reached out to its reseller and Cohesity to implement a Proof of Concept (PoC).
“We realized that we had spent a great amount of time trying to build a solution that needed to rely on numerous magical pieces of a puzzle that we were trying to fit into a perfect world,” explains Taylor. “This scenario was not reality, and that was where Cohesity came in and provided an all-in-one platform that not only resolved our current pain points, but scaled for future requirements. At Quantium, we prefer to bring in innovative solutions to ensure we will not out-pace the technology. We also want to leverage Cohesity to address the issue of data volume and mass data fragmentation in the enterprise.”
After a successful PoC, Quantium deployed Cohesity DataPlatform and DataProtect to back up essentially all of Quantium’s data, including workloads on SQL databases, network file shares, and all internal production systems.
Cohesity has exceeded our expectations and has delivered faultless backup and recovery for Quantium. Cohesity delivers a leading-edge data management solution that will carry us forward for future requirements and beyond backup and recovery. As a company in which data is our core business, we look forward to leveraging the breadth of the Cohesity solution on Cisco UCS to drive future business value.”
– Craig Taylor, IT Director
After implementation, Quantium was able to consolidate numerous backup targets and methodologies into a single, unified solution with Cohesity software running on Cisco UCS servers. Quantium consolidated Unitrends, custom SQL agent backups, and SAN snapshots. In addition, four backup targets of NAS, direct-attached storage, primary SAN, and an NTFS file server were consolidated for tremendous operational efficiency across the entire environment. As a preferred platform for compute, Cisco UCS servers seamlessly integrate with Cohesity and enabled further consolidation. With Cohesity’s global deduplication and compression, Quantium is seeing 20x reduction — an impressive level of space efficiency for optimal cost.
One large network drive that used to take four days to back up only took 12 hours the first time with Cohesity, nearly half the time of the legacy environment. Corporate Windows file servers took more than 24 hours for a file level backup, but now complete in under eight hours.
The IT team would sometimes spend two or three days trying to just locate a file. With Cohesity’s unique, Google-like global search capability, this process is down to minutes and has freed up considerable staff resources for value-add activities. Quantium previously dedicated a senior IT staff person to more than 20 hours per week to address backups, while today a junior engineer manages the Cohesity solution in 80% less time.
Quantium is also using Cohesity for NAS, as a backup target for its Apache Hadoop environment.
Quantium gained many benefits with Cohesity including:
- Greatly simplified management with single, unified solution
- Time savings of almost 50% for data recovery and 20x data reduction through global deduplication
- IT staff freed up to 80% of hours required to manage backup and recovery
- Future scalability, including native cloud integration, NAS mount, and SMB file share
In the next six to 12 months, Quantium will look to back up Office 365, as well as leveraging data archival to the cloud. Quantium will use Microsoft Azure to move data to the cloud, and back on-premises with Cohesity. Quantium will soon consider using the platform as a NAS mount, SMB file share, and explore potential synergy with Cohesity App MarketPlace.