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Ridgeback Resources Cuts Data Recovery Time from Hours to Minutes

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Energy Company Modernizes Data Management

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At a Glance

Ridgeback Resources optimized its business for operational excellence, and modernized its backup and recovery infrastructure. The energy company replaced its complex backup solution with Cohesity, and IT staff has been saving time ever since.

Challenges

Ridgeback Resources’s reliance on legacy backup technology required specialist knowledge and time to operate. As the company right-sized, staff had to be able to perform multiple jobs which meant moving to a faster and simpler data management solution.

Solution

Ridgeback’s environment is completely virtualized, allowing IT to plug VMware vCenter source into a system for daily VM backups. The company is also performing SQL and Oracle backups. Ridgeback uses Cohesity CloudArchive for long-term retention (LTR), offloading data to Microsoft Azure blob storage.

Results

Cohesity’s reduced data footprint architecture allows the energy provider to not only leverage the underlying storage volumes the previous product used, but recover terabytes of disk and avoid costly hardware upgrades for years.

Overview

Resources and efficiency are everything in the oil and gas industry—both natural and human. That’s why when Ridgeback Resources optimized its business for operational excellence, IT staff took the opportunity to modernize its backup and recovery infrastructure. The energy company replaced its complex backup solution with the simple-to-use Cohesity data management platform, and IT staff has been saving time ever since.

Challenges

Ridgeback Resources’s reliance on legacy backup technology required specialist knowledge and time to operate. As the IT team right-sized, staff had to be able to perform multiple jobs which meant moving to a faster and simpler data management solution. Ridgeback also hoped a modern solution would improve its disaster recovery (DR) strategy—reducing data loss risk.

“Our previous product was complex and bigger than we needed. We couldn’t justify the spend anymore, and wanted a modern solution that didn’t require a dedicated IT person,” said Ken Watt, Senior Infrastructure Specialist, Ridgeback Resources.

In its search for a new solution that would easily show IT was backing up on a specific schedule, that its backups were viable, and that it could recover if needed, Ridgeback evaluated Cohesity and Rubrik as well as DR software from Zerto. The capabilities at the top of IT’s requirements list for a modern data management solution included:

  • Ease of implementation and use for everyone on the IT team;
  • A fast and automated platform;
  • Daily reporting;
  • Extensibility—the ability to add capacity or use cases fairly quickly; and
  • Fitting into IT’s longer-term, business continuity vision of including cloud and doing more with backup data.

“We were looking for a set-it-and-forget-it type of platform. We didn’t want to have to go in and check things manually on a daily basis,” said  Watt.

Solution

Since deploying Cohesity DataPlatform, Ridgeback IT no longer has to spend precious time every day checking backups and reviewing backup logs. IT staff simply scan the automated Cohesity daily report for anomalies. And when a data or file recovery request comes in, IT relies on Cohesity’s global search capabilities to speed the previously tedious process. The platform’s automated global indexing of virtual machines (VMs), files, and objects helps IT simply recover a file from a snapshot or head in the right direction to keep digging—without having to drill down into file trees. 

“The search capability is fast, and it’s not limited by one silo, for example a database server,” said Watt. “I can enter a search term and Cohesity brings back results from across the entire environment. This is really nice from an audit perspective, and it worked great recently when one of our accountants was looking for a spreadsheet from someone who had left the company.”

Ridgeback’s environment is completely virtualized, allowing IT to plug VMware vCenter source into a system for daily VM backups. The company is also performing SQL and Oracle backups. “With Cohesity, we can do really granular backups and recovery of databases. And because it’s all incremental or log-based, they’re really fast.”

Ridgeback IT uses Cohesity CloudArchive for long-term retention, offloading some data to Microsoft Azure blob storage. IT has plans to do more with cloud, including enabling VM replication to the cloud with Cohesity CloudSpin—which through automation and by eliminating physical systems will improve DR efficiency. 

“We use Office 365—Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive—and retention policies for data stored in the cloud, but that isn’t really backup. So we have been experimenting with Cohesity as an additional disaster recovery fail-safe so if something did happen to a mailbox/site/file—like it got corrupted or hit by ransomware—we’d have a way to recover it,” said Watt.

Results

Ridgeback is saving time and further backup investment with Cohesity’s modern, simple-to-use data management platform. IT doesn’t have to continually add products to support new data sources into its environment nor run many consoles for different duties. It’s all aggregated into a single dashboard, delivering complete visibility. And with Cohesity already managing its data, IT staff looks forward to being able to get additional insights into it, as well. 

Recovery of even a few files using its old solution could take anywhere from four to six hours. Folders would also take a minimum of four to six hours. And a full recovery of a Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) backup, four to five days. Now IT simply mounts a Cohesity snapshot in less than a minute. 

The software solution’s reduced data footprint architecture allows the energy provider to not only leverage the underlying storage volumes the previous product used but recover terabytes of disk and avoid costly hardware upgrades for years. “Our cost avoidance is in the tens of thousands of dollars with Cohesity, which factored into our TCO calculation,” Watt said. 

Ridgeback set up its PoC environment within an hour, starting with simple backup policies for a few VMs. It now performs block-level change backups every four hours, modifying from 30MBs to 30GBs a day on the file system—a stark contrast to the legacy product that performed a monthly 10TB backup. “Our daily growth is small, and in some cases, total usage goes down because of the compression,” said Watt. “That’s making a huge difference in storage for us.”

Key benefits with Cohesity include:

  • Fast recovery — Five days to less than a minute 
  • Modern solution, resulting in tens of thousands of cost-avoidance dollars
  • From TB to MB incremental backups, reducing storage costs
  • Proactive support

Related Use Cases & Workloads

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