Schneider Electric Moves to the Cloud with Cohesity’s Secondary Data Platform

Fortune Global 500 Leader Deploys Cohesity for Efficiency and Cost Savings

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At a Glance

Schneider Electric deployed a secondary data solution for worldwide operations and gained cost, time and efficiency benefits.

Challenges

A full backup took more than 40 hours and tape backup storage and maintenance costs were more than $20K per year. With more than 300TB of data, and growth at 12% per year, Schneider sought a solution with rapid implementation.

Solution

As an early adopter of Azure Archive Blog Storage, Schneider was able to seamlessly integrate Azure and Cohesity, to not only save costs, but also increase the value of long-term data retention and recovery.

Results

Schneider immediately saw cost savings of up to $60K per year, and will see a total ROI within five years. The company will save $20K per year alone for maintenance costs.

Overview

Schneider Electric is the Fortune Global 500 leader in power management, providing integrated efficiency solutions combining energy, automation, and software. Working in more than 100 countries worldwide, Schneider collaborates across its open platform among a large Partner, Integrator, and Developer community.

The company was founded during the first Industrial Revolution, and now 180 years later the company has adapted and endured at every level through a strategy of both acquisition and innovation. Schneider has led energy management and automation in homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure, and across a wide variety of industries. In 2017, Schneider Electric posted more than $28B in total revenues.

Challenges

As a company, Schneider is familiar with success in reinvention, maintaining its leadership in the market in the midst of tremendous change over the last 100 years. The IT mission is no different for Schneider, and the IT team had specific goals and objectives to not only make strategic capital investments for its backup environment, but to evolve its platform and infrastructure to a virtual environment.

Energy & Sustainability Services has 28 sites globally with six data hubs. Gary Jackson, Global IT Leader was tasked to determine a new backup solution to move away from tape and to bring all global offices under a standard secondary data solution. Schneider had already begun to consolidate infrastructure for both hardware and software, and now needed to overhaul its operations and resolve issues with long backup times, as well as hurdles with data protection and recovery, which depleted a great amount of employee resources. The company had virtualized 90% of its environment, but was using a solution for backups that was not made for virtualization, creating more frequent and complex challenges.

A full backup took more than 40 hours and tape backup storage and maintenance costs were more than $20K per year. With more than 300TB of data, and growth at 12% per year, Schneider sought a solution with fast implementation.

Schneider Electric aimed for the following capabilities in a secondary storage solution:

  • Move away from complexity to a cloud-based solution with simple administration and management
  • Achieve quick backup and restore operations
  • Migrate off legacy backup file storage and outdated distributed file structures completely
  • Determine a solution for data protection at remote sites

Solution

The existing traditional Veritas and Quest Software solutions were not capable of moving the company forward, and Schneider began to research solutions, first looking at big players who they discovered lacked a complete turnkey solution. Research from Gartner pointed Schneider to evaluate both Cohesity and Rubrik.

The company had already begun to migrate to VMware for virtual workloads, including more than 1,600 VMs worldwide, and Schneider had Pure Storage in place for its primary tier one storage. Working with systems integrator RoundTower Technologies, Schneider quickly ruled out Rubrik due to the inability to do physical backups, and chose Cohesity as its standard global secondary data platform with the option for both virtual and hardware form factors. The IT team first rolled out Cohesity in North America, transitioning its traditional workload to the Cohesity platform within 30 days. Schneider then rolled out to Belgium, Australia and Hungary, and now supports all global data centers.

“While a traditional vendor would take 30 days to set up the environment itself, Cohesity is so simple we can set up new environments in a matter of hours instead of days, making the shift to the cloud easy and streamlined. Cohesity’s partnerships with Pure and Microsoft to provide seamless integration also sealed the deal for Schneider Electric,” explains Jackson.

Schneider uses Cohesity Data Platform and C2500 hyperconverged nodes, which the company can easily scale and expand to additional offices or as requirements demand. With the Cohesity deployment, it was easy for Schneider, as an early adopter of Azure Archive Blog Storage, to seamlessly integrate Azure and Cohesity, to not only save costs, but also increase the value of long-term data retention and recovery.

Cohesity has enabled us to shed the weight and challenges of our legacy backup environment and shift to a hybrid cloud solution, using a single Cohesity interface to manage all storage policies and our offsite backups in Azure. We have not only realized enormous cost savings, but have been supported by Cohesity every step of the way to achieve faster recovery times, improved backup snapshot frequency, and almost immediate data recovery.”

– Gary Jackson, Global IT Leader, Energy & Sustainability Services, Schneider Electric

Results

The Cohesity solution has transformed IT operations, allowing Schneider to move completely away from tape storage and legacy backup systems and embrace a hybrid cloud solution. Schneider immediately saw cost savings of up to $60K per year, and will see a total ROI within five years. The company will save $20K per year alone for maintenance costs. The power management leader has also streamlined and simplified operations, with faster recovery times and improved backup snapshot frequency. Where it took the company more than 40 hours for a full backup, snapshots are now completed in one hour. The IT team has freed up considerable resources to focus on strategic business operations instead of back office administration.

Microsoft Azure Blob storage uses encryption at rest and transfer, and the IT team has now refined its storage priorities and can tie specific jobs within Cohesity for established policies, both virtual and physical, to guarantee backups and tagging in VMware. Once Schneider fine-tuned its SLAs, reduced the amount of data it required to push to Azure, and re-designed its policies at a VM level with guidance from Cohesity, the company saw a reduction in backup footprint by 20 times.

Technical benefits of a hybrid cloud solution include an intuitive and simplified single interface, giving Schneider the ability to manage all secondary storage through Cohesity. Cohesity has the ability to send data between appliances, but the IT team often simply pushes data directly to the cloud. Schneider can easily retrieve data and file folders locally or from the cloud in a matter of minutes, enabling great flexibility with the combination of Cohesity and Microsoft Azure Blob.

Pricing is also more advantageous since the Cohesity model is based on total combined terabytes and not per site, which is a boon for a global company with multiple sites. All data archiving is sent straight to Microsoft Azure Blob and local backups are with Cohesity.

Schneider Electric is reaping many benefits with Cohesity including:

  • Simplified and streamlined IT processes with built-in Pure and Microsoft integration, leaving legacy storage in the dust
  • Total environment is securely backed up at all six global data centers
  • Cost savings up to $60K per year
  • Data recovery is almost immediate, with the ability to run VMs straight from a snapshot
  • Significant reduction in data restores and recovery – from hours to minutes and days to hours

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