Shumaker Deploys Cohesity Data Management Platform and Reduces Backup Times by More than 90%

Law Firm Sees 150x Data Deduplication Rates

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At a Glance

Since deploying Cohesity, Shumaker has seen dramatic improvements across its environment. Cohesity allowed the firm to consolidate from three cumbersome solutions to a single web-scale data management platform, with immediate time and resource savings.

Challenges

The firm has a total of six locations, and had a variety of legacy infrastructure solutions that were becoming cost prohibitive and difficult to manage, especially when it came to data recovery.

Solution

After considering solutions from EMC, Commvault, Rubrik, Veeam and Veritas, Shumaker deployed Cohesity for backup and recovery, long-term retention and archiving to the cloud, and will soon implement Cohesity for scale-out NAS to manage file shares.

Results

Cohesity eliminated deltas, and incremental backups of its entire environment are reduced by more than 90%. Now with the ability for Change Block Tracking between backups, previous Exchange backups that took up to 32 hours per server now only take five minutes.

Overview

Founded in 1925, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is a full-service business law firm with more than 260 lawyers, 50 paralegals and 500 employees in its seven offices located in Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Tampa and Sarasota, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

As one of the top 200 firms in the country, Shumaker is a premier provider of quality legal services to individuals, small businesses, health care providers, nonprofit organizations, Fortune 500, and international corporations. Its mission is to work on clients’ timetable and budget, focus on results, and keep its clients ahead of the curve.

Challenges

The main data center for Shumaker is located in Toledo, Ohio, with a disaster recovery (DR) location in Michigan. The firm has a total of six locations, and had a variety of legacy infrastructure solutions that were becoming cost prohibitive and difficult to manage, especially when it came to data recovery.

In addition, given recent acquisitions it became imperative to identify a solution that could easily integrate with a wide range of enterprise platforms. The IT team described the data management process as a ‘massive monster that doesn’t work well’, and given that the amount of data the firm manages can often fluctuate in a non-linear fashion, licensing costs to accommodate peaks led to expensive over-provisioning.

Data recovery was tedious and occasionally could take up to two days to recover a single VM. Without Change Block Tracking in the existing solution, it took up to 24 hours for data backups. For data replication, Shumaker had to purchase a dedicated circuit just to handle the process with one of its former solutions.

Shumaker aimed for the following capabilities in a data management solution:

  • Reduce overall cost, consolidate to a single platform, and achieve simplified management
  • Solution with capability for Change Block Tracking
  • Ability to manage data in the cloud and at remote offices
  • Greater efficiency for data management to free up IT resources

Solution

In the last few years, Shumaker began to implement changes across its IT infrastructure to enable a more redundant and modern environment. The firm is in the process of moving to Pure Storage, deploying Cisco UCS blade servers in its DR location, and moving to a single data management solution.

After considering solutions from EMC, Commvault, Rubrik, Veeam and Veritas, Shumaker deployed Cohesity for a single web-scale data management platform. The firm is using Cohesity for backup and recovery, long-term retention and archiving to the cloud, and will soon implement Cohesity for scale-out NAS to manage file shares. Cohesity is currently used as NAS in some locations, and Shumaker aims to migrate its physical NAS to a VM environment. From the Cohesity interface, the IT team also backs up VMs, replicates data to a second Cohesity cluster, restores the backup, and then points to Zerto to sync directly to the restored changes for simplified management.

Cohesity is showing us how to leverage our data in new ways. With a single web-scale data management platform, we have not only improved backup and recovery times by more than 90%, but can also now look to Cohesity for additional ways to address mass data fragmentation. Shumaker will be able to migrate data to the cloud, save expense by looking to Cohesity for scale-out NAS, and set data management policies for Exchange and other applications. Cohesity makes everything about data management easier.”

– Carl Holzhauer, Infrastructure Supervisor

Results

Since deploying Cohesity, Shumaker has seen dramatic improvements across its environment. Cohesity allowed the firm to consolidate from three cumbersome solutions to a single web-scale data management platform, with immediate time and resource savings.

The previous environment had to read disks and could not run simultaneous backups. Now with the ability for Change Block Tracking between backups, previous Exchange backups that took up to 32 hours per server now only take five minutes, even with a greater volume of data. Cohesity is backing up 15PiB of source data, but with more than 150x data reduction, is only using 97TiB of target physical space. Previously the data recovery process was overly complex, but now with Cohesity’s global search functionality, Shumaker can easily locate any file or folder, making recovery nearly instantaneous when previously the IT team would spend up to an hour just to locate data.

From Cohesity’s web-scale data management platform, the firm can leverage API integration with AWS and Kroll Ontrack, to simplify data management and have a single view of its infrastructure. Shumaker uses Cohesity to leverage the cloud for longer-term retention, uploading a full backup to AWS once per month and retaining data for six months. The firm also backs up its SharePoint application with Cohesity through Kroll and leverages the platform for Microsoft Exchange. The firm is in the process of migrating from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016 on-premises. Shumaker is backing up approximately 900 mailboxes with Cohesity and reduced backups from 32 hours to approximately 20 minutes. With Cohesity, the firm can use less space in Exchange, truncating Exchange logs because backups are able to run more than once per day, creating space efficiency.

Policy-based management from Cohesity allows the IT team to set roles for access management, as well as establish SLAs for data retention, set policies for AWS, and clearly identify RPO and RTO. Data replication with Cohesity eliminated deltas, and incremental backups of its entire environment are reduced by more than 90%. For SQL backups, RPO reduced tremendously, and the firm no longer has an overnight window of eight hours but can run backups during the day without affecting production.

Down the road after deploying additional Cisco UCS blade servers, Shumaker will implement Cohesity Virtual Edition in five of its remote offices, to mirror backup and recovery through the same UI at considerably lower cost. In addition, Shumaker will run NAS from Cohesity, eliminating the need to expand its SAN for considerable cost savings, and aiming to leverage Cohesity for file shares in the future at remote office locations.

Shumaker realized many benefits with Cohesity including:

  • Consolidated from three platforms to a single interface for complete data management
  • Reduced Exchange backup times by 99%
  • Data reduction rates of more than 150x
  • CapEx and OpEx savings, including eliminating expensive licensing fees and upcoming SAN expenditures, as well as freeing staff to focus on other projects

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