XO Communications, a Verizon Company, Simplifies Its Secondary Storage with Cohesity, While Reducing Its TCO by 60%


XO Communications meets customer requirements without complicating its secondary data environment.

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At a Glance

Cohesity scalable, hyperconverged secondary solution reduces communications provider data center footprint and costs


Government contracts required XO Communications to archive the most recent three years of logs, backups and audits, which dramatically increased the company’s data protection needs.


XO Communications deployed Cohesity C2300 and C2500 hyperconverged node appliances with Cohesity DataProtect backup and recovery software. Now it can clone and run virtual machines—including in the test/dev environment—directly on Cohesity.


Cost-efficient Cohesity delivers unlimited scalability, helping the company increase storage capacity while concurrently reducing CapEx. The company also lowered OpEx due to Cohesity’s ease of management.


XO Communications, a Verizon Company, owns and operates one of the largest IP and Ethernet networks that customers rely on for their private data network, cloud connectivity, unified communications, internet access, and managed services. The company has 1.5 million fiber strand miles in its network, including approximately 20,000 route-miles of intercity and 13,500 route-miles of metro fiber. Besides the United States, XO servers are in over 50 countries via a variety of partnerships.

Over the years, XO has received number of awards, including “2016 Unified Communications Product of the Year Award.”


XO Communications is in the business of providing VoIP, telecommunications and cloud services to its customers, and it is the IT team’s responsibility to achieve and maintain high-availability and uptime for its customers. The team operates eight data centers across the country, out of which three are managed for various government entities. Currently the team has three vCenters and over 1200 physical servers, which it is virtualizing.

Some of XO’s government contracts require the company to keep logs, backups and audits for three years, which is resulting in a lot of data that needs to be protected and archived. To meet its customer needs and accommodate the growing data, the team was contemplating the idea of deploying rows of racks across its data centers, and hiring 5 to 6 additional admins to manage the new infrastructure. In its business, XO needs to control its administrative cost, and this option would have negatively impacted its bottom line.

Selection criteria while evaluating all the available solutions included

  • The new solution should be easy to manage and administer
  • The next-generation secondary storage should easily scale-out to address growing needs without complicating the environment
  • Lower TCO


XO heard about Cohesity and after running an extensive proof of concept, which included Dell EMC Isilon and Veeam. The decision was made to deploy Cohesity, a scale-out hyperconverged secondary storage solution. What sold the team on Cohesity was its ease of use and manageability. The ability to have 100TB of raw storage in a 2U appliance helped the team to reduce its data center footprint and eliminated the need to hire an army of professionals to manage it. This positively impacted XO’s bottom line, plus kept the secondary storage environment simple.

To protect its physical and virtual environment, XO deployed a combination of Cohesity C2300 and C2500. With Cohesity DataProtect the team could now clone and run VMs directly on Cohesity, which helped to optimize its primary storage capacity. The team could also use Cohesity for its test/dev environment.

Cohesity is designed to optimize capacity and performance. With Cohesity we can meet our customer requirements without complicating our secondary storage environment. Besides ease of use and simple integration, Cohesity is dedicated to its customers’ success.

—Eirik Toft, Systems Administration, XO Communications


XO Communications dramatically improved its ROI with Cohesity and lowered its TCO by 60%.

  • Simplified operations – As a unified, hyperconverged secondary storage solution, Cohesity simplified XO’s data protection. Cohesity’s easy-to-use and manage interface allowed the team to reduce the learning curve and quickly ramp up.
  • Lower CapEx – Out of the gate, Cohesity was less than half what it would have cost to deploy the alternate solution. Cohesity’s design to optimize storage capacity allowed XO to reduce its overall footprint and deploy less hardware.
  • Lower OpEx – Instead of hiring an army of five to six admins, a single admin could manage XO’s entire secondary storage. With a smaller footprint, the team also saved on power and cooling costs.

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