Nasdaq is becoming a cloud-centric company, shifting to software as a service (SaaS) wherever practical. After migrating to Microsoft 365, the company wanted a cloud-based, fully managed backup solution – easy to use, secure, and compliant with data-residency regulations like the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). They also needed backup for 100 Exchange mailboxes hosted on-prem. Nasdaq found its answer in Cohesity. From a single interface the team manages backups and restores for both M365 and Exchange data. Lost emails and calendars are restored in minutes instead of days. Global compliance reporting is simpler. And when executives move to different countries, Cohesity DataProtect automatically complies with the new country’s data-sovereignty requirements.
Nasdaq’s cloud journey gained momentum during the pandemic. “Employees need the flexibility to work from anywhere, so we’re giving them the applications and data they need over the internet,” says Mike Viola, Principal Technologist. “That means more SaaS.”
When the company adopted Microsoft 365, the Exchange team took a fresh look at its backup solution. “With the higher email limits in M365, employees started hoarding emails so they wouldn’t have to wait days for lost files to be restored,” says Dave Suomela, Lead Systems Administrator. “If we could quickly restore individual emails, we’d take away the incentive to hoard.”
The new cloud-based backup solution also had to be easy to use, enabling a four-person team to manage 6,000 M365 accounts and about 100 remaining Exchange accounts for sensitive applications that don’t touch the internet. Nasdaq’s Office of the General Counsel had another request: automatic compliance with data-residency regulations like the EU’s GDPR.
After comparing leading cloud-based backup solutions, Nasdaq selected Cohesity DataProtect delivered as a service for M365, using it alongside Cohesity DataProtect for on-prem Exchange data. “Only Cohesity lets us back up and manage M365 data and our on-premises Exchange data from a single pane of glass,” Suomela says. “And because Cohesity’s backup as a service runs on AWS, we can comply with regulations to store data in the user’s own country.” Another plus: Cohesity’s industry-leading deduplication lowers cloud storage costs.
The Cohesity solution was ready to go just one month after the decision. Today Nasdaq uses it to back up 6,000 M365 mailboxes, 45 TB of OneDrive and Teams data, and 100 Exchange mailboxes hosted in the company’s data centers.
Requests to restore lost emails are now fulfilled in minutes, down from days with the previous backup solution. Before Cohesity, Nasdaq employees who lost an email submitted a request to the service desk, which contacted the backup team, which contacted Suomela’s team. “We had to restore the entire database, so the whole process took days,” he says. “With Cohesity, I’ve assigned restore-only privileges to the desktop engineer in every building so they can do restores themselves. Employees get their files faster, and my team saves time.” Building engineers can’t accidentally delete data or change policies because they don’t have those privileges.
Nasdaq’s Office of the General Counsel appreciates that the Cohesity solution makes it simpler to enforce location-specific data-sovereignty regulations. Cohesity backs up to the AWS region where the employee currently lives, based on HR records. For example, when an executive in Stockholm was reassigned to New York and his data was no longer subject to the GDPR, Cohesity automatically started backing it up on a U.S.-based AWS server. “With our old backup tool, I would have had to schedule a job to move the mailbox to a U.S. server,” Suomela says. “The automated process reassures our legal team that we’re in compliance, and also saves time for my team.”
Now Nasdaq is planning to back up other kinds of data with fully managed Cohesity backup as a service, starting with SharePoint Online and Active Directory domain controllers. “With Cohesity, we’re doing more with less,” Viola says. “As SaaS, it saves us from the monthly drill of patching servers and applications, freeing our people’s time for higher-value work. The total Cohesity experience — security options, SaaS model, and support — was just what we’d hoped for. If we went back in time, we’d make the same decision.”
Simplified management, with a unified interface for M365 and Exchange backups
~5 minutes to restore an email, down from 4 days
Automated compliance with country-specific data-privacy regulations
Implementation in one month
Nasdaq is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. A diverse offering of data, analytics, software, and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence. www.nasdaq.com.