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Iceland IT firm gets Cohesity hyper-converged backup boxes

Thekking scraps ageing IBM and HPE iron for Cohesity hyper-converged nodes with hybrid flash capacity to power deduplication for Veeam backups

Icelandic IT service provider Thekking has deployed a cluster of Cohesity secondary storage hyper-converged nodes to replace ageing IBM and HPE arrays.

The move has seen the company gain data deduplication rates averaging 6x on Veeam backups, with 12x expected by the end of 2017.

Thekking serves about 300 customers, mostly in retail and healthcare, from two datacentres in Iceland. It runs about 650 virtual machines on 20 hosts that form part of around 156TB of NetApp FlexPod server/storage converged infrastructure. It uses Veaam as backup software.

The firm had in place IBM DS3500 and HPE EVA storage arrays that had been relegated to use for secondary data and to store backups, but were approaching 12 to 15 years in service.

Thekking infrastructure architect Marteinn Sigurðsson said: “They were very old and out of support. We couldn’t scale them any more, so they had to go.”

The company deployed a four-node cluster of Cohesity C2500 nodes at the beginning of 2017. These provide 86TB in total with 1TB of flash cache to speed reads/writes in each node.

Cohesity consolidates secondary storage on a distributed storage system that can scale out and comes in qualified white box Intel servers with flash and spinning disk HDD storage.

In market terms, it aims to replace backup software and the backup target, such as EMC Avamar and Data Domain. It comes with its own backup software on board, but Thekking chose to stick with Veeam.

“We’ve had Veeam for a long time and are very happy with it,” said Sigurðsson.

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Although the company does not use Cohesity’s backup software, it does benefit from built-in data deduplication and has so far gained a deduplication ratio of around 6x, said Sigurðsson.

“As we get more backups, we get more deduplication,” he said. “It has been five months so far so by 12 months, we expect to get a ratio of 12x.”

Sigurðsson said the key benefits of deploying Cohesity have been the ability to scale easily by adding more nodes and good $/GB costs because the density of data stored is constantly improving.

“Having previous experience with other brands in this space, such as Data Domain, where most of the times the controller’s compute power did not scale with the added storage capacity, it was an obvious improvement for us that the Cohesity architecture was based on hyper-converged nodes composed of both compute and storage,” he said.

Also, the additional IOPs and compute power of the Cohesity nodes have helped Thekking to better utilise key Veeam features, such as Instant VM Recovery and virtual machine testing feature, Virtual Lab.

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