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Methodist Health System gains cost predictability with Cohesity on Cisco UCS

Methodist Health System gains cost predictability with Cohesity on Cisco UCS

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Methodist Health System serves the metropolitan-Omaha area in Nebraska. The health network deployed the jointly developed Cohesity on Cisco UCS data management solution for modern backup as well as Disaster Recovery to take advantage of more granular reporting, scale-out architecture and fast restores.

Overview

Methodist Health System is among the forward-looking healthcare providers modernizing IT infrastructure in order to boost cost predictability and efficiency to optimize resources. Methodist system professions wanted to break out of the cycle of forklift operations. So, the health network deployed the jointly developed Cohesity on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) data management solution for modern backup as well as Disaster Recovery (DR) to take advantage of more granular reporting, scale-out architecture and fast restores.

Challenges

The legacy backup and recovery solution at Methodist had inertia. It had been in production for nearly seven years and although there were some issues, the team had not seriously considered a replacement until it faced increasing scalability constraints and another disruptive, potentially expensive upgrade.

“Our upcoming renewal was a good, natural time to look at what was new in the market and our management team was open to modern technology,” according to Kevin Rue, Senior Systems Engineer at Methodist Health System. Because healthcare is a cost-conscious industry, “we liked the idea of a solution that would enable us to show costs for years five, six and seven upfront, which is easier for finance and legal.”

Methodist conducted a 60-day proof of concept, standing up a new, parallel environment running jointly offered Cohesity data management software on Cisco UCS. The incremental migration of SQL and Microsoft Exchange workloads allowed IT staff to evaluate how a full production workload protection would perform. 

Solution

Today, Methodist manages two data centers – one production, the other DR – both running Cohesity DataPlatform and Cohesity DataProtect on certified Cisco UCS C240 M5 nodes. Non-latency sensitive data is backed up and recovered in the production site with bi-directional replication to the DR site. The joint solution simplifies management with a single, HTML5-based user interface (UI) that is easy to use and navigate. Unlike siloed, legacy infrastructure, the consolidated platform features fast ingest and non-disruptive upgrades as well as true global deduplication and impressive storage efficiency.

The health system staff receives proactive updates about the environment through Cohesity Helios, a SaaS-based global management tool for complete workload visibility. Non-disruptive upgrades and the ability to scale out the system based upon data growth helps keep costs predictable.

Cohesity integrated with Cisco, which Methodist also trusts for its networking, gives the healthcare provider a unified data management solution from proven partners. “We can set it and forget it,” said Rue. “And if there is an issue, Cisco SmartNet combined with Cohesity support streamlines issue resolution.”

Methodist can now use the solution to generate custom reports through the Cohesity Reporting app (based on the popular analytics app JReport) available on the Cohesity Marketplace. The app provides the team with reports for operational health, compliance and audit for data under management, capacity monitoring and planning, as well as showback and chargeback.

“One of our biggest challenges used to be reporting,” said Rue. “We like the granularity of the new solution’s reporting, for example, to see how much time server backup is taking, limits on space and change tension, so we know where to adjust settings to make improvements.”

Results

In contrast to the health network’s legacy backup solution which required all-at-once purchases of complex systems – and thus full racks with fixed capacity – the new solution is designed to scale out incrementally without requiring the provider to make a maximum investment upfront. 

Because of the strong partnership between Cohesity and Cisco, Methodist has confidence in the current solution and support options as it consolidates enterprise file services workloads on a single platform. Cisco UCS and Cisco Intersight combined with Cohesity software deliver the ideal solution at scale with architectural consistency and operational automation from the data center to Edge to cloud. Cisco Intersight is a cloud service that works with all recent Cisco UCS servers: blade, rack or hyperconverged. With Cisco Intersight, Methodist can centrally manage all UCS servers, making it simpler to track inventory – for example, to find all servers anywhere in its production and DR sites that need a firmware upgrade.

 Key benefits of the Cohesity–Cisco solution include:

  •   Cost predictability without forklift upgrades
  •   Customized reporting
  •   Unlimited scalability
  •   Ease of use
  •   Single solution and support from proven partners
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