The Santa Cruz Seaside Company, which operates the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in California, didn’t want its backup and recovery infrastructure to be a bumpy roller coaster ride. So it deployed Cohesity’s software-defined storage in its data centers and now can backup its data during business hours without impacting operations.
In addition to operating the iconic amusement park, which sees more than 3 million visitors every year, the company also manages two hotels and other properties in Santa Cruz.
Before Cohesity, its legacy backup infrastructure, which included appliances from VMware and other vendors, took seven to nine hours to complete a full nightly backup. And sometimes the IT team had to restart the backup job from scratch because the application timed out or stopped responding.
When VMware announced end of life for its disk-based backup and recovery product last year, Santa Cruz Seaside Company decided it was time to update its secondary data storage infrastructure. It wanted to simplify backup and recovery without hurting production servers’ performance during the day and be able to move secondary data to the public cloud for long-term retention.
The company also wanted a software-defined product with SQL awareness and VMware backups on a single pane of glass, said Brian Critchlow, IT systems administrator for Santa Cruz Seaside Company.
“Our solution prior to Cohesity was multiple solutions that I had to manage independently,” Critchlow said. “They were all scattered around everywhere and we were really looking for something that was under a single pane of glass so we could manage the backups, have an onsite disaster recovery solution, and a secondary solution in case of a regional disaster.”
Cohesity vs. Rubrik
The company considered products from Infrascale and Unitrends before narrowing it down to software-defined storage from Cohesity and Rubrik.
“We had a sandbox for each solution, and I handed over the keys to the team members and said figure it out for yourselves — how to do a backup and how to do a restore — and let me know what you think,” Critchlow said. “Eight out of eight chose Cohesity.”
The IT team preferred Cohesity’s interface, said it was easier to build policies, and included more extensive policy management capabilities. “The other huge factor, which may have been the silver bullet, was Cohesity can restore to a standalone ESXI host without having an operational vCenter,” Critchlow said. This means the company can instantly recover virtual machines (VMs).
Last November, the company deployed Cohesity’s hyperconverged appliance powered by its DataPlatform and DataProtect software. Cohesity also natively integrates with Microsoft Azure, which the Santa Cruz Seaside Company uses for long-term data retention and disaster recovery.
“Backups are very quick and not having any negative effect on our servers,” Critchlow said.
Cohesity allows the IT team to do data cloning without disruption to the primary database, and cloning a data warehouse of more than 1 terabyte only takes about one minute to boot up. Additionally, the team can query the database within two minutes.
“Previously we had databases that were at worst 24 hours old, whereas with Cohesity we’re backing up those log files every 15 minutes,” Critchlow said. “If we had an issue with a corrupt cable we wouldn’t have to roll back an entire 24 hours. We can do a live database live mount and recovery from 15 minutes ago and my database operator can restore those objects individually.”
In other words, the data backup, recovery, and management is now a whole lot smoother than the Boardwalk’s classic wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster ride.
Photo Credit: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk