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Firefly generated image of a cloud storage data center

Cornell University server backup -- generally known as EZ-Backup – began migrating to Cohesity in 2023. The transition project, called EZ-Backup Modernization, will continue through November 2024.

“The two big changes that are key drivers in our transition to Cohesity are server virtualization and cloud storage,” said Chris Manly, Cornell IT Assistant Director of Cloud and Infrastructure Services.

Rather than backing up a server file by file, a snapshot of an entire virtual machine is now possible thanks to virtualized servers. This more efficient process is facilitated by the underlying system (the hypervisor) of a virtualized server. The full snapshot also speeds up restoring a complete system from the backup, if necessary

Cohesity’s ability to manage image-based backups of virtual machines was a primary reason it was selected as Cornell’s new server backup solution.

“We have also moved from using tape libraries to store the backup data to using cloud-based storage.  This gets a copy of our data off-site and gets us out of the business of maintaining a complex and expensive tape library system. The previous backup system had been adapted to store data in the cloud, but Cohesity is more efficient in its use of cloud storage and the way it interacts with the cloud because it was designed early on to make use of it,” said Manly.

Cohesity was founded by Mohit Aron, an entrepreneur and former Googler who also co-founded Nutanix where he helped invent a new type of affordable, rapidly expandable ‘hyperconverged’ storage hardware for data centers. Aron then launched Cohesity where he could focus on a similar breakthrough for backup storage.

“Unlike most commercial technology clients, we needed a solution that enabled distributed management and control,” said Manly.

“With Cohesity’s multi-tenant organizations, we can give each college or department the ability to manage their backups directly without everyone needing to have their own installation and hardware. This approach centralizes the tasks that make sense to centralize but keeps the details of management local to the unit where they have the best understanding of their own unique business needs.”

For more information about migrating server backup services onto the Cohesity platform before the EZ-Backup service is retired in December 2024, see the modernization page. To begin scheduling a migration to Cohesity, complete the TDX form.



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