Cohesity – Installation and basic configuration

After my previous post where  I introduced the Cohesity backup and secondary storage product, I want to share some experience in configuration and basic configuration using the Cohesity software.

Installation – from box to Cohesity GUI in 1,5 hour

First something on the installation, but not to much. Why? It only took me 1,5 hours including transportation to the datacenter (15 min drive), so there is not really much to it.

Cohesity Boxed

The steps you need to do are fairly easy. For the four node C2500 cluster we installed (one chassis) you need to install it in 2U rackspace, connect the dual power supplies, connect the eight 10Gbps network connectors (two per blade to preferable two different switches) and four 1 Gbps (IPMI) interfaces. All 10Gbps interfaces are connected to one vlan. IPMI interfaces are connected to a different network (vlan).
Cohesity unboxed

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From a DHCP enabled network and a client with bonjour service the installation is then done via a webinterface. The wizard runs you to some steps, where you need the following information:

  1. Set the IP space for the each node (we use  a /24 from a 10.0.0.0/8 IP space)
  2. Set the virtual IP space for the cluster (we use another /24 from a 10.0.0.0/8 IP space)
  3. Set the IPMI IP’s for KVM access.
  4. Set the general network settings: hostnames, cluster name, ntp and smtp
  5. Set the username and password settings for cluster access and KVM.

As said,  everything runs via a web based wizard. The installation guide and worksheet is just over 2 pages, light and easy 🙂

Basic configuration on storage

To get your environment up and running you need to some configuration. The usable space in the cluster needs to be designated to one ore more partitions.

In my case I use one partition, since this partition can be divided later into customer specific allocation where you can choose to set compression, encryption and inline deduplication as an addtional setting.

After setiing up the partition, you need to set up a view box. The view box is Cohesity’s approach to create scalable storage slices from the partition. The view box is an administrative setting and allows you yo set specific characteristics:

  • Deduplication: inline or after data has been written to the view box
  • Compression: inline or after data has been written to the view box
  • Encryption
  • Cloud Tier: Setting up the cloud tier allows you offloading of cold (not often accessed data) to external targets like a NAS, public cloud storage from Azure, Google and AWS).

With the setup of this view box you are set to let backups land on the view box. You are also able to create file shares (views). This is where the actual fun begins. I will post more on this subject soon!

Cool backup and more! – Cohesity

Cool backup and more! – Cohesity

In October 2016 I met Cohesity as a product on VMworld Europe. With the already great experience I had with the Veeam Availablity Suite, I learned some real improvements in back-up and recovery approach this company has been implementing. Especially for medium and large enterprises and service providers, this product brings you cool backup functionality and more!

First of all, the design of the product: you get a hardware box, based on a chassis that can host four blades. Each blade brings computing power and storage to the solution. First nice thing: this can scale endlessly! So if you need addition storage, after your first minimal three node set-up, you can increase the capacity of the Cohesity cluster by adding seperate blades. Currently a blade will add 12 TB of net capacity.

So having a scalable cluster in terms of hardware, the managements brings another cool feature: single point of management and no architectural worries: each blade increases both storage as computing power. From an operator perspective this makes your work a lot easier.

Last of all I want to mention the features that the software brings you:

  • Back-up & Recovery of VMs, SQL databases, NetApp NAS shares
  • Compression, Encryption and global deduplication (this last one is actually great on the storage usage part)
  • Public cloud tiering to AWS, Google, Azure
  • Replication to public clouds, NAS, other Cohesity clusters
  • Google like experience in back-up and restore, see my next posts
  • NAS functionality to do test & dev:  testing upgrades of software, auditing backup functionality
  • Indexing of files for both restore functionality as extensive reporting

This makes this product really more than just backup. In the coming time I will be posting more to show you some of these more than just backup features, that made me excited about the Cohestiy secondary storage product.

Cool backup and more by Cohesity

 

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