Cohesity Test and Dev APP
Part of the Cohesity Secondary Storage platform is a service that Cohesity call Test and Dev. Cohesity Test and Dev provides a process to create a selection of new VMware Virtual Machines (VMs), based on VMs protected by Cohesity, utilising the Cohesity Secondary Storage to host those VMs and perform the relevant steps within VMware vCenter to add those VMs.
When a Test and Dev job is created and executed, the Cohesity storage effectively
- Create a storage pool on itself
- Recovers the VMs to that storage
- Connects to vCenter
- Add a new Data Store to each host in a cluster
- Creates folders
- Adds the VMs into vCenter and the newly created folder
- Add the VMs to the specified network
- Powers them on if required
Those steps above are from my observations, and the Cohesity Storage performs this very quickly.
Test and Dev in Action
Only once VMs have been protected can you utilise the Cohesity Test and Dev service.
To start the process, Click on Clone VMs.
Search for the VM or protection job name.
With the list of possible VMs shown Select VM(s) that you want to use.
Add those VM(s) to the cart.
You can repeat the search and add further VM(s) to build the test environment.
As you add VM(s) to the cart, the number increases. Once all the VMs that you need Click on Continue.
Click on the Cart icon to show the VMs to be recovered.
Once the confirmed VM(s) is selected for the test environment, the configuration of the job specifics is required.
1: Leave task as already named or add your own
2: Decide if you want to add a prefix, best to do if you are adding to an existing vCentre.
Complete all the other steps, as required.
An overview of the Test and Dev job appears.
Click on View Details shows the job status.
Within vCenter, a folder is created.
Then storage gets added to the hosts.
Activity ramps in vCenter.
New Data Stores added.
VMs added to vCenter.
Within the Cohesity GUI, the dashboard within Test & Dev shows the recovered machines status.
With the VMs recovered, on a new network for testing, to clean up is a simple task, of finding the original task and clicking on Tear Down Clone. Everything in vCenter is cleaned up and left as it was before.
Cohesity Test and Dev Summary
The Cohesity Test and Dev service provide a fast, efficient method of cloning protected VMs into a VMware vCenter environment providing an isolated if you have set a vSwitch up to provide this, testing solution.
Overall the Test and Dev option is a nice feature to have, and there is plenty of scope for Cohesity to improve on this feature over time.
Within the MirrorSphere test environment, the recovery of two Domain Controllers, a large file server (1.3TB) and three other Windows 2012R2 servers took less than a minute, which included the mounting of Data Stores in our vCenter. The six VMs took a while to boot, understandable considering that the link from the Cohesity Secondary Storage was over a single 1Gb network connection, and there were active protection jobs occurring.
The area that I have yet to test, Analytics, is two-fold. One, I do not have a data set applicable and Two, I am not a programmer. Currently, you need some limited programming knowledge to write a little bit of code to enable a search to operate. With some time, I would expect Cohesity to provide some interactive interface to enable, those less gifted, to use this tool set.
With the testing performed over the last few days, the Cohesity Secondary Storage does what it has set out to do, and I would highly recommend it to anyone that wants to move into large-scale, hyper-scale secondary storage, with some added features to look deeply into the Cohesity Secondary Storage.
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