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Cohesity storage strategy embraces object, NAS backups

Cohesity keeps extending its converged secondary storage platform, with object storage, NAS and erasure coding joining the lineup. The startup also completed another funding round.

Cohesity expanded its converged data protection reach with a software upgrade that supports object storage, erasure coding and NAS backups across clustered appliances.

The new features revealed today are in version 4.0 of the Cohesity DataPlatform and Cohesity DataProtect applications. The 4.0 upgrade also enables administrators to assign storage quotas for individual file systems and create write-once-read-many file systems for regulatory compliance. The Cohesity storage updates are expected to become generally available around mid-year.

Cohesity today also raised more than $90 million in a funding round that includes investments from Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Cisco.

DataPlatform is the underlying file system that manages storage across Cohesity storage nodes. It manages object and file storage and handles features such as data deduplication, compression, encryption and tiering across hard disk drives, solid-state drives and the cloud.

DataProtect can replace backup software, enabling Cohesity storage appliances to serve as integrated backup boxes without the need for separate media servers. Patrick Rogers, Cohesity vice president of marketing and product management, said about 90% of Cohesity customers use DataProtect as their backup software.

Their endgame is not just backups. If you add the ability to retain content, their other features like integrated analytics and search become more valuable.
Henry Baltazarresearch director for storage, 451 Research

Cohesity sells the software packaged on its C2000 appliances, or on Cisco UCS servers.

Cohesity launched its converged data protection appliance in 2015 with the goal of handling all secondary storage, such as backup, archiving, analytics and copy data. The original version focused on virtual and database backups. Cohesity added support for  physical servers in June 2016, it launched a Cloud Edition for Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in November 2016, and last month it began replicating data between its appliances and Pure Storage all-flash primary arrays.

"Their endgame is not just backups," said Henry Baltazar, research director for storage at 451 Research. "If you add the ability to retain content, their other features like integrated analytics and search become more valuable. They want to consolidate the secondary tasks."

Objects, NAS part of Cohesity storage strategy

The 4.0 update allows Cohesity to store and access data via Amazon Simple Storage Service-compatible objects as well as NFS and SMB NAS protocols.

"Rather than using [IBM] Cleversafe, Scality, Cloudian or other object storage, you can use Cohesity to host object storage natively," Rogers said.

Cohesity dashboard, performance analytics
The Cohesity 4.0 dashboard provides performance analytics.

Baltazar said the object support is part of Cohesity's hybrid cloud strategy, and all storage vendors need a hybrid cloud strategy these days.

"First you suck in data, and then you provide insights," he said. "The next part is realizing that a lot of people will want a hybrid cloud. Cohesity can be part of the hybrid cloud storage without a cloud gateway and let people move data to Amazon and Google. And as they get established and their capabilities improve, they could be dragging data back from Amazon and other clouds."

Erasure coding, a feature that often goes hand in hand with object storage, will allow Cohesity appliance clusters to continue to run with the loss of two nodes to drive failure.

"We don't use RAID," Rogers said. "As a new block comes into our system, it's replicated to two nodes for fault tolerance."

The NAS support begins with NetApp filers. Cohesity storage software will integrate with NetApp snapshots to allow customers to modify files during the backup process, Rogers said.

Google, Cisco, HPE invest in Cohesity

Cohesity's funding round included strategic investments by HPE and Cisco Investments, and the startup joined the HPE Complete reseller partner program. GV (Google Ventures) and Sequoia Capital led the round, with  Accel, ARTIS Ventures, Battery Ventures, DHVC (formerly Danhua Capital), Foundation Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Trinity Ventures and Wing Venture Capital participating.

Cohesity has raised over $160 million in funding in three rounds. Rogers said the funding will allow Cohesity to nearly double its worldwide sales and marketing teams. He said the 150-person company will expand its European presence and enter the Asia-Pacific region.

Cohesity founder and CEO Mohit Aron was a Nutanix founder. He hopes his new company can turn secondary data convergence into the success Nutanix has had converging primary data center functions.

"This round will get us to cash-flow positive," Rogers said. "Now it's up to us to go execute."

Next Steps

Deep dive into converging backup and archive

Convergence and CDM can streamline data protection

E-book: Explore joining of backup, DR, archiving

Dig Deeper on Data storage backup tools

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