Cohesity – what is the big deal

By Frank Pedersen • August 15, 2016

September 1st I will join Cohesity as a Systems Engineer covering the Nordic Region in Europe. When I was looking into Cohesity as a potential future employer several things got me super excited about their technology. Let me share my perspective and why Cohesity is doing something that is a big deal.

Today in the data center space, there is a lot of talk about Traditional storage (SAN/NAS) vs. Hyper-Converged (VSAN, Nutanix, Simplivity). It is important to have a place to 1. Run your VMs and 2. Store your VMs data (Primary Storage). But what we are not talking so much about is how do you manage and store all of your data that is not your VMs running in production. Things like

  • Backup data
  • File shares
  • Test/Dev workloads (Copy data management, spin up backed up VMs in seconds)
  • Archive data
  • Analytics
  • Cloud

I have never seen a data center where the secondary data was not fragmented or stored inefficiently. Who have not had problems with sizing and scaling all of these silos. Today the only way to cope with this is to have a myriad of different solutions. This is 1. expensive and 2. highly inefficient

Cohesity has built a single solution that will take care of all of these use-cases in the data center. One platform that will replace multiple point solutions. The platform is a secondary storage platform built on the foundation of hyper-convergence. To put it very brief: “It is all about the file system

The Cohesity Data Platform is built on the Open Architecture for Scalable Intelligent Storage (OASIS). The only file system that can combine infinite scalability and can consolidate multiple different business workloads on a single platform. The Platform includes things like

  • In-line and post dedupe (Variable lenght and not fixed size)
  • Compression
  • SnapTree Distributed-Redirect-on-Write snapshot mechanism. (infinite snapshots)
  • Indexing for google like search capabilities of all data
  • Integrated Data Protection Engine (Take backup of VMware with VADP or Physical servers, no external backup software needed!)
  • Analytics
  • and much more

The SnapTree technology is nothing but spectacular. Imagine that you can take infinite snapshots of VMs or data without any performance degradations. (Unlimited!) With SnapTree all blocks are always reachable within 3 hops, no matter how many snapshots you have.

If you are wondering, how do I use these services in my data center. Well here are just a few use-cases on top of my head:

  1. Expose NFS or SMB share and use the scalable Cohesity Platform as a de-dupe target appliance for any backup software on the market.
  2. Use the built-in VADP Data Protection Engine to take policy based backups of your virtual environment. You will get next-level backup and RTO and RPO times because of the underlying architecture and file system. This will totally eliminate the need for whatever software you are currently using to backup VMware.
  3. Use it as a file server
  4. Use it for test / development workloads. Once VMs are being backed up by the built-in Cohesity backup solution you can spin these VMs up in seconds on a NFS share presented back to your ESXi host.
  5. Use the analytics engine to understand your data and find anything you need.

You get all of this in a 2U appliance. If you need more capacity or power you simply add more nodes. This is the power of a true hyper-converged secondary storage product. This is what got me excited!