Although cloud services offer many benefits over traditional on premises operations, the cloud transition has not been without its challenges. One such challenge is that of backup and recovery. Although cloud backup solutions do exist, many such solutions offer only the bare minimum backup capabilities and fail to truly leverage the unique flexibility of public cloud environments.

Recently however, Cohesity announced Cohesity DataPlatform Cloud Edition, a new solution designed to simplify the challenges of enabling hybrid cloud use cases. Cohesity supports three additional use cases beyond backups. These use cases stem from the fact that Cohesity DataPlatform Cloud Edition is essentially a Cohesity Cluster running in the public cloud. As such, it is possible to replicate the contents of an on premises Cohesity cluster to the public cloud, where the backup can be used if necessary.

The first use case is that of creating cloud-based dev / test environments. If an organization chooses to replicate its on-premises backups to the cloud, then Cohesity’s VM Cloning feature can be used to mount and run virtual machines in the public cloud. These cloud-based clones are identical to their production counterparts, but are sandboxed, thereby making them ideal for dev / test usage.

A second use case for Cohesity DataPlatform Cloud Edition is disaster recovery. Disaster recovery is different from backups and restorations in that the goal of disaster recovery is to keep the business functional following a major disaster, rather than to merely provide point in time recovery capabilities.

Replicating an organization’s backups to a cloud-based Cohesity cluster provides the organization with protection against a datacenter level failure. In the event of a major disaster, Cohesity’s Instant Recovery feature can be used to rapidly boot copies of the organization’s virtual machines on public cloud servers. By doing so, the organization is able to continue running its production workloads, even if its datacenter has been severely damaged or destroyed.

A third use case for Cohesity DataPlatform Cloud Edition is that of migrating virtual machines to the public cloud. The software not only replicates virtual machine backups to the cloud, but it also converts virtual machines into a format that allows the virtual machine to be run on public cloud servers. Consider for example, the case of using Cohesity DataPlatform Cloud Edition to migrate a VMware virtual machine to Microsoft Azure. The Cohesity software is able to convert the VMware virtual machine’s virtual hard disk from VMDK format into the VHD format used by Azure virtual machines. Of course this is only one example of Cohesity’s ability to perform virtual machine migrations.

As previously noted, Cohesity DataPlatform Cloud Edition is essentially a Cohesity cluster running in the public cloud. This means that those who are used to working with Cohesity’s on premises DataPlatform solution should be able to use Cohesity DataPlatform Cloud Edition with little to no learning curve, because the user interfaces are nearly identical to one another. It also means that most of Cohesity’s native capabilities are now available in the cloud. For example, organizations can create cloud-based clones from virtual machine snapshots.

One more thing that makes Cohesity DataPlatform Cloud Edition unique is the fact that it will be available in the Azure Marketplace, and customers are able to choose from a variety of node sizes. Similarly, Cohesity DataPlatform Cloud Edition will also be available through Amazon’s AWS Marketplace.

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