Today Cohesity has reached another important milestone in our short history, and this funding announcement means many things to many people, but nothing is more important to me than what it means to our customers.
For those just catching up on the news, Cohesity has raised another $250 million in a Series D funding, bringing our total equity raised to $410 million. This is a proud moment, and we are truly grateful for the support from all of our investors, and thank SoftBank Vision Fund and Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital for joining Cisco Investments, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and, of course Sequoia Capital, who has been with us from the start.
I am going to stop there, because the nitty-gritty details of today’s funding announcement, and how we outpaced all other Series D enterprise software investments in the US over the last 18 months, can be found here.
I’d rather take a few minutes to talk about the direct, and positive, impact an additional $250 million in funding will have on our customers.
Enterprises today are busy with the challenge of transforming their data centers and cloud operations to adapt to today’s 24×7, agile business that relies on data. But accessing and managing the 80% of data that is ‘secondary’, is at best difficult. To start with, many still rely on legacy, silo’d backup and recovery products to protect that critical data. These environments are fragmented, and consist of backup software, target storage, media and master servers, and bolt-on cloud gateways — all from different vendors. Messy at best.
Enterprises want to rip out these clunky, silo’d, legacy backup environments, and replace them with a modern, web-scale data protection solution for their secondary data and workloads. But modernizing is an involved process, with the journey involving everything from researching available storage alternatives to the work of implementing a new solution.
Why go through this pain when they could still potentially hobble along as is? Because, collectively, they spend about $60 billion each year juggling these separate point solutions! And that’s just the capital expense, not taking into account the significant operational expense from slow processes and extra personnel. They want their next move to be long-term.
This is where Cohesity and our “no short-cuts” philosophy comes in. It’s based on a technique I’ve followed since my days as co-founder of Nutanix, and as a lead developer on the Google File System engineering project before that.
Our approach is to completely understand a problem before considering the solution. We ignore what has been done before – especially when the problem was a decade or more in the making, and was a result of vendors coming up with short-term solutions and unintended consequences (think legacy backup).
When we envisioned the Cohesity DataPlatform, it was because we saw a legacy backup problem (fragmented, slow, not built for cloud, and expensive) in need of a solution, and we headed it off at the pass (data protection that is integrated, instant, cloud native, and lowers TCO).
A short-cut approach would have been more of the same. We have seen some in the hyperconverged secondary storage space take the bolt-on cloud approach, for example, in attempting to round up data into the cloud. Not us. We went cloud native from the beginning with our data protection solution.
And I didn’t think that just a better backup solution was enough. It’s not just backup and recovery that’s silo’d – it’s all the other secondary data silos as well. File services, analytics, and test/dev all have their own silos. Even when it’s the same back up data that could be used! Which is why we created a true, web-scale distributed file system – SpanFS – so that all of this infrastructure can be consolidated, and operated consistently spanning the private data center and public cloud with one simple interface.
I’m proud to see the customers that are already adopting Cohesity – from Schneider Electric, to AutoNation to the US AirForce. And I’m determined that this additional funding will allow us to build on that momentum, and continue to focus on staying one step ahead of customer challenges. If it takes a little longer to get it right, so be it.