Recently, I made the move to Cohesity. A lot of people have asked me, “Why?” Let me put a finer point on that: They asked me why from the standpoint of, “What got your attention?” Not, “Why the heck would you do that?”
Overwhelmingly, the conversations zeroed in on the buzz around Cohesity. In fact, when I spoke to people from Cohesity, the conversations reminded me very much of early NetApp days: passion, excitement, culture, a genuine belief in each other, and a sense they could do something great. Not once did we talk about product or protocol. Now, we did talk about the outstanding Engineering staff and the concepts they were working on, but there would be plenty of time for me to take tech deep dives.
Mainly, it was clear Cohesity had a plan to redefine the secondary storage market and then go dominate it. (Sounded familiar!) They were putting the team together to go do just that. Did I want to be a part of it?
So, you have to ask yourself, who’s already part of the team? Well, it’s no secret that there are plenty of NetApp people at Cohesity. When you look at people like Dan Warmenhoven and Rob Salmon, my first thought was, “Those guys don’t miss.” But, when you talk about Team Cohesity you really have to start the conversation with Mohit Aron. Mohit has some interesting bullet points on the ole resume.
First, Mohit lead the effort to develop the Google file system – the data platform for all things Google. (If the technology you developed becomes a verb, I’d say you’ve made an impact. Mohit is the Gideon Sundback of our day!). When you think about the gold standard for distributed data platforms, Mohit wrote that standard! What followed was a series of logical next steps. (Not that I could have figured it out but I’m fantastic when it comes to 20/20 hindsight and when you look at it, you find yourself saying, “Of course!”)
Mohit took his distributed data platform standard and thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could take this webscale design and make it something easy for anyone to consume and use?” Long story short: Mohit writes the code for the Nutanix platform and becomes the proud father of hyperconvergence.
OK. So where are we now in the history of things: Mohit invents the Google file system; creates the hyperconvergence model and people like Dan Warmenhoven, Rob Salmon, and Carl Eschenbach (full Leadership Team here) think he may be on to something with this Cohesity idea. How dense would I have to be to not listen to the next chapter in this story?!
Now, if someone mentions Cohesity and you immediately think “backup” that’s perfectly fine! We can start there! (the #1 use case for Cloud is still backup). But, here’s what struck me as I took a look at the next chapter: if you take hyperconvergence (which is as much a consumption model as it is a technology) and broaden it. Apply it to a host of issues in the secondary storage market, what type of impact should you expect?
What if you looked at secondary storage beyond just backup?
What if you considered secondary storage to include archive data, data movement to and from Clouds; between Clouds?
What if you considered challenges around data tiering, analyzing data (MapR), test/dev environments and NAS?
What if you considered all of that as part of your problem statement and then you handed that problem statement to a guy like Mohit?
What are the odds that guy comes up with the gold standard for managing secondary data and storage?
I’d say pretty good! That’s what brought me to Cohesity. The opportunity to take the world’s best hyperconverged webscale data management platform and go dominate a secondary storage market defined by us is really appealing.
It can be done. I’ve seen it done. And, I’m looking forward to talking to customers about how this data management platform can make a substantive, positive impact on their bottom line.