Cohesity is a web scale, appliance-based, secondary storage platform started by Mohit Aron formerly from Nutanix and Google. Each 2U appliance is Intel x86-based and consists of four 16 core nodes (Dual 8-way). Each node contains three 8TB spinning disks, one 1.6TB PCIe MLC Flash drive, and 2x 10Gb ports.

Much like the Rubrik solution, this also runs backup software natively on the platform thus eliminating the need for costly licenses for Veeam or Commvault. The need for server hardware is also eliminated.

Also similar to Rubrik, this solution leverages policies to take backups instead of the traditional method of specifying the data set, specifying a target, setting up a schedule, and saying, “go!”. Using these policies based on your RTO/RPO, one can use the built-in cloud gateway functionality to ship the coldest (idle) data off to the cloud.

Different to most backup platforms is the ability to use the data that is backed up immediately. Data isnt locked up in a backup job anymore. Leveraging the Journaled OASIS file system, they are able to present NFS, SMB, and S3 protocols natively. Part of the file system is something called SnapTree which allows for an infinite amount of snapshots with no performance penalties  like traditional arrays create.

The solution supports variable length global deduplication (even to the cloud!), encryption, replication to AWS cloud natively (CloudReplicate), compression, and even runs MapReduce natively. One benefit of this solution is the ability to index all the data coming in. Similar to what Object Storage solutions provide, you get fully searchable data. Pretty neat stuff and a real game changer.

In the enterprise, most people have their primary storage for databases for the application. Something like Pure Storage. These enterprises have “other” data which needs a home. Cohesity (and Gartner) refer to this as dark data. Cohesity is looking to be the platform for this dark data. When I was a manager at my last gig, we had a basic flash solution for our databases and then had an entire FlexPod environment for “everything else”. We also had an entire environment for backups for compliance/contractual reasons more than anything. Those environments mandated a lot of hardware, consumed a lot of rackspace and power and cooling. Not to mention the various management interfaces I would need to “run” things. Looking back, this would have helped to solve the problem of our backup environment and eliminated the need for “Utility” filer. Any storage admin knows the deal. “We cant delete that 4 TB of data”. There are usually 4-5 instances (volumes) like that, at least. I could have ripped out about 30 RU worth of gear and replaced it with 4 – 8 using Cohesity. Strategically, I would have immediately been able to leverage the cloud for cold data instead of buying yet another appliance for that use case (think AltaVault). Beyond that, my RTO would be reduced to minutes vs hours. That’s peace of mind and a HUGE win in the efficiency column.

If you would like to know more about this solution or have any questions on the data provided, please email me or leave a comment below.


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