Cohesity adds object storage, NAS support in fourth gen secondary storage platform

Cohesity also announced its oversubscribed $90 million Series C funding round – which has a couple of interesting partner angles built in.

Patrick Rogers, Cohesity’s Head of Product Management and Marketing

Santa Clara CA-based hyper-converged secondary storage vendor Cohesity has announced Cohesity 4.0, the fourth generation of its platform for consolidation of all secondary storage workloads. The company also announced its Series C funding round.

“The funding announcement is notable because it’s our third round,” said Patrick Rogers, Cohesity’s Head of Product Management and Marketing. “We’ve been selling product for just over five quarters and have had very strong market traction. Based on that market demand, we secured a very large round of $90 million dollars.”

The round was co-led by investors GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Sequoia Capital. Other investors are Accel Ventures, ARTIS Ventures, Battery Ventures, DHVC, Foundation Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Trinity Ventures and Wing Venture Capital.

“All our existing investors are in this round, which was oversubscribed, as well,” Rogers said. “We also made room for both Cisco Investments and Hewlett Packard Enterprise as strategic investors. Both Cisco and HPE will be very valuable as partners going forward because we are software-defined. We ship with a white box Intel server, but we also ship with a Cisco UCS, and soon, with HPE ProLiant.

“This is particularly important for the channel,” Rogers added. “It gives them another option to sell with those vendors who they have already been selling.”

The HPE availability is part of the Cohesity announcement, although the exact availability details will be announced by HPE.

“We will be coming on board as part of the HPE Pathfinder program, and they will be providing more details on how they will sell our solution on their price list,” Rogers said.

Cohesity was founded by Mohit Aron, one of the co-founders of Nutanix, and Cohesity’s hyper-converged platform was designed to do for secondary storage what Nutanix did for primary storage – consolidate all storage functionality on a single platform. The new release amplifies this capability by expanding the platform’s capabilities beyond backup, to include object storage and NAS.

“We are adding the object storage capabilities because we have many customers that are now using it, and they don’t want it in another silo,” Rogers said. “They would rather put it on Cohesity. We are extending data protection coverage to NAS storage as well, so you can directly backup NetApp and EMC Isilon onto Cohesity. For NetApp in particular we are also introducing a snapshot-consistent backup.”

The expansion of use cases beyond traditional backup to NAS and object storage does, theoretically, allow Cohesity to compete in primary storage, and thus compete with primary storage vendors with whom it would prefer to partner. However, Rogers said that in practical reality, that’s not what will happen.

“Certainly while you can use NAS and object storage for primary applications, we still advertise ourselves as secondary storage,” he said. “Primary storage has more demanding SLAs. We aren’t interested in going after the business of companies like Pure Storage. We have no intention to enter that space.”

Several new features have been added with this release.

“We are adding erasure coding on the back end,” Rogers said. “Erasure coding is like RAID for clusters. It makes things more efficient, and will improve the usable capacity of a Cohesity cluster by 43 per cent.”

Cohesity now has the ability to create write-once-read-many [WORM] file systems.

“Adding WORM capability is like writing to an optical drive,” Rogers stated. “It’s especially important for compliance, where they want to know data hasn’t been modified.

Users can also now set more detailed access permissions for individual administrators and operators.

“Instead of just the standard roles, users can now define more granular roles like SQL Server admins, and they can be applied to specific data sets,” Rogers said.

The Cohesity offering comes as two components, which will be generally available within 90 days. Cohesity DataPlatform 4.0 is the infrastructure, while Cohesity DataProtect 4.0 is the backup application which runs on the Cohesity Cluster.

“Most customers buy them both at same time, although if you never intend to do Data Protection, you would just buy the Platform,” Rogers indicated.