Cohesity unveils SmartFiles intelligent NAS solution

Cohesity says that SmartFiles’ leveraging of capabilities added to the Cohesity DataPlatform in version 6.3 provides unique benefits from any other NAS solution on the market.

Today, Cohesity is announcing their Cohesity SmartFiles intelligent software-defined NAS solution for files and objects. Designed to address the limitations of scale-out NAS, SmartFiles leverages enhancements from Cohesity’s 6.3 platform release that facilitate multi-tier data management, content search and integrated cybersecurity.

“We have announced bits and pieces of some of this in the past, although this the first time that we are publicly calling it Smart Files,” said Andre Franklin, Product Marketing Director at Cohesity.

Cohesity has provided NAS support since their 4.0 release in 2017. SmartFiles is intended to address customer challenges around legacy scale-out NAS, such as inefficient search and use of capacity, high cost, and cybersecurity that is typically bolted on.

“We feel the software-defined aspect is the big point we need to make in this launch,” Franklin stressed. “It gives a lot of flexibility, and is designed for Web scale with a fully distributed, shared-nothing file system. No one node is a bottleneck.”

Many of the enhancements here have been facilitated by Cohesity’s major 6.3 release.

“Prior to 6.3, our file services customers didn’t have integrated cybersecurity, heterogeneous multi-tiered data management, or content search to let customers look inside the files for compliance, or eDiscovery purposes,” Franklin said. “Before that, we had file and object services capabilities, but we didn’t have these services.”

The 6.3 release allows the applications built to support the NAS ecosystem, and which are available through the Cohesity MarketPlace, to be integrated within Cohesity DataPlatform.

“We allow these environments like anti-virus to run directly on the platform,” Franklin indicated. “This is important for file-specific apps where you need to search the contents of a file. This functionality within the data platform that SmartFiles provides not only eliminates external infrastructure, but because the  platform scales these applications as the storage cluster itself scales. That means that no additional management is required as the apps scale.”

Franklin said that some of the apps Cohesity supports in this way are their own, while others are from third parties.

“We want our customers and prospects to know about these integrated, file-specific apps,” he stated. “Our competitors need server infrastructure to manage the apps.”

SmartFiles also significantly ramps up the platform’s search capabilities, with search for and within files across an entire site. Customers who pay for Cohesity’s Helios SaaS-based data and app orchestration and management solution can also search multiple sites and Cohesity instances running in public clouds.

“This is ‘Google for the enterprise,” Franklin said. “We provide Google-like search across multiple geo locations to index and search the contents of files.”

The SmartFiles solution provides layers of built-in cybersecurity, includes end-to-end software encryption, multi-factor authentication, an immutable file system and data-lock,

“People have to have this kind of cybersecurity,” Franklin stated. “With SmartFiles, we just make it easy for them to do.”

Cohesity is also emphasizing SmartFiles’ ability to deliver substantially greater storage capacity than legacy solutions for the same raw storage space by leveraging advanced deduplication, compression, and small file capacity optimization.

“We have leading capacity efficiency because we are able to leverage these technologies and tier data from Tier One storage like Pure, Isilon and NetApp, and move data to the Cohesity DataPlatform, leaving stubs and links in the Tier One NAS,” Franklin noted.

When they introduced their support for NAS, Cohesity emphasized that their intent was to co-operate with the primary storage vendors, not compete with them. And while the company has significantly expanded their use cases since then, they say that is still the case.

“We can coexist with Tier One storage and add value as a tier for colder data,” Franklin said. “We provide not only the kind of tiering that customers may want and the flexibility of a software-defined environment, but we also allow a choice of hardware.”

SmartFiles is now available to all Cohesity DataPlatform customers with 6.3 or later versions without extra cost.

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