Cohesity – There’s more to this than just “Secondary Storage”

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 8.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

For each of the presentations I attended at SFD8, there are a few things I want to include in the post. Firstly, you can see video footage of the Cohesity presentation here. You can also download my raw notes from the presentation here. Finally, here’s a link to the Cohesity website that covers some of what they presented.



Cohesity gave us Mai Tais before the presentation kicked off. This may or may not have been a great idea.



So what’s All This About Secondary Storage?

I previously posted an article about Cohesity’s General Availability here. But what I found really interesting is Cohesity’s interpretation of what secondary storage is and how the built-in analytics engine can be leveraged to make even better use of all that data you’ve just got lying around.

Cohesity talk about primary storage as the tip of the iceberg, with “secondary storage” being comprised of:

  • File shares
  • Archiving
  • DevOps (this is Test / Dev more than DevOps)
  • Backups
  • Analytics
  • Cloud

The problem, as Cohesity see it, is that all this data is “fragmented, inefficient and dark data”. Cohesity’s aim has been to build an “infinitely” scalable storage platform and consolidate this secondary storage into one platform. What really struck me about Cohesity’s presentation was the focus on running analytics across all of this “secondary storage”. It’s really not an approach I’d considered previously.


As part of OASIS, Cohesity provides an Analytics WorkBench (AWB) with the following features:

  • Deep analysis using native tools;
  • A MapReduce Engine that is distributed and runs natively; and
  • Customisable (you can inject custom code, run specific jobs and search specific file types).

You can use custom apps with the AWB, and there’s a few Cohesity-delivered pre-configured apps available as well, including distributed GREP. You can read more about it here. They have a lot of plans for the future, including extensive third-party integration.


Closing Thoughts and Further Reading

If you’ve watched the Cohesity presentation, you’ll have noticed a few things. Firstly, some of the delegates were a bit annoyed that the message was a little muddled. They may have gotten a bit shirtier than they should have, but I think a fair bit of the criticism was valid. Secondly, you’ll have noticed that a few of the presenters weren’t your standard-issue tech marketing types. Instead, they were some of the developers that have been working on the product for some time now. The cool thing about this is you see at times that their vision for the product perhaps doesn’t always easily align with what we, the delegates, are seeing out in the field. But that’s okay, because this is their first crack at it, and it’s only going to improve, in terms of both messaging and customer feedback.

I’m excited by what Cohesity has managed to achieve thus far, and look forward to seeing the platform develop, particularly the analytics capability. Sure, the message and marketing needs a little work, but I think that 12 months from now we’ll be seeing something pretty exciting in the marketplace.