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Cohesity adds cloud to its converged data protection

Cohesity, which bills itself as convergence for secondary data, is adding public cloud support to its data protection platform.

Cohesity’s  converged data protection strategy combines data storage for backup, archiving, test/dev and other non-production workloads into one scale-out platform. Today it added the ability to use Amazon, Google and Microsoft public clouds to free up on-premise capacity.

Cohesity’s cloud features are CloudArchive, CloudTier and CloudReplicate.

CloudArchive lets customers set policies to archive datasets off Cohesity for long-term retention to Google Nearline, Microsoft Azure and Amazon S3 and Glacier services for cold data.

CloudTier moves seldom-accessed blocks into the same public clouds, but not their cold data services. CloudTier moves data that must be accessed occasionally and isn’t yet ready for long-term archiving. It tiers the data after a given capacity threshold is met to insure an on-premise cluster never runs out of space.

“With CloudTier, the cloud is acting like a remote disk,” Cohesity CEO Mohit Aron said. “With CloudArchive we’re moving a full image and essentially providing an alternative to tape.”

CloudReplicate copies local storage instances to public clouds or remote private clouds. Customers can spin up new instances in the cloud to recover data to on-site appliances.

Customers set the cloud target through the Cohesity Policy Manager. For instance, a customer can set all backups associated with a policy to move to CloudArchive once a week and retain snapshots for 120 days

CloudArchive and CloudTier are available now. CloudReplicate is expected later this year. They are included in Cohesity’s base product for no cost, but customers must subscribe with the public cloud vendor they choose.

Cohesity VP of product management Patrick Rogers said the cloud integration fits with Cohesity’s strategy of converging all non-primary storage onto its platform.

“Customers say the model of having distinct backup software, backup targets and archives has to change,” he said. “We also believe they will continue to have significant on-premise infrastructure. They will use the cloud for the economic advantages and scale that it provides them, but maintain on-premise infrastructure for regulatory and competitive reasons.’

Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Scott Sinclair said using the cloud for selected data sets will give Cohesity customers flexibility in the way they use public clouds.

“Secondary storage can be considerable, running to hundreds of terabytes or petabytes,” Sinclair said. “If you move all of that off to Amazon and find out it’s more expensive than you thought, getting that back [on-premise] is difficult. Cohesity lets you move some of those copies to the cloud as a tier or move essentially snapshots to the cloud in an archival fashion. Organizations don’t always understand their workloads. They might say ‘No one ever accesses this, let’s move it to the cloud.’ Then they realize it’s being accessed by quite a few people in the company. Cohesity lets you move data to the cloud and if it doesn’t make sense, you can move it back.”

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