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Cohesity adds file and object to hyper-converged hybrid cloud

Cohesity broadens out from hyper-converged backup and restore to offer file and object storage on its physical and virtual hyper-converged appliances and in the cloud

Hyper-converged data protection appliance maker Cohesity has added file and object storage functionality to existing backup and restore capabilities on its products.

The move adds file and object functionality from its SpanFS file system, which can be deployed via the Cohesity Data Platform on physical appliances, virtual appliances on VMware and in Amazon S3-supported public clouds.

Cohesity has been known primarily as a maker of hyper-converged backup appliances. Cohesity nodes can use its own backup software and, like all hyper-converged products, can be grown into clusters connected via its scale-out file system, SpanFS.

The newly announced file and object storage functionality transforms Cohesity from being solely focused on backup and restore to a supplier that aims at customers that want to provide storage for files across on-premise and cloud locations.

The move mirrors a couple of trends evident in the datacentre currently.

One is the rapid emergence of hyper-converged infrastructure, in which servers and storage are deployed in nodes that can be built out into scale-out clusters. Previously, Cohesity did that, but only for backup and restore workloads.

The second trend evident in Cohesity’s move is the emergence of file systems and object storage schemes that can operate across locations, between on-premise datacentres and public cloud services, such as those from Qumulo, Cloudian and Weka. These bring the possibility of hybrid cloud operations in which data portability issues are solved.

According to Thomas Boele, senior director of systems engineering at Cohesity, the aim is to compete with scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) suppliers such as Dell EMC’s Isilon and object storage such as Scality.

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Key use cases targeted are large amounts of unstructured data, such as file shares for documents, PDFs, images and video. Data can be indexed on ingest to provide quicker searches, and role-based access, including via Microsoft Active Directory, is possible.

“We’re focused on data below the tip of the iceberg. In the past, our primary focus was on backup and restore, but customers like our functionality and we’re seeing a big rise in use cases that involve files and objects,” said Boele.

“It is tier one for file and object within certain parameters. We’re not going against the established performance storage of NetApp filers, for example, but against things like Isilon and Scality,” he added.

Currently, cloud access is to Amazon and S3-compatible Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform offerings.

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