What is Cohesity and why did it pull in $250M in venture money?

Cohesity says it has the solution to storage siloing headaches, and organizations are putting big money behind it.

Cohesity, data storage
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When a company scores $250 million - as Cohehsity has - for a grand total of $410 million raised, one has to wonder what all the hoopla is about, especially given some of the spectacular flameouts we’ve seen over the years.

But Cohesity isn’t vapor; it’s shipping a product that it claims helps solve a problem that has plagued enterprises forever: data siloing.

Founded in 2013 and led by Nutanix co-founder Mohit Aron, Cohesity just racked up a $250 million investment led by SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund, which includes funding from Cisco Investments, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, and Sequoia Capital. Those are some big names, to say the least.

What Cohesity's product does

Cohesity provides a unified view and access into corporate data by converging secondary data, such as system backups and analytics, and connecting these across the public cloud, private cloud, or storage hardware into one unified view. The company said secondary data accounts for up to 80 percent of total enterprise data.

“That secondary storage is fragmented, sprawling across many markets,” said Cohesity CMO Lynn Lucas. “It’s highly inefficient. CIOs don’t know what they have, just that they have lots of copies of it.”

Storage tends to be used as an all-encompassing word, but it entails many disparate functions, such as backup and recovery, media and data servers, and their backup servers, targeted storage such as tape archives, and deliberate duplications, such as test beds for application development testing.

Lucas notes that a typical data center has five vendors just for backup. Throw in master and media servers, backup servers, and tape archive, and you have multiple silos from multiple vendors that don’t see each other, let alone the cloud because most were built well before the advent of the cloud.

“No one ever took a step back and said, ‘What’s a different way to do this?’ Why do we have to have so many copies of data, and different systems for IT teams?” said Lucas.

Cohesity system works in existing data centers

Cohesity claims it can install its distributed file system into today's existing data center environment and integrate into the existing infrastructure, so their customers don’t have to rip and replace. Customers can keep their software and when they do backups, point that software to Cohesity and all of the other systems see it. Or if they can replace all of their individual software UIs with one integrated platform.

Cohesity has been shipping production software for two years and are on the 6.0 generation.

It says the overall secondary storage market is a potential $60 billion, all of which it can reach since it covers the whole span of secondary storage. So it has the potential to reach many markets and customers.

The investment money will be used to help fund further global expansion. Cohesity says it has more than 200 enterprise customers.

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