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If you like ice cream, you'll appreciate this analogy. The features in the modern data management solution from Cohesity are like 31 different flavors -- most of them are good. I have my favorites, and perhaps you will too.

Before I get into them, it's worth talking about the overall Cohesity differentiator which is its converged data management platform. Fundamentally, that's what makes these features work. Cohesity DataPlatform consolidates backups, file shares, object stores and data for dev/test and analytics on its web-scale data management platform for truly simpler data management. As a result, you end up eliminating storage silos everywhere -- on-premises, in the cloud and at the edge.

How it works

Uniquely SpanFS exposes industry-standard, globally distributed NFS, SMB and S3 interfaces. The IO Engine detects random vs. sequential IO profiles, splits the data into chunks, performs deduplication and directs to the most appropriate storage tier. SpanFS also includes a Metadata Store based on a consistent, distributed NoSQL store for fast operations at scale. And finally, SnapTree® provides a distributed meta data structure based on B+ tree concepts. It supports unlimited, frequent snapshots with no performance degradation.

In a nutshell, you get unlimited scalability, automated global indexing, data resiliency, deduplication across and within nodes, multi-protocol access in a native cloud platform. That's a big deal when we're seeing data volumes increase about 40% a year. DataPlatform is commonly used for backup and recovery but it also can be leveraged as a backup target with leading backup solutions allowing you to easily deploy it within your existing backup environments and improve TCO immediately. 

So with the platform in mind, below are my five favorite things about Cohesity. Why these features? Each of the following capabilities contribute to simplifying data management and operations.

1. Instant Mass Restore

Backups have been around a long time, but fast recovery is less common and reliable. No one today is looking for backups to just be an expensive insurance policy. Instead you want your backup solution to do more for you -- first and foremost, rapid recovery.

Every backup on Cohesity is a fully hydrated snapshot because of SnapTree technology. This means that while it takes "incremental forever," each incremental is applied to the previous one to create a fully hydrated snapshot. So Cohesity can restore to any point in time, near instantly without waiting for the incrementals to be applied in sequence. The Instant Mass Restore process is done in a few simple steps after you select the backup you want to restore.

What's unique with Cohesity is the way it presents storage and controls the quality of service to the storage presented. Other solutions don't let you control quality. Cohesity also completes the full process without making you run manual scripts or do other steps. In this way, Cohesity has radically simplified the entire process end-to-end to deliver a complete solution. 

You can easily restore from any point in time at scale. Best of all, you can scale this infinitely to recover hundreds of virtual machines (VMs) from a massive outage, getting your VMs and your business running in very little time.

A large enterprise customer recently tested Cohesity's Instant Mass Restore in WWT's Advanced Technology Center (ATC), simulating a VMware vSphere outage affecting 700 VMs. Cohesity recovered all 700 VMs and each machine was up and available to the business in just under 30 minutes.

2. Data loss prevention

Another way Cohesity simplifies data management is through end-to-end protection of virtual and physical workloads, databases, applications and storage -- for traditional and modern data sources. It's similarly converged approach to data protection consolidates the functionality of separate backup software, target storage, proxy and media servers and cloud gateways into a single solution. It includes easy-to-assign policies to one or all jobs globally to automate operations and meet business SLAs.

It's clear data protection depends on timely backups, fast searches of global data sources and fast recovery. Rapid ingestion and metadata, make global actionable search across all workloads and locations from a single UI possible. Cohesity protects data loss against human errors, data and application corruption, software bugs and worse, cyberattacks. With DataProtect, you basically cut RPOs to minutes.

3. Multi-faceted security

Converged and unified Cohesity reduces enterprise attack surfaces. That's because you no longer have to run legacy point products and you get industry-leading space efficiency with true global variable length deduplication across workloads and protocols.

You also can leverage backup snapshots to automatically discover production security exposures and vulnerabilities as well as assess your overall IT risk posture -- without impacting your production environment or live data. 

Cohesity makes it simpler to achieve recovery SLAs with backup verification for predictable recovery, while reducing your risk of injecting vulnerabilities back into production. And you can achieve higher data resiliency with strict consistency, erasure coding and two node/disk fault tolerance. For ransomware, Cohesity has multi-layered support that helps you defend both your backup data and apps: 

  • Prevent – A three-pronged defense: the immutable file system, DataLock and multi-factor authentication prevent your backup data from becoming a target.
  • Detect – Machine-driven intelligence establishes patterns and automatically detects and reports anomalies.
  • Respond Fast – Simple search and instant recovery to any point in time gets you back in business fast. And as we mentioned, Cohesity's unique instant mass restore quickly recovers hundreds of virtual machines (VMs).

And of course, Cohesity protects your data with AES-256 encryption, multi-factor authentication and FIPS certification.

4. Global management with Helios

The next one is something that will saves administration time, and that's Cohesity Helios. Unlike a passive dashboard, it's a single global view for you to actively manage backups, file shares, object stores and data for dev/test and analytics in real time. 

It's here that you manage and enforce your global policies and upgrade all your clusters from a single aggregated view. It has a SmartAssist feature that lets you optimize performance and proactively detect anomalies to avoid downtime too. Maybe best of all, Helios is now available as a mobile app from the Apple App Store and Google Play, so it can go wherever you go.

Cohesity Helios dashboard

5. Marketplace apps

Three core architectural elements make Cohesity different -- the converged platform, global  management through one UI and the ability to run apps on the platform. That last part is how you conduct granular analysis, help ensure data compliance and improve security, among other things. 

The Marketplace applications are developed by Cohesity and third-party ISVs, including Splunk, Christie BMR, SentinelOne and antivirus software. The main value this provides customers is how Cohesity uniquely brings compute to data to derive business insights by running Cohesity and third party applications on the Cohesity DataPlatform. To me, this makes good business sense and provides efficiency in the overall data management approach.

WWT has worked closely with Cohesity to offer DataPlatform in our Advanced Technology Center (ATC). For further information, create an account and view the Cohesity lab playlist to discover your favorite features. You can also request a Secondary Storage and Data Protection Workshop to get started today.