Cohesity Catalyst 2023 – It Takes a Village
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Cohesity's Catalyst event took place this past week. The sessions, conversations and content shared were a reinforcement of the company's actions since Sanjay Poonen was brought on as CEO in August of 2022.
This article will provide some recent history and awareness as to how Cohesity has shifted their GTM, adding data security to their data management thesis. The constructs of their strategy/messaging for Catalyst were built around three primary tenets:
Starting with Security, at Cohesity's annual ReConnect event in November 2022, they introduced the "Data Security Alliance," aligning themselves with the existing leaders in the cybersecurity industry. They also announced their new DataHawk capability during ReConnect. This incorporates two OEM solutions, Qualys for threat-hunting and BigID for Sensitive Data Discovery.
In March, we saw a couple of advancements for Cohesity's security strategy. During March, we saw a soft release of the DataHawk capability as well as the announcement that IBM will be utilizing Cohesity as part of their IBM Storage Defender Solution. In April, Cohesity announced integration with Microsoft's Sentinel (SIEM) solution and support for Azure AD and MFA.
The 2023 Catalyst Conference brought us the announcement of three new vendors to the Data Security Alliance: Netskope, ServiceNow and Zscaler. To further strengthen their SaaS/BaaS Cyber Vaulting solution FortKnox, Cohesity announced improved workload coverage and flexibility with licensing for customers transitioning into a more heavily SaaS-based environment. Cohesity kept reiterating throughout the conference that cyber resilience requires an ecosystem of vendors to combat and recover from malicious attacks. This was also outlined by their improved integrations with ServiceNow SOAR, Crowdstrike and Tenable.
Cohesity's multi-cloud strategy is centered around Helios, their (SaaS) control plane that provides customers the flexibility to manage traditional data centers, private cloud, public cloud and SaaS offerings within a single UI. Along with the security announcements, this past March, Cohesity entered a partnership with OwnBackup. This extends SaaS workload coverage for Cohesity customers to include Salesforce, ServiceNow and MS Dynamics 365 support. With the Cohesity DataProtect 7.0 release in January, DataProtect added additional VMware TKG and vCD support.
Catalyst brought an announced improvement to their NetApp integration given the APIs available for SnapDiff v3 as well as support for VMC to be protected with their BaaS solution. For Federal customers, Cohesity announced they have achieved an "in process" status on the FedRAMP Marketplace.
Lastly, Cohesity's strategy surrounding AI is structured around three pillars: Responsible AI, AI Governance, and Data Access. They have named their AI framework "Cohesity Turing" and are looking to integrate with Microsoft Azure OpenAI and Google Vertex AI. The example provided during the conference was using a simple prompt to "find quid pro quo in my email backups." There is much more information provided on their AI Webpage for those that may be interested in learning more about the topic.
It's clear that Cohesity is quickly broadening its ecosystem of technology partners to drive better data security and support for multi-cloud operating models while thoughtfully looking ahead at the potential outcomes that AI could offer its customers. It's important for our clients to understand the strategies of the vendors prior to making an investment.
The sustainability of Cohesity to maintain the support and engineering efforts for these partners may drive some consolidation for their future product offerings. The extensibility of their platform is a benefit to many customers; but with that benefit comes risk in feature lag, code currency and the need to deprecate support at a faster rate to reduce technical debt. Fortunately, Cohesity recently announced 6.8.1 for long-term support, which was a long-awaited milestone for customers. It will be important to see further development and customer adoption of DataHawk over the calendar year as the market continues to shift into a data security mindset.
At WWT, our Data Protection Practice provides our opinion to our clients by focusing on their desired outcome. We take into consideration broader market trends and our intensive research of vendor capabilities with the power of the ATC to drive the most complex testing and validation for our clients.