(belated!) vExpert Cohesity briefing: VMworld 2018

Did I ever mention that I'm proud to be a vExpert*? I really am. Other than getting to plonk a sticker on the front of my laptop (which reminds me: I need to order some new stickers as I forgot to snag one at VMworld!)...

...is that we also get to attend exclusive briefings from vendors to find out about what cool stuff they're working to bring to market. One such opportunity presented itself at VMworld EU in Barcelona at the beginning of November, and I jumped at the chance to catch up with what the folks at Cohesity have been up to.

The briefing was organised by the ever wonderful Patrick Redknap who is part of the team that organises the vRockstar party which is the place to kick off your VMworld Europe experience. A huge thanks to them for both this briefing and the annual shindig.

Running the show from the Cohesity side was the inimitable Rawlinson Rivera, aka "Where In The World Is Rolo Sandiego", ex of VMware and definitely nothing to do with Captain VSAN.

Now: I've read a bit about Cohesity in the past, and I knew that they were doing something around secondary storage - playing in similar areas to another of my other favourite vendors in Rubrik. I knew they were doing stuff around backup (which is probably the first thing that people think of when you talk about secondary storage, right?), but they're doing So. Much. More.

Let me elaborate:

As businesses are looking to place more of their workloads in the cloud the degree of complexity as to how they manage their data increases. How do you make that data available in AWS, Azure and GCP all at once, and how do you keep it in sync when it's out there?

How do you manage that data from a compliance perspective? How do you know where every copy of your data resides?

How do you manage the cost of storing multiple copies of the same data in multiple silos?

Cohesity refers to this problem as Mass Data Fragmentation, and they've built a platform to help. They call this the Cohesity DataPlatform, and it's a single platform that works across all of your secondary storage both on-premises and in the clouds. A single pane of glass, if you will (you have no idea how painful I find that to type). Perhaps a judiciously stolen slide from Rolo's deck would help?

Or maybe 2?

Cohesity DataPlatform is managed through the Cohesity Helios interface: a lovely, HTML5 interface to show your platform health etc, but this is also how you access their APIs. Anything that can be done in the GUI can be handled via the APIs, and Helios is your single point of interaction regardless of how you connect. Have a butchers at Helios below.

Longer term, this is all about making the most of the data that you have, taking care of compliance issues by using Machine Learning/pattern matching to detect things like PCI data, passwords and the like and providing you with a way to replicate and archive your data wherever you need to. I quite like the rather bold claim of "ubiquitous access to secondary data and apps", and I'll leave you with a final slide from the briefing, which I think ties the whole story together nicely.

So it's not just backup!

Cohesity provided the briefing in exchange for a few snacks, some bubbly afterwards and an early entry ticket to the vRockstar party for me. I was not required to write anything, but I'm a polite chap and I love to share what I've learned with folks. Terms and conditions apply. Errors and omissions excluded. Do not give Rolo the keys to your new car.

*If you're interested in learning more about the vExpert program please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or in fact any of the #vExpert community. We're a friendly bunch, and if you think that you might have what it takes to join their ranks then applications open up Soon (tm) at https://vexpert.vmware.com