Cohesity Raises Massive $90M Funding Round, Intros 4th-Gen Hyper-Converged Platform

Cohesity, a developer of hyper-converged infrastructure technology targeting secondary storage, has raised a $90 million funding round from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Cisco and others.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Cohesity also unveiled the latest generation of its Cohesity DataPlatform and Cohesity DataProtect software applications, which now bring object storage and NAS data to its hyper-converged infrastructure platform.

The $90 million Series C round shows the level of support Cohesity has from investors and technology partners, said Patrick Rogers, head of marketing and products for the company.

[Related: AWS Re:Invent2016: 16 Storage Products For AWS Clouds]

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The new round, which brings total funding raised to date to $160 million, takes the company to break-even, with a little padding included, Rogers told CRN. "We're not cash-flow positive yet," he said. "But we've been selling for only five quarters."

Rogers declined to discuss how large of a stake HPE and Cisco have in Cohesity, although he did say it was at "comparable levels" with that of the company's other investors. Cohesity does have close technology relationships with the two, he said.

"Cohesity is a part of HPE's Pathfinder program which is used to co-sell third-party technologies," he said. "With Pathfinder, HPE invests in promising technologies and co-sells them. We'll have more details coming. Our partnership with Cisco started almost two quarters ago. We're working with a joint reseller in a meet-in-the-channel model."

Rogers said one doesn't often see rivals like Cisco and HPE investing in the same company, but in this case, they both saw the value of Cohesity, which lies in addressing a part of the storage market that Cisco's HyperFlex and HPE's SimpliVity do not.

"We focus on the secondary storage market, including data protection, test-dev, analytics, and object storage, which can account for up to 80 percent of a data center's data," he said. "HyperFlex and SimpliVity focus on primary workloads."

Google is also an investor via GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, Rogers said. Cohesity's technology is unique in that it acts as an on-ramp to the Google Cloud, as well as to Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web services, he said.

"This tells me Cohesity has the funding to invest in products and go-to-market activities," said Hal Jagger, vice president and general manager of corporate sales at SHI, a Somerset, NJ.-based solution provider and Cohesity channel partner. "More important, it shows that Cohesity will be viable and around in a couple of years.

"I know we can plan on how to work with them. Customers also like to see these kind of investments."

SHI, which also works with HPE and Cisco, as well as other Cohesity technology partners like Pure Storage, said Cohesity's close relationships with such vendors is important. "From a technology perspective, we're seeing the sales organizations of Cohesity and its partners working together," Jagger said.

The new version 4.0 of Cohesity's technology, like all previous new versions, is focused on expanding its capabilities around secondary storage, Cohesity's Rogers said.

The biggest addition is support for object storage, especially AWS' S3 technology, he said. "So many customers are investing in object storage and don't want to build a new user interface," he said.

Also new is the ability to provide data protection for NAS environments, starting with NetApp, Rogers said. This capability is in addition to the Cohesity platform's traditional focus on backing up primary data.

"Now we can do snapshot-based file backups of NetApp file systems," he said. "Customers don't want separate backups for NetApp, Isilon, or other vendors. If they just back up data on a NetApp system, they get a backup copy. But if they consolidate all their backups, they can put their data to better use or move it all to a cloud."

Cohesity is also adding erasure coding which increases the capacity of backups by up to 43 percent over replication while protecting against node failures, Rogers said. The 4.0 version of Cohesity's platform also supports WORM (write once, read many) backups as well as VMware tags and folders.

Cohesity 4.0's enhancements broaden the range of workloads and platforms the technology can handle, SHI's Jagger said. "This is the fourth generation in 18 months," he said. "This speaks to the innovation of the company and its ability to disrupt the market. That's how you can raise $90 million."