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Q&A: Expert Reaction to New Gartner Survey on Big Data


VMblog receives a fair amount of questions from readers about Big Data.  And research and analyst firm Gartner recently launched the results of one of its own surveys around the subject.  To make sense of Big Data and see where things are going in the storage market, I spoke with Mohit Aron, CEO and founder of Cohesity.  Here's our conversation:

VMblog:  A recent survey from Gartner found that 75 percent of companies will invest or plan to invest in big data by 2017.  What impact do big data initiatives have on enterprise data storage needs?

Mohit Aron:  Big data has strongly impacted data storage needs. With exponential amounts of data growth, requirements for secondary storage, which consists of the storage used for various workloads such as data protection, DevOps, and analytics, have significantly increased.  This excessive amount of data growth has resulted in challenges with respect to the management and accessibility of the data. Cohesity recently conducted a survey in which respondents stated 80 percent of their total storage is located in secondary storage and revealed there is a widespread lack of visibility into this type of data.  As a result, enterprises are realizing they need intelligent storage solutions that provide key business insights to help drive business. This is where big data and enterprise storage go hand-in-hand. With a unified secondary storage platform that can intelligently consolidate multiple use-cases such as DevOps, analytics and data protection, businesses can effectively extract business intelligence from their data.

VMblog:  What is hyperconverged infrastructure and why is it needed now?

Aron:  A hyper-converged infrastructure is defined as a software-based system that integrates storage, networking, computing and virtualization resources into a commodity hardware box. The benefit of a converged infrastructure is that it allows us to create a unified platform with multiple capabilities that is infinitely scalable. This helps reduce the cost of managing multiple systems and simplifies data management. With the amount of data projected to grow drastically in the next couple years, enterprises need a solution that can scale easily and efficiently.

VMblog:  Tell us about the Cohesity solution and how it works.

Aron:  Cohesity's Data Platform provides a unified solution for storing, managing, and extracting value from data. By converging multiple secondary storage workloads like data protection, archiving, DevOps and analytics onto an intelligent, web-scale platform, businesses can dramatically reduce complexity, eliminate data sprawl, and draw valuable insights from their data.  Customers will also benefit from its programmability, built-in copy data virtualization, and hybrid architecture, enabling secondary storage consolidation in the data center and the cloud.

VMblog:  What kinds of challenges do companies have to overcome to be successful in their big data initiatives?

Aron:  The biggest challenge companies have to overcome to be successful with initiatives is managing multiple solutions. Right now, the storage marketplace is full of products that address single pain-points. For example, companies will buy a product from a vendor to put the data in the cloud. To analyze the data once it's there, they will buy something from another vendor. This is the same for backup, recovery, analytics etc. It's a continuous process and becomes difficult and expensive to manage. This is where a single, unified platform becomes instrumental in successful big data initiatives.

VMblog:  What are the pain points that your company is trying to address?

Aron:  We tackle four main pain points: complexity, cost, 'dark data', and data sprawl. We reduce complexity by converging multiple solutions into a single, unified platform. We've created a more efficient solution that allows enterprises to learn instantly while also seamlessly protecting and managing data. 

VMblog:  And what makes Cohesity's solution different from others in the market?

Aron:  What makes Cohesity unique is we are focused on secondary storage- an often overlooked sector of the market. We also have a strong team of engineers coming from web-scale companies such as Google, VMware,and Netflix. With our expertise, we know how to build large and unique systems to meet customer needs. We are constantly innovating and interacting with our customers to stay ahead of the market.

VMblog:  So thinking down the road a bit, what's next in secondary storage?

Aron:  With the growing amount of data, we believe there is going to be an increased need for intelligent secondary storage platforms that enable data consolidation and transform raw data into powerful business insight. Data growth has the potential to deliver significant business intelligence. The key is finding a solution that simplifies it.


Once again, thank you to Mohit Aron, CEO and founder of Cohesity, for taking time out to answer a few questions for VMblog.

Published Monday, September 28, 2015 6:41 AM by David Marshall
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