Cohesity, in tandem with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Cisco Systems, today announced an integrated server and storage platform for remote office/branch offices (ROBOs) designed to be installed in a turnkey fashion.
Rather than requiring IT staff to be present in a ROBO, the platforms are designed to be installed by a local office manager and then centrally managed using the Helios management platform developed by Cohesity. IT organizations will have the choice of configuring those platforms with servers from either HPE or Cisco. The platforms themselves can be ordered only directly from either HPE or Cisco. HPE is also an investor in Cohesity.
Raj Dutt, director of product marketing for Cohesity, said the ROBO platforms being offered in collaboration with both companies is an extension of a capability Cohesity already has that allows its distributed file system to be deployed on virtual machines. The ROBO platforms, which replace the need to manage local instances of Windows file servers, extend that capability to a set of turnkey physical appliances that can be managed either via APIs provided by Cohesity or through the graphical user interface (GUI) the company makes available as part of Helios, said Dutt.
At the core of the ROBO platforms is a multiprotocol storage system capable of storing files locally or accessing data stored in object-based storage systems that support the S3 application programming interface (API) defined by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Cohesity claims this is the first platform to combine file and object services with backup and recovery and archival services in the cloud in a turnkey platform designed specifically for ROBO environments. That capability also enables Cohesity to store an immutable copy of data that can be recovered in the event of a ransomware attack, noted Dutt.
Dutt, citing data from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), said more than half of enterprise data will be created and processed outside the data center or a public cloud by 2022. Much of that data will be created and processed in real-time on a wide variety of edge computing platforms. The goal now is to reduce the amount of data any edge computing platform needs to access over a wide area network (WAN), he said. The Cohesity platform also employs global variable-length sliding window deduplication and compression to optimize both storage efficiency and bandwidth utilization. All data at rest and in-flight is also encrypted.
It’s unclear to what degree organizations will be modernizing the management of IT in ROBO environments. What is clear is the need to have local IT administrators or dispatch IT teams to set up systems in ROBO environments is coming to an end, as IT infrastructure deployments and ongoing management become more automated. In the event of platform failure, it would even be less expensive to simply make a second appliance available locally or use an overnight delivery service to send a replacement. Of course, that may mean fewer road trips for the IT staff. However, most IT organizations have plenty of other tasks in the data center to keep most of their IT staff fully engaged.