In the Cloud Episode 2 – Coho Data

In writing this blog we continue with the special “In the Cloud” Feature Series. Last month in Episode 1, we learned about the Flash Hypervisor. Today in Episode 2, we will learn about the Coho Data – “Data Hypervisor”. I had the pleasure of meeting with Tiffany To, VP of Product Mgmt & Mktg. In true start-up fashion, the VP of Marketing gave me a wonderful tour and presentation of the Coho Data solution. As I mentioned to Tiffany, I could feel the passion in her voice when she was describing the technology and giving me a demo of the product. The amount of work, pride and effort put into this product was very evident. When we were done our call, Tiffany pointed me to some great online collateral so I can learn more about the solution. Our goal with the “In the Cloud” series, is to bring awareness of these fantastic solutions to our readers. I feel we are achieving our goal :-). At the same time, it allows us at 1CloudRoad to learn about how the IT industry is being disrupted by some revolutionary products and vendors.

Coho Data History

Coho Data was founded in 2011. See the entire Coho Data Executive Team here.
Ramana Jonnala, CEO / Co-Founder, Andrew Warfield, CTO / Co-Founder, Keir Fraser Chief Architect / Co-Founder make up the team who founded Coho Data. Led by a team of XenSource/Citrix virtualization and storage industry veterans, Coho Data is enabling businesses of all sizes to build their own high performance Amazon-style storage for their data. Today the company has 50 employees. Coho Data came out of stealth in Oct 2013 and its 1.0 release is in limited availability in the US and Canada.

What does Coho Data do?

Leveraging their experience supporting Amazon while at XenSource, the founders at Coho Data are bringing the promise of cloud to on-premise private clouds. Inspired by the highly scalable, commodity-hardware plus distributed systems software based designs of these web-scale IT approaches, Coho Data is developing the first flash-tuned scale-out storage architecture designed for the private cloud that delivers unparalleled linear performance scaling at public cloud capacity pricing. This is how the DataStream 1000 Storage System was born.

Coho Data’s Vision to Scale Out Storage

coho DataStream-scaleout-1cloudroad

Coho DataStream In Layman’s Terms

4 key things to remember about Coho Data

  • Commodity hardware
  • Software Defined Storage
  • Scale out, modular and building block approach to storage
  • Software Defined Networking (SDN) is part of the solution

Coho DataStream 1000 enables enterprises to build a cloud-inspired, scale-out storage system. Built on open, modular hardware that delivers the pay-as-you-grow economics and flexibility of a public cloud model. The flash-tuned DataStream software architecture ensures bottleneck-free performance that scales linearly and adapts to any application, virtualized or physical.

Storage vendors have been advocating and selling “monolithic arrays” for a very long time. Flash has emerged as a recent improvement for storage performance. Although flash introduces significant performance benefits, this is what Coho Data calls “problematically fast”. Coho focused on a primarily flash array, but also takes into consideration that lower cost sets of storage will be part of the environment.

From the Coho Data Website:

"Enterprise flash has changed all these assumptions. A single PCIe flash device is fast enough to saturate a 10Gb NIC and consume a whole CPU at peak load, so the decades-old approach of the monolithic array with a couple centralized controllers no longer makes sense. As a result, nearly all flash and hybrid arrays on the market hit this controller bottleneck more quickly than with disk, resulting in limited capacity in the 10TB range"

Coho Data MicroArrays provide a balanced ratio of CPU, network, PCI-e Flash and Hard Drives that eliminates traditional controller bottlenecks and unlock full flash performance. The solutions also comes with dual 10GbE offers easy to manage, scale-out bandwidth. The MicroArray is a commodity server module that slots into a 2RU chassis. The chassis houses two MicroArrays which can each deliver up to 90K IOPS, or 180K IOPS per 2U DataStream Chassis, with an 80/20 read/write, 4K block size workload. A data hypervisor designed specifically for high performance flash sits on each MicroArray. This enables the underlying storage to be shared by multiple tenants over multiple protocols. This means a variety of application types can be scaled on the Coho DataStream without static storage tiers.

SDN and OpenFlow in the Coho Data Micro Array: MicroArrays are connected and aggregated using the OpenFlow-enabled DataStream10GbE switch. SDN features on the DataStream Switch enable storage system logic. The key here is that the use of SDN enables the system to maintain low latency as the storage architecture scales out to multiple MicroArrays.

Support for various Data Profiles: CohoData DataStreams support data across multiple applications or profiles. A virtualized server via VMware NFS, or a DB via standard NFS, or a perhaps media via HTTP are some examples of data which can co-exist on the multi-tenant DataStream service of a single DataStream switch.

Here are some pics to show you what the Coho DataStream MicroArray looks like.



Coho DataStream-microarray-1cloudroad

coho DataStream-processors-1cloudroad

Coho DataStream-PCIe-1cloudroad

Coho DataStream-3TB-1cloudroad

Coho DataStream-network-1cloudroad

Interesting Coho Data Links

ESG Validation Report Video

Scaling the Coho DataStream

Coho Datastream Management UI Demo

See the Coho Data UI Demo here below.

 Coho Data Customer Success Stories

Bob Plankers weighs in on Coho Data
University of British Columbia Demands 12 PB Scale

Coho Data on Social Media 

Twitter: @cohodata
Facebook: Coho Data Facebook
LinkedIn: Coho Data LinkedIn

Coho Data in the news

Some last thoughts. Coho Data is not the typical storage vendor we are used to seeing in the competitive storage market. They can definitively be classified as disruptive. The technology does in fact introduce significant benefits as we saw with the customer success stories. As we go forward, I believe we will see more innovative storage vendors using software to architect and manage storage solutions. Thanks to the Coho Team for taking the time! Best of luck to Coho Data!


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