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Data Recovery in a Flash: Pure and Cohesity Join Forces

The FlashRecover all-flash data protection appliance provides super-fast data recovery by combining Pure's FlashBlade with Cohesity's DataProtect flash-optimized backup and recovery software.

Two big names in data management have teamed together to develop an all-flash appliance designed to rapidly recover important data on demand.

Called FlashRecover, the appliance combines Pure Storage's FlashBlade platform with Cohesity's DataProtect flash-optimized backup and recovery software. The result is an appliance that provides up to three times faster backup and restore throughput than disk-based options.

It does this by using flash-to-flash-to-cloud data protection, which allows for fast, independent scaling of processing, throughput and storage capacity. With this approach, users can store production applications and data on high-performance flash with capabilities like replication and snapshots, and use flash for backup, rapid recovery, ransomware protection and reuse of backup data, said Sanjeev Desai, a senior director at Cohesity.

"The single pane of glass approach allows users to access data from the fastest/nearest copy for recovery," he said. In addition, users can perform conversions, such as from VMDKs to AMIs, to more efficiently use backups.

FlashRecover disaggregates compute and storage, which improves scalability.

"The longer the retention or the larger the change rate, the more storage is required to store the backup data," explained Biswajit Mishra, senior product marketing manager at Pure Storage.

By disaggregating storage, users can scale storage independent of compute based on their needs. If additional storage is required, users can add additional blades to FlashBlade. When compute is required, users can add more compute nodes. "Independent scaling allows the efficient use of resources," Mishra added. "Imagine not having to worry about network ports every time you run out of storage for backups."

The solution also enables backup data to be reused for analytics and DevOps, allowing multiple applications to leverage data stores on the high-performance FlashBlade platform. 

"DevOps teams are turning to backups to quickly access copies of the production databases for testing purposes," Desai said. "With DevOps moving to continuous development models, fast, predictable all-flash storage is critical to support DevOps requirements."

The fact that this is the market's first all-flash data protection solution doesn't surprise Steve McDowell, senior analyst for storage and data center technologies at Moor Insights & Strategy.

Traditionally, he said, flash is simply too expensive, relative to disk, at least from an up-front cost perspective. The way Pure and Cohesity have gotten around this, he said, is by allowing organizations to use the solution specifically for data that requires fast restore. That means that 100% of backup data probably won't go on the FlashRecover device. Instead, organizations will probably use other solutions for archiving and regular backup, saving RapidRestore for workloads that require rapid restore capabilities.

"The restore piece is where flash will make a difference," McDowell said. "If I'm writing and never reading data, I don't care how slow the back end is. But if I'm writing and need to be able to restore 10,000 virtual desktops quickly because of a ransomware attack, every minute is costing me serious money."

While this is the first collaboration between Pure and Cohesity, Mishra expects that it won't be the last.

The appliance is available through Pure Storage, which also provides support.

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