Andreessen Horowitz-backed Startup Unveils Cloud-Inspired, Bottleneck-free Storage that Delivers 2x the Price/Performance of All-Flash Arrays at Public Cloud Pricing

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – October 15, 2013 — / –Coho Data today emerged from stealth mode to unveil a completely reimagined storage model called Coho DataStream that packages the value of public cloud – including pay-as-you-grow economics, rapid scaling and high resiliency – into an on-premise solution for datacenters of all sizes. With a software-defined approach, the Coho DataStream product line combines commodity hardware with software that’s tuned for the latest PCIe flash technologies to deliver twice the price/performance of all-flash arrays and give businesses the peace of mind that they’ll always have fast, reliable access to their data. With its unique architecture, Coho Data offers a level of scale and predictable high performance that is unprecedented, enabling businesses to focus on their data instead of managing storage hardware and performance issues.

Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Peter Levine explained, “As we saw with Nicira and networking, Coho Data is shaking up how storage has traditionally been delivered; instead of focusing on the storage hardware, it’s all about using software to extract the best performance from commodity hardware. I’m thrilled to work with the founding team, comprised of veteran product visionaries and architects, to usher in storage for the cloud generation.” Read more from Peter Levine on his blog:

Virtualization has enabled greater efficiency and flexibility for servers in datacenters of all sizes. But as the compute side of the datacenter has become more efficient, storage has remained unchanged for decades. While cloud computing has given companies more options for easily storing and managing data in hosted environments, these cloud generation services have opted to use new approaches leveraging commodity hardware and smart software instead of buying traditional storage products. Inspired by this cloud approach and leveraging their experience building the virtualization layer that powers Amazon’s EC2, Coho Data’s founders built the DataStream to address underlying scale and performance limitations in traditional storage architectures. The DataStream brings a fundamentally new storage building block to the datacenter that delivers the modularity and economics needed to enable businesses to rapidly scale data capacity and performance on demand to any application. Read why CTO, Andy Warfield, believes buying storage today is like buying Tupperware:

“Even as new advancements in flash memory have come on the scene, the storage industry has remained stagnant, relying on a 30-year-old architecture to deliver performance and accessibility,” said Ramana Jonnala, CEO, Coho Data. “By redesigning the storage stack itself, we have taken the best ideas from public cloud-based architectures and improved them for demanding on-premise datacenters. DataStream uses sophisticated software to take advantage of flash in such a way that it can be used for all applications, not just the top tier ones. Whether data is in the public or private cloud, it should be on a storage architecture that can meet the scalability and performance today’s cloud generation companies need, at the pricing they demand.”

Businesses Find Relief from Performance and Scale Bottlenecks
“Coho Data has the most exciting storage technology I’ve seen in years. We’re able to run our application development tests in half the time and scale as we need more capacity without worrying about performance bottlenecks. We couldn’t make the business case for an all-flash array, but the DataStream’s hybrid approach using commodity hardware means we can now use flash cost-effectively,” said Grant Cermak, Development Manager at a global medical imaging software company with more than 5K customers.

Coho Data starts with a cloud-inspired storage model that combines scale-out software on commodity hardware to deliver pay-as-you-grow economics and investment protection: customers start with a system that meets their immediate capacity and performance needs and then grow the system as their business demands it. By embracing open commodity hardware, DataStream enables customers to take advantage of continuous improvements in hardware costs. Then, by adding breakthrough innovations including a storage stack optimized for PCIe flash and the use of software-defined networking (SDN) to embed storage intelligence in the network, the patented Coho DataStream architecture guarantees linear performance scaling with zero bottlenecks that is 18x the performance of traditional storage products.

“We deliver services to a range of internal customers and require a storage solution that can provide cloud-level scale to help us manage the 12PBs of data and 4K VMs we currently have,” said Mario Angers, Systems Manager for University of British Columbia Central IT. “We’ve looked at lots of flash solutions, but they deliver performance that doesn’t scale. Coho DataStream is the first flash-tuned architecture we’ve seen that addresses scale and performance for our large VMware environment.”

Fast, Cloud-Inspired Storage for On-Premise Datacenters
Coho Data offers a fundamentally new approach for enterprise data storage. Coho DataStream provides:

  • Unparalleled Performance: Up to 180K IOPS in every 2U Coho DataStream appliance that can be scaled linearly for 2x the price/performance of all-flash arrays means businesses never have to worry about having enough performance and don’t need to pay the high prices of proprietary flash solutions. Instead, a single DataStream system can be used for all applications, regardless of performance requirements. See ESG Lab Report validating performance scaling from 2 to 20 MicroArrays:
  • Open Scalability: Use of open, commodity hardware and standards like OpenFlow for software-defined networking delivers hardware flexibility that rides the commoditization curve and offers multi-generation hardware compatibility to protect investments.
  • Pay-as-you-Grow Economics: Starting at $2.50/GB, before deduplication and compression, businesses can start with a single Coho DataStream chassis of 40TB and grow incrementally as needed without the big upfront expenditure of traditional arrays. Compare this to the $5/GB+ of traditional arrays, $6/GB+ annually of Amazon’s Elastic Block storage with an example 2000 IOPS per 1TB volume guarantee, or $20/GB+ of all-flash storage.

The end result is brilliantly simple storage that is engineered to be delivered as a scalable, cost-effective storage service by businesses of all sizes. With 10-minute plug and play installation times, single system management, and automated performance tuning and load balancing, businesses can eliminate the time spent molding traditional storage to fit their varying applications and instead focus on more important business priorities.

“Coho Data is delivering a promising and highly innovative approach that enables enterprises to provide internal storage services in powerful, scalable and efficient ways that challenge the notion that the public cloud is the only route to economy and flexibility,” said Mark Peters, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “ESG Lab’s testing showed that Coho Data users will not only get predictable performance as they grow their environment using the product’s pay-as-you-grow model, but they will also enjoy eliminating many of the configuration and management challenges that are endemic with traditional monolithic storage.”

Coho Data will be showcasing its product at the Hands-On Lab at the Storage Networking World Conference this week in Long Beach, CA.

Product Availability
The Coho DataStream product line is currently installed in large enterprise private cloud environments and will be generally available later this year.

About Coho Data
Coho Data is delivering storage for the cloud generation. 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. Inspired by the highly scalable, commodity-hardware based approaches of public clouds, the company is developing the first flash-tuned scale-out storage architecture designed for the private cloud that delivers unparalleled performance at public cloud capacity pricing.

Founded in 2011 and funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Coho Data has offices in Vancouver, British Columbia and Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at @cohodata.

Additional Commentary
Blog Post about “Why Are You Buying Enterprise Tupperware” from CTO & Co-Founder of Coho Data, Andy Warfield:

Blog Post about “Reinventing Storage from the Inside Out” from General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Levine:

Blog Post about “Coho Data’s Xen Heritage” from Founder and CTO of Bromium and XenSource, Simon Crosby:

Grant Cermak, Development Manager, Global Medical Imaging Software Company with more than 5K customers:
“I was very surprised at how easy the product was to set up. When the Coho Data team came on-site, it was literally a couple of hours and we had it integrated with our VMware infrastructure and we were up and using it.”

Mario Angers, Systems Manager, University of British Columbia:
“What interested us in the Coho architecture was the ability to scale from both a performance and size perspective. We talked to a lot of new vendors out there in the storage business that are trying to fulfill that space. The challenge with most of them is they don’t scale from a size perspective. They’ll provide you fabulous performance but no size.”

Brent Dunington, Infrastructure Architect, University of British Columbia:
“One of the challenges at our scale of 40K VMs is the islands of storage that we’re managing. We need something that scales, that we can have a single pane of glass into view what’s growing. The Coho DataStream was able to provide us with a consistent level of IOPS that we could scale out as our demands for capacity and performance grew.”

Bob Plankers, IT Architect at Major Midwestern University and Top Virtualization and Storage Blogger (
“By using commodity hardware, modern networking techniques, intelligent software, a focus on reduction of staff time, deep automation, and a pay-as-you-go model, Coho Data is bringing many of the benefits of cloud storage into the datacenter itself, safe from the NSA and the mistakes of cloud-vendor CEOs.” Read more @

Cormac Hogan, Top Virtualization and Storage Blogger (

Duncan Epping, Top Virtualization and Storage Blogger (

Stephen Foskett, Independent IT Analyst and Chief Organizer, TechFieldDay:
“The most interesting element of the Coho scale out storage solution is the fact that it uses SDN to program network switches to distribute storage communications. I don’t even know of any other company that’s really thought of doing this but it makes perfect sense. It has the potential to finally solve the enterprise scale issue.”

See live videocast of Coho Data Founders discussing product architecture on 11/15 at

Bite for Coho Data
Marcia Miller

Source: Coho Data


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