#VFD3 Day 2 : Kicking it with Coho


So it’s a big day for the NFS and VMware guys here at #VFD3, they can’t stop talking about the VSAN announcement and the #VFD3 Awesomeness that was the last two and a half hours at Coho Data with some of Silicon Valley’s great Storage Philosopher Kings.

For your Hyper-V blogger, it’s time to put on a brave face, and soldier on. Coho’s gotta launch their array (“get to startup escape velocity” as someone on twitter put it) and that means focusing on NFS first. And that’s ok; my delegate friends here seem really interested and excited by this product, and when any virtualization engineer is excited for some new tech, I’m excited with them, even if I have to return home to my tired CSVs.

So what is Coho Data? Aside from having the greatest vendor schwag present ever (I kid!) and the actual best vendor schwag present so far (Chrome bike bag with the Coho logo, seriously a nice bag, thanks!), Coho is a startup with a unique storage product.

And I mean unique. Not sure I even understand it fully.

The Coho Storage architecture, borrowed from another blogger below, looks like any other storage solution, except that it’s completely and totally different. First, it involves a software-defined switch; more or less a switching model in which you let the Coho controller push your storage packets around so that your storage is closer to your hypervisor.

It’s real software-defined switching here; even Tom Hollingsworth was tweeting his approval for the messaging around these switches. For virtualization admins who touch on and worry about storage, compute, and network, it was refreshing for me to hear that Coho’s really putting some thought & interesting tech into the switch, even if I’m wary of letting go of my precious ASICs and my show fabric utilization.


On the storage side, Coho sparked my interest for two reasons: Cheap, rebranded Supermicro arrays, SATA spinnners, and -unlike anyone we’ve talked to so far at #VFD3 thus far- PCIe SSD, not SATA/SAS SSD.

Coho’s performance model isn’t RAM-enabled like Atlantis & Pure yesterday. This is not a ZFS-derived model; it’s seemingly been grown organically in response to two things: the difficulty of managing and correctly using SSD, and the flexibility of cloud storage models. Coho has thought hard on maximizing SSD performance, on “not leaving any SSD performance on the table,” as the CTO put it, and in response to cloud flexibility, Coho’s model is designed to scale like that.

Hearing my delegate colleagues talk about Coho, I’ve realized they’ve got something unique and potentially game-changing here. It’s all we could talk about on the VMBus following, and I want to congratulate Coho on the general availability of their new product, something they savvily used #VFD3 to announce today.

Ping them if : IO Blending problems send you into a cold sweat, or you hate your ASIC on your switch

Set Outlook Reminder for When : They get Hyper-V SMB 3.0 support or iSCSI or OpenStack

Send them to /dev/null if: You aren’t brave enough to challenge storage paradigms

Author: Jeff Wilson

20 yr Enterprise IT Pro | Master of Public Admin | BA in History | GSEC #42816 | Blogging on technology & trust topics at our workplaces, at our homes, and the spaces in between.

3 thoughts on “#VFD3 Day 2 : Kicking it with Coho”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: