Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Enterprise Storage Startup Coho Data Lands $25 Million Series B

To the list of things that are becoming “software-defined” in the data center, you can now add storage. The idea is that you can use basic commodity hardware that has been carefully programmed to create a more flexible and scalable way to handle your storage needs.

While a lot of people think flash memory is going to be the answer to all the storage problems in the data center, there are still plenty of people who think it only gets you part of the way to where you need to be. Ramana Jonnala is one of them. He’s the CEO of Coho Data, a Canada-based startup that came out of stealth last month and today announced a $25 million Series B round of funding led by Ignition Partners. Frank Artale, managing director at Ignition and a former group VP at Citrix System, will be joining Coho’s board.

Andreesseen Horowitz, which led Coho’s A round, also invested; Coho has now raised a total of $35 million. Peter Levine led that deal back when Coho was still called

The idea behind Coho is to combine flash memory with traditional disks into an appliance that’s as manageable as a cloud storage system — say, what you’d find on Amazon Web Services. The company said that using its appliances makes it easier to grow into more storage as you need it. Capacity gets used more efficiently and, as a result, you end up paying less.

“Our idea was to create a scale-out solution,” Jonnala told me in a recent conversation. “Because we use commodity components, it lets us do this at a lower dollar cost per gigabyte.” In one example it gives, Coho said that one of its storage arrays holding 190 petabytes can be deployed for about $500,000, versus $1.5 million for a typical standard storage setup. And that’s with higher rates of performance and in a smaller physical space. Something to think about.

(Awesome photo © Mekuria Getinet / )

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus