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IBM and Cohesity Announce Data Security and Resiliency Collaboration

New IBM Storage Defender solution will manage data resiliency for mission-critical enterprise applications across entire data lifecycle.

IBM Corp. and Cohesity, Inc. announced a new collaboration to address the critical need organizations have for increased data security and resiliency in hybrid cloud environments.

Combining data protection, cyber resilience, and data management capabilities from both companies, IBM will launch its new Storage Defender solution which will include Cohesity’s data protection as an integral part of the offering. Storage Defender is being designed to leverage AI and event monitoring across multiple storage platforms through a single pane of glass to help protect organizations’ data layer from risks like ransomware, human error, and sabotage. Additionally, it will feature cyber vault and clean room features with automated recovery functions to help companies restore business-critical data in hours or minutes from what used to take days.

The most recent Cost of a Data Breach Report released by IBM Security revealed costlier and higher-impact data breaches than ever before, with the global average cost of a data breach reaching an all-time high of $4.35 million for studied organizations and increasing nearly 13% over the last two years of the report. The report also showcased hybrid cloud environments as the most prevalent (45%) infrastructure amongst organizations studied. Averaging $3.8 million in breach costs, businesses that adopted a hybrid cloud model observed lower breach costs compared to businesses with a solely public or private cloud model, which experienced $5.02 million and $4.24 million on average respectively.

Storage Defender is being architected to give clients the ability to rapidly find their most recent clean copy of data. It is IBM’s first offering to bring together multiple the company and 3rd-party solutions unifying primary, secondary replication, and backup management. Leveraging advanced storage capabilities, such as IBM Storage FlashSystem Safeguarded Copy for logical air gap, can help companies recover their most mission critical data within hours in the event of an attack. The first of such ecosystem integrations, Cohesity brings VM protection managed in the hybrid cloud. Its on-premises cluster managed with a cloud-based control plane supports a multi-vendor strategy optimized for data recovery to improve business continuity.

Storage Defender will include:

  • IBM Storage Protect (formerly IBM Spectrum Protect): comprehensive data resilience for physical file servers, virtual environments, and a wide range of applications (including SaaS-based workloads), where organizations can scale up to manage billions of objects per backup server.
  • IBM Storage FlashSystem: a cyber-resilient, all-flash and hybrid storage platform for performance and capacity-intensive workloads.
  • IBM Storage Fusion: container-native storage and data orchestration for Red Hat OpenShift for modern and next gen applications.
  • Cohesity DataProtect: comprehensive protection for both traditional and modern data sources on a multicloud platform. Cohesity DataProtect, is engineered so that clients can instantly recover at scale, across environments. Cohesity DataProtect positions clients to copy and store data in multiple locations in onsite or offsite servers, or in multiple clouds. This helps to ensure that an up to date and accurate copy of data is available in case of cyber security breach or disaster – whether naturally occurring or through human error.

“Data protection solutions like IBM Storage Defender are designed to support the deployment diversity, virtualization, containerization, and self-service that are among the requirements of the modern data center,” said Phil Goodwin, research VP, IDC. “Together, IBM and Cohesity are combining their market-leading capabilities to build a foundation to reduce data fragmentation, maximize availability, and improve business resiliency for companies’ hybrid cloud environments.”

By integrating Cohesity with Storage Defender, IBM clients gain new scale out architecture secured-by-design, as well as easy SaaS-based cyber vaulting capabilities. Storage Defender will allow companies to take advantage of their existing IBM investments while simplifying operations and reducing operating expenses.

“Protecting vs. ransomware and other forms of malware requires a layered approach to data resiliency that involves early detection, automated protection, and rapid recovery,” said Denis Kennelly, GM, IBM storage. “Fighting sophisticated threats to data is a team sport. When we looked at the overall market, we were impressed by the Cohesity platform and team’s differentiated focus on scalability, simplicity, and security. By integrating our leading software-defined technologies, I am excited to bring essential cyber resiliency capabilities to IBM clients. Cyberattacks are on the rise, but data can be protected and restored when you are prepared.”

A clients’ data is a uniquely valuable resource and can be a significant competitive advantage. But with more data, the more complex it is to manage. With rapidly increasing ransomware and other cyber threats, data is more valuable than ever. The combination of the 2 partners bring a transformational, yet simple approach to cyber resilient data security and management. This includes the ability to manage everything in one place, leveraging a zero trust approach built to help detect, protect, and rapidly recover from ransomware attacks, and using built-in, AI-powered decision-making to facilitate action.

“We have deep respect for IBM’s brand and reputation in the market. Cohesity’s technology leadership position in data security and management, combined with IBM’s impressive storage portfolio, forward-looking vision, global reach, and client intimacy will allow clients to benefit from the best of Cohesity and IBM brought together,” said Sanjay Poonen, CEO and president, Cohesity. “We’re honored and pleased to work with IBM to help organizations strengthen their cyber resilience in the face of evolving sophisticated adversaries, and look forward to building the relationship to benefit many clients across the world.”

IBM plans to make the new Storage Defender solution available in 2Q23 beginning with Storage Protect and Cohesity DataProtect. Storage Defender will be sold and supported by IBM as well as through authorized IBM Business Partners.

More Information:

  • Watch the Data Innovation Summit to learn more about IBM Storage and hear from Denis Kennelly, GM, IBM Storage and Sanjay Poonen, CEO and president, Cohesity.
  • Learn more about how IBM Storage is aligning its strategy and products to client needs here.
  • Hear Cohesity CEO and president Sanjay Poonen’s vision for why customers and partners choose Cohesity in this video.
  • Learn more about Cohesity Catalyst, the data management and security summit, May 22-24 in Las Vegas.


IBM is partnering with Cohesity and the press release has to be read in that way, IBM is written first and the press release location is New-York, NY, not San Jose, CA.

It appears that IBM recognizes a need in data security and resiliency for hybrid cloud, thus implicitly confirms its gap in the domain having to partner with an external player to address these challenges. Why and how IBM is unable to anticipate such needs and able to develop its own solutions? We see a clear necessity for IBM to have a fresh approach in this and selecting Cohesity is of course a good choice with all advanced developments and capabilities DataProtect offers. This is a very good news for Cohesity inviting to speak and penetrate each IBM protected account.

At another dimension, it reminds us what Pure Storage and Cohesity announced in 2020 with Pure Storage FlashRecover combining FlashBlade and DataProtect. In that case, the protection software came exclusively from Cohesity, with IBM, IBM Storage Protect is included.

Does that partnership mean other things for Cohesity still not public (filled a confidential S1 in December 2021), having raised $805 million with an executive dance for several years? We don’t know yet but we have difficulty to believe in an acquisition bigger than $3 billion, at least 50% of the recent valuation, if it will happen. So what are the next steps for Mohit Aron’s company?