Virtualizing the Restore / Recovery Operation
Actifio Copy Data Storage (CDS) delivers the unique capability of enabling applications to directly use point-in-time copy data, without the need for a traditional “restore” operation. This is because Actifio CDS is an intelligent storage subsystem that can instantly create a “view” of the application data from any point in time, and allow applications to access it efficiently via a Fibre Channel or iSCSI interface, just as if accessing a traditional storage system.
Application data from any point-in-time copy can be accessed on any system connected to the Actifio CDS. Common use cases are to recover a VM after a software issue, to retrieve a file that was deleted accidentally, or to use a virtual copy of a production data set for test and development. There are three different methods than can be used to access the data stored on the Actifio CDS: Mount, Clone, and Restore.
The mount function is the most frequently used data access method, as it directly leverages the virtual copies of data stored on the Actifio CDS. Actifio stores a copy of the production data and the changes over time. Since the Actifio CDS already has the data and can service I/O directly, there is no need to copy the data anywhere. Virtual copies of the data can be mounted instantly on any system in the environment using efficient block-level iSCSI and Fibre Channel protocol.
By eliminating the data movement from the process, data sets of any size can be accessed instantly on any server in the environment, virtual or physical.
The clone function is used to create an independent copy of a data set for any number of reasons. The most common uses are: test/dev, audit, compliance, data warehousing, e-discovery and user acceptance testing. Virtual server or physical server data sets can be copied from any application consistent point in the system to a separate storage location anywhere in the customer environment.
The restore function will effectively revert the production data to look exactly as it did at the time of the data collection point. This is the least frequently used data access method but it is very important to have it when it’s necessary. Typical use cases for restore would be to recover an entire server or application to a valid state after a massive data corruption or storage array failure.
File Level Recovery
While all datasets can be accessed very quickly at the VM level or at the volume level, Actifio CDS provides a file level recovery feature for Windows systems. File level recovery allows the administrator to browse the data set directly from the Actifio GUI to retrieve individual files or directories from any NTFS volumes that are managed by Actifio.
Object Level Recovery
Actifio also provides object level recovery for Microsoft SharePoint™ and Exchange™ systems. Individual objects can be retrieved or restored back to production from within the application content database including emails, documents, mailboxes, contacts, etc.