Microsoft Azure Stack brings Azure Cloud to enterprise data centers, delivering cloud scale economics and speed. The benefits of Azure Stack to enterprises and managed service providers can be further expanded by incorporating enterprise grade data protection and test data management for apps and VMs in Azure Stack.

Common Challenges

An inability to perform VM level backups due to no access to hypervisor APIs

Compliance failures due to slow access times of data stored on object storage

Large RTO caused by recoveries from deduplicated backup sets

Excessive cost and time spent cloning databases for Test Dev

Actifio Sky for Azure Stack

Incremental forever backup and instant recovery for every VM in Azure Stack and Azure Cloud

Incremental forever replication to Azure Blob object storage with instant access

Replicate and recover with low RTO at remote Azure Stack, Azure Cloud or any other other public cloud

Self-service, storage optimized, instant database cloning for DevOps in Azure Stack & Azure Cloud

Solution Details

Efficient Backup

Actifio Sky is a virtual appliance that runs in Azure Stack or in a standalone Hyper-V server. The appliance automates Hyper-V virtual machine protection and database creation and runs inside of Azure in the Cloud or Azure Stack. Actifio Sky relies on on an incremental forever protection model that delivers shortened backup windows and reduces storage and network IO by up to 20x. Actifio’s incremental forever approach is dramatically different from traditional backup products which require CPU and I/O intensive full backups either on a nightly or weekly basis.

Efficient use of Azure Blob Storage

Object storage provides a scalable and economical platform that is an ideal target for retaining backups for days. weeks or even decades. Actifio Sky replicates backups to Azure blob or any S3 API compatible object storage in an incremental forever manner and stores backups in a storage-optimized native application format. Actifio technology enables users to instantly mount / recover their application data from any protected system image regardless of how old it is.

Compare this approach with traditional backup products which store data in a proprietary deduplicated format resulting in lengthy restore processes and thus relegating object storage to data that will rarely be accessed.

Instant Recovery and Low RTO Disaster Recovery

Whether users want instant recovery on a primary site or disaster recovery at a remote site, Actifio Sky delivers recoveries instantly. Users can instantly recover a multi TB database or file system from backups that are stored in traditional block storage or even Azure Blob. Compare this with traditional backup products where complex data rehydration processes results in painfully slow recoveries.  Administrators gain the flexibility to replicate and recover information with any of the following combinations. Users can also search and restore individual files and folders from backups stored anywhere, even object storage.

data protection for azure stack

RPO Flexibility

Users can configure application protection based on business priorities and can set different RPO SLAs such as 1 hr replication to 24 hr replication. Actifio Sky delivers these SLAs using incremental forever replication for highly efficient data movement.  Protected information can be automatically sent to object storage and/or another Actifio Sky at remote site.

Efficient Steady State Resource Consumption

Actifio Sky consumes minimal compute and memory resources in Azure Stack and Azure cloud. The following table illustrates resource consumption in a 5% change rate per day environment.

Since Actifio Sky can replicate data directly to object storage, there are no compute or memory resources required in the DR instance at Azure Stack or Azure Cloud until recovery is needed.


Test Data Management with Self-Service Database Cloning

Dev, QA, UAT, Analytics teams and operations need a self-service methodology to provision copies of production data for testing new code, patches, security hot fixes and service packs. Actifio Sky can mount virtual copies of protected images instantly.  These mounts are highly storage efficient and consume virtually no additional disk space; the entire mount process can be fully automated with leading DevOps tools to deliver highly scalable and comprehensive application development workflows.. This solution is available in both Azure Stack & Azure Cloud.


Actifio Sky for Azure Stack and Azure hybrid cloud delivers a compelling solution for automating data protection and application testing.  The offering provides a compelling TCO, highly efficient resource utilization and flexible RPO and RTO options.  These benefits combined with Actifio’s incremental forever functionality and user self-service options result in a solution that is highly differentiated and delivers tremendous value to Azure and Azure Stack environments.

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