Backup to the Cloud Object Storage – Actifio vs Others

backup to cloud object storage

It’s hard to find an enterprise who doesn’t want to use cloud object storage for their backup retentions. Why? Following are some of the reasons.

  1. CIOs are demanding IT teams to reduce data center footprint.
  2. Enterprise architects and backup architects don’t want to suffer through complex storage capacity management on-premises.  Instead, they want to consume cloud storage on-demand.
  3. The cloud vendors like IBM, AWS, Azure, GCE offer great pricing and flexibility to enterprises.
  4. Many MSPs also offer cloud object storage with hosted IBM COS, Hitachi, Cleversafe and other vendors as a backup target to their customers.

So let’s walk through some nuances of several backup, replication, and recovery methodologies and compare Actifio solution vs. other backup solutions.

More Storage(Others) vs Less storage (Actifio)

As shown in picture 1, every backup solution, including Actifio, creates a local copy in a data center and then replicates to a cloud object storage.Backup to the cloud object storage

Picture 1 Local copy and replication to the cloud

However, (refer to Picture 2) Actifio Sky is the only solution that has the option to backup VMware VMs directly to the cloud object storage without any local copy, i.e.ZERO on premises storage.

backup to the cloud object storage

Picture 2 – Actifio Sky backs up directly to the cloud with no local storage

With 11 9s of durability, redundant copies in multiple availability zones in a public cloud object storage, enterprises are very comfortable with this architecture. As an example, a very large enterprise is using Actifio Sky to protect 800+ VMware VMs in their Dallas DC to Azure blob, and 600+ VMs in Ashburn DC to AWS S3 IAS.

High Bandwidth (Others) vs Low Bandwidth (Actifio)

Now let’s look at how physical server, database, and NAS backups are replicated to the cloud object storage.

Most backup products (refer Picture 3) dedup and send backups from on-premises to cloud object storage. However, the garbage collection of dedup blocks in the cloud object storage is very complex, time-consuming and expensive with high API costs.

Backup to the cloud object storage

Picture 3 – Recurring full backups once a week or month

So invariably those solutions force a full backup at least once a month or a week to the cloud object storage. Recurring full copies even with dedup increase your bandwidth costs.

On the other hand, (refer to Picture 4) Actifio Sky replicates in an incremental forever manner to cloud object storage and creates virtual synthetic full copies.

Backup to the cloud object storage

Picture 4 – Incremental forever replication to the cloud object storage

Such an approach not only reduces bandwidth costs by up to 80% but also allows you to store backups very efficiently for days,  months, years, or decades.

Large Recovery Time Objective or RTO (Others) vs Low Recovery Time Objective (Actifio)

Now let’s explore how quickly can you access the backups in the cloud object storage. Most backup solutions, including Actifio, allow you to use their catalog, search and restore files/folders.

Picture 5 – Full data restored from object to block storage

As shown in Picture 5, they also restore data from cloud object storage to block storage and recover VMs or databases.

However, (refer to Picture 6) Actifio Sky is the only platform that allows you to instantly mount the backup image within the cloud or back to the data center and power up a VM or DB.

backup to the cloud object storage

Picture 6 – Instant mount and recovery from cloud storage

There is no data transfer with instant mount and hence reduces RTO and storage costs.

To summarize, if you are looking for a backup of on-premises VMs, physical servers, databases, and NAS filers to the public cloud object storage, Actifio offers great advantages over other backup solutions. Actifio helps you:

  1. Eliminate on-prem storage for VMware backups to the cloud
  2. Reduce bandwidth costs by up to 80% with incremental forever backups of all workloads to the cloud
  3. Deliver instant mount and recovery from cloud object storage

If you want to learn more details on how Actifio works to deliver such an efficient architecture, please register here to talk to a data protection expert and also see a live demo.


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