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Death, taxes, and data growth – The emergence of Copy Data Management as a technology category.

Gartner and IDC define the category in their research and Hitachi Data Systems positions its products to address the Copy Data market.

By Andrew Gilman – Sr. Dir. of Corporate and Channel Marketing – 

They say there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes.  But if you ask any IT Director, Backup Admin, or CIO they would add a third: data growth.  This was the basic premise that started what would eventually become Actifio.  In 2007, our founder and CEO, Ash Ashutosh, observed that enterprise data growth continued to explode even during economic down times.  Storage seemed to be recession-proof.  Apparently, even bad news has to be stored somewhere.

This observation became an investment thesis, which eventually became Actifio. In the midst of the worst recession and worldwide economic meltdown since the 1920’s, we set out to design a new type of storage system.  With business growth slowing down, we expected that data storage growth would slow as well.  The opposite happened.  Enterprise data growth kept growing at a faster and faster rate.  We identified the culprit as copy data and we invented a way to solve it with Actifio’s system for copy data storage.

Now, several years later, the vision that became Actifio has become more than a product and more than a company. It has become a technology category itself – Copy Data Management – and industry analysts and other technology vendors are lining up to tell its story.

Gartner Research recently defined Copy Data Management as a new technology category. They define the category as products that can “perform a host of functions, including backup, archiving, replication and creation of test data using a minimal number of copies.”*  You can get access to that report on Best Practices for Storage Administrators here on our website.

IDC recently released an Insight report outlining the scope of the Copy Data problem. ** In it they estimate that “in 2012 more than 60% of enterprise disk storage systems (DSS) capacity may have been made of copy data.” They continue to add, “in 2012, copy data made up nearly 85% of hardware purchases and 65% of storage infrastructure software revenue.” Finally, IDC estimates the total cost of the copy data problem to be “roughly $44 billion in 2013.” You can also download a copy of this report here on our website.

Finally, it is one thing for analysts to recognize a vision or to validate an approach, but it is an entirely different thing for competitive vendors to recognize your approach with the ultimate in flattery, using your market positioning as their own. This is exactly what Hitachi Data Systems has done with their recent announcement on Unified Data Protection and Instance Management. In it, HDS asserts, “organizations need a holistic view of all copies of data so the right technology can be applied at the right time.” They conclude, “Hitachi Data Instance Manager delivers significant cost savings by consolidating, reducing and better managing and tracking data copies.”

Sound familiar?

To top it off, in an article on TechTarget yesterday, an HDS executive was quoted as saying, “We’re recognizing the same problem [as Actifio]…Actifio is trying to fix the problem in other environments while we’re doing it across our portfolio. They’re looking at fixing other people’s messes, while we’re trying to keep our systems clean.”

Far from calling foul (or at least calling copies), we welcome HDS to the Copy Data problem. We think that there are tons of companies out there that need to address serious copy data problems. The more that other vendors like HDS call attention to the issue, the more opportunity we will have to start helping those companies solve their issues.

Copy Data is the disease and Actifio is the only system out there that has been purpose-built to be the cure. The more people call attention to the problem, the more organizations we can help. Death and taxes we will leave to others.


* Best Practices for Storage Administrators: Staying Relevant in an Information-Centric Data Center 13 March 2013 ID:G00248888

** IDC Insight: the Copy Data Problem: An Order of Magnitude Analysis March 2013, IDC #239875

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