As we have customer conversations about data virtualization – smart data – a predictable pattern emerges. Discussions turn quickly from cost, to speed, to operational simplicity, and a desire to capture the value of cloud operating models. For enterprise leadership, the transformational benefits of cloud and virtual environments are viewed as an essential competitive lever. That has them searching to satisfy requirements for data movement – mobility, agility, migration, and consolidation. Most often they’re already underway with virtualized compute and networking. But now they’ve encountered the data challenge – exploding expense for too many data copies with no acceptable way to directly manage data access and movement. Their drive to transform has hit a serious roadblock.
Actifio presents these executives a cost effective alternative that addresses the full spectrum of data access, management, movement and copy control. As a bonus, it often means no new storage purchases are required for a period of years.
The conversations we have with application developers and users are also predictable. Their pain comes from long waits to gain data access, too many steps through a long process chain. It’s expensive and frustrating. The question we ask is: “How would you like to access data 100 times faster and serve yourself?” And the answer is always: “That’s what I want.”
Finally, for operations people it’s all about simplicity and speed. The existing process is too complicated and slow. There are too many places for mistakes or misunderstandings. They want to do away with complexity, delays and unhappy users waiting for fulfillment. Their ideal is to build a data service platform. They want fast and simple operations and a self-service menu that produces compliments and not complaints.
Even when we present all the benefits in cost, speed and radical operations simplicity, we still encounter skeptics. The “too good to be true” response is common. It sounds too obvious and, because they find it difficult to believe, the number one thing they want is proof. So, in the early days we did frequent proof-of-concept installations to remove the mystery. Skeptics become believers when they see a normally months-long project completed in a few minutes using their own data.
Data virtualization also provides a simple means to control copy data proliferation and the pockets of data scattered across an enterprise. Traditional methods had created a real mess. Too many separate applications with expensive single-purpose systems. We made that job unbelievably easy and cost effective. Customers gained confidence in using data virtualization to simplify and speed data management. Now, as comfort levels and confidence have increased, customers naturally move to broader data virtualization uses like application development.
To be embraced, fully internalized, any new technology or major program change needs to demonstrate support of core business objectives. Suppose we were to include data virtualization in measuring business success by return on data investment? Data materially ties to company revenues and profits. In this new economy, where data is the lifeblood of business, the productivity of data is critical. Virtual or physical, a data center can be measured on production from assets that simultaneously address concerns for revenue, sustainable business, and sustainable natural environments. It’s a rare opportunity for multiple related challenges to be addressed successfully and in unison with one core data strategy that incorporates mission critical computing, seamless virtualization, and the benefit of cloud options. Cascading benefits. Together they’ll accelerate business speed while consuming less energy, capital equipment, space, and operating cost.
The effect is to enhance both business and natural environments. After all, if the natural environment fails it will certainly not be good for business. But far beyond any secondary benefits, the positive impacts Actifio has on data management and cloud computing create direct business advantages precisely measurable for IT professionals. They’re no longer struggling to translate business requirements into a convoluted technology and business process – they’re building an SLA that ties to an application that’s in line with the organizational objectives. Actifio helps realize a dream of IT to align with the business, to drive data productivity and growth to both bottom and top line.