Enterprise Data-as-a-Service Is The New Copy Data Virtualization
By Ash Ashutosh
We created the concept of “Copy Data Virtualization” back in 2009 because customers had trouble understanding what we did, and – more importantly – why it mattered to them.
Where some new ventures have the luxury of selling a red box to replace a blue one, we were asking customers to rethink their whole approach to data management. Our data virtualization technology was a revolution back then, and while its potential business impact was huge, the breadth of its capability – displacing tried and true point tools across multiple resiliency and agility use cases – flew in the face of convention. We asked customers to rethink long-held assumptions about the one-to-one relationship between units of data and units of storage.
An Idea Is Born: Copy Data
To help them, we framed the issue as we’d first encountered it, in an epiphany about the changing nature of enterprise data over time. We realized that while the entire industry was fretting over storage systems for production data (flash, scale-out, scale-up, cloud…), the bigger opportunity and data footprint in a typical enterprise was something else entirely.
We called it “copy data.”
Unlike compute and networks (which were already being virtualized and cloud-enabled,) enterprise data had a natural lifecycle that began with front-office production applications and continued through back-office use cases like analytics, testing, backup, and DR. The SLA requirements for the same data at each of those stages were different, just as they were right through LTDR and, eventually, retirement or deletion.
Despite this, no system had been designed to shepherd data through the series of SLAs that defined its lifecycle. We sat down with a blank sheet of paper, and designed one that did. When it was ready to sell, we described what it did as Copy Data Virtualization. Customers liked it, and as we began to grow, others joined us in the market, and a category was born.
Change Is The Only Constant
Today, if you ask a customer what they use Actifio for, however, they rarely say “copy data virtualization.” They talk about business agility use cases, about test data management and DevOps. They talk about addressing resiliency challenges, from backup, to DR, to business continuity. Increasingly they talk about leveraging Actifio to accelerate the path to a hybrid cloud architecture, extending their current data center out to a public or private cloud.
The truth is, Actifio is what it’s always been… enterprise-class data virtualization software that delivers business agility, resiliency, and cloud mobility. But so much has changed about the market, about the context in which Actifio is bought and deployed, it’s time to change the idea we use to introduce what we do.
As the strategic importance of agility and speed has overtaken the tactical value of reducing storage costs, our enterprise customers have become more focused on the value of Actifio as an enabler of cloud architectures, rather than just as a reducer of storage expense growth. Fast is the new big. More and more of our users leverage Actifio to deliver data as a service, to accelerate their cloud implementations; private, public or hybrid. We’ve been looking for the best way to communicate this shift for a while now, to reprioritize our story with that idea front and center.
We’ve now found it, in the idea of “Data-as-a-Service.” According to Gartner:
“Data as a service (DaaS) is a design approach or a style of information architecture geared toward transformation of raw data into meaningful data assets for agile/timely data provisioning, and the delivery of these data assets on demand via consistent, prebuilt access, with the aid of standard processing and connectivity protocols”
Gartner, ‘Hype Cycle for Information Infrastructure, 2016’
For us, the power of the Data-as-a-Service concept is that it fills the crucial gap between Software-as-a-Service, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service:
It boils down to making data available the same way software and infrastructure are in 2017… instantly, on demand, anywhere. That’s exactly what we do, and what we’ve always done.
What makes Actifio’s approach to DaaS unique is a set of platform attributes and enabling technologies we’ve developed over 8 years of virtualizing data for some of the world’s largest enterprise customers and service providers. Among enablers of the DaaS model, only Actifio is:
- Agile – Providing instant access to data, anywhere,
- Resilient – With data protection built right in, instead of bolted on,
- Independent – Meaning no vendor lock-in, on the box or in the cloud,
- Secure – Hardened for enterprise security, governance, and
- Scalable – From a single application to a global enterprise.
This particular combination of attributes is something unique, a particular form of DaaS we call “Enterprise Data-as-a-Service,” or “EDaaS.” And that’s the idea we’re going to lead with going forward.
Actifio is the world’s leading Enterprise Data-as-a-Service (EDaaS) platform. It enables thousands of users around the world deliver their data just as they deliver their applications and infrastructure… as a service available instantly, anywhere. An enterprise-class software platform powered by patented Virtual Data Pipeline™ technology, Actifio frees data from traditional infrastructure to accelerate adoption of hybrid cloud, build higher quality applications faster, and improve business resiliency and availability.
That’s how we’ll be telling the Actifio story going forward, and we hope you’ll be a part of it.
Learn more, download the Enterprise Data-as-a-Service White Paper