Tumbleweeds. That’s the image one of our customers recently cited to describe how his data center has been changed and challenged by server virtualization. “Where once there were racks full of energy hungry machines, we have tumbleweeds rolling down the aisles.” Figuratively of course.
“Server virtualization was disruptive,” he said, “but disruptive in a very good way.” “And copy data virtualization, so far, has been about 80% of that in disruption. But the benefits are worth all of it, and our use of data virtualization is growing.” He has expectations of more tumbleweeds. And this is pretty typical across our user base.
Since Actifio introduced the concept of copy data virtualization in 2009, understanding and marketplace validation of the benefits have steadily grown. Gartner first included Copy Data Management (CDM) as an “innovation trigger” in their “Hype Cycle for Storage Technologies” in July of 2014. At that time there were only two vendors cited. In this year’s update, CDM has ascended to the “Peak of Inflated Expectations.” Now there are five vendors listed. While we don’t agree with the “inflated” part, we do see rising expectations and increasingly extraordinary results as customers realize the advantage and the versatility of copy data virtualization. Our competitors have seen it too. That’s why they’re trying to copy us.
Gartner’s most recent Innovation Insight: Copy Data Management Accelerates Bimodal IT is their first report to define how organizations are deploying copy data management solutions to accelerate both Mode 1 and Mode 2 IT operations, resulting in the kind of tangible and significant business benefits our customers have been seeing for years.
At the start, we found ourselves regularly explaining the idea of copy data virtualization. While server virtualization was already well accepted, data virtualization seemed like a bit of black magic. Not anymore. Around the globe, our customers have grasped our concept. They are using data virtualization to achieve huge benefits in data protection, application development, and cloud deployment. They’re controlling expenses, accelerating business and gaining competitive advantage. There is nothing “inflated” about it.
We are helping a broad range of enterprises address some common and critical challenges using data virtualization. For example:
The notion that “time is money” isn’t new. One of the most important uses for technology has always been to save time. Time in business can create a competitive edge. Data virtualization accelerates time. It incorporates a level of IT flexibility, development speed, and automated workflows that can turn days into minutes.
One customer told us that using data virtualization in support of their application development efforts was like adding an extra quarter of productivity to every fiscal year.
Financial pressures are a constant factor. Every for-profit enterprise wants increased revenue and lower expenses. While information technology has become core to business operations and offerings, IT must also be financially effective. That means helping to increase income while controlling expenses and improving productivity.
We have a customer that has transformed their business by shifting to a Software as a Service model. That places IT directly in the line of supply. But they have managed it by taking advantage of data virtualization. The result has meant significant advancements in storage, backup, BC/DR, excess copy data, as well as acceleration of application development and QA – all managed through a single platform.
Data mobility, migration, and consolidation
Enterprise data needs to be safe and mobile, without infrastructure constraints. It has been a long-standing IT challenge to safely provide simple and efficient data movement. It’s more important than ever that authorized users have access anywhere, from any device, without complexity or excessive expense.
A retail media customer has discovered data virtualization as their means to mobility. What they describe as a “remarkable” experience with Actifio Sky has delivered local and remote data access to very large data sets. In the process they’ve improved data protection while accelerating services not previously possible.
All of these customers are successfully meeting their challenges through practical uses of data virtualization. There are no “peaks of inflated expectations” here. They are building higher quality applications faster. They’re improving business resiliency. They are experiencing strategic enablement and business advantage.