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Long Term Retention with Cloud Object Storage

Jason Brown and Jay Livens discuss using cloud object storage for long term retention.

Jason Brown:  Hey everyone, Jason Brown here, Director of Product Marketing at Actifio.

Jay Levins:  And Jay Levins, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Actifio.

Jason Brown:  Today I want to talk about something that’s kind of near and dear to my heart, grew up in the archive space you know back in the day; but Long Term Retention with Cloud Object Storage.  So Jay, what are some of the challenges associated with long terms retention with cloud object storage?

Jay Levins:  What traditional people do is they retain data for regulatory compliance reasons, need to be for a long time.  Now what they typically would do is just take a dedupe appliance or other form and just dump data into the cloud object storage, because it’s inexpensive.  But the challenge they run into is that it can be very difficult to get it back.  And so with regulations changing and things required around discovery, it becomes a real difficult situation, because you have all the stuff stored but you can’t really get it back.  Now other model historically has been tape, but obviously people don’t look at that so much anymore.  That’s sort of an old medium, but that was the tried-and-true model, so now they think, “Well, I’ll just take the tape model, where I hope I’m able to access it, and I will just move that to object storage and hope I’ll never have to access that either.

Jason Brown:  Right.  It is all good till the lawyers come knocking on our end and come and get you.

Jay Levins:  Exactly.

Jason Brown:  So in Actifio we have a solution that can help with this use case.  So tell me a little bit about that.

Jay Levins:  So we can write data to object storage, get the benefits, massive scalability, low cost; but more importantly the ability to deliver instant access.  So the ability to take any previous copy you have on object storage — week, month, six months, six years.  And basically instantly mount that as a volume fully read-write enabled, and have your data back just like it looked six months ago, say, in minutes.

Jason Brown:  Okay.  And I believe you also have an automation engine where you could set an SLA, right.  Where you can say I want to save this data for X number of weeks or years and it doesn’t matter, right.  But when this is all automated we can still recover from any point in time there.

Jay Levins:  You got it.  You have full SLA engines; you can choose different storage targets that you might want, maybe the one that is in the fastest native tier, maybe flash or something.  And then as time goes on you don’t need that anymore, and then you push it to object storage for that longer term retention where you know economics is more of a priority, typically, than instant access speeds.

Jason Brown:  Got you.  Okay.  So what would you say are the key benefits here then when we can provide for customers who need this long term retention in cloud object storage?

Jay Levins:  Sure.  The key benefits number one is the ability to reduce costs.  So you can very cost effectively store this long term data, and you can store it locally or in the cloud depending on what your business requires.  It also adds benefits around security because it is fully encrypted.  So again people can’t immediately access it without the right keys.  And then finally of course the benefit is the instant recovery.  So you can get data back based on the business requirements as needed instantly from an object storage target just like you would have used in a block storage target.

Jason Brown:  Okay, it makes sense.  And I’m guessing we have a customer that is using this.  So tell me about a customer that has been using Actifio for long term retention of data in the cloud.

Jay Levins:  Sure.  So we have a large industrial company that has a bunch of VMs that they were storing.  And what they were able to do is reduce their storage cost by about 70% by pushing everything to the cloud.  And then being able to spin up dynamically in the cloud as needed if they wanted to test it or if they want to do other environments around it to make sure that everything is being retained and stored effectively.

Jason Brown:  Okay, great awesome.  So that was how Actifio helps with long term retention in the cloud object storage.  Jay is going to do a white board video that you can check out later to learn more about it.  Thanks for watching.

Whiteboard Session:

Jay Levins:  Hi, it’s Jay.  In this video we are going to talk about long term data retention in the cloud using object storage.  With Actifio technology what happens is, is you put a connector inside your application and you capture your data on an incremental-forever manner in an application consisted way.  So all the copies are application consistent, and then can be stored in S3-compatible object storage.  Each time you take a copy, you can set detailed SLAs, how long you want to retain it, maybe some drives you want to keep for a couple of weeks, maybe some for a couple of months, maybe some for years.  Whatever that is you can set these SLAs and all these copies are stored in an incremental-forever, so very efficient manner inside of any S3 compatible object storage, whether that is cloud based or on-premises, it doesn’t really matter.  So this means then that is very very cost effective.  But most importantly you also want to be able to get the data back in case something happens.

Actifio provides the ability to instant mount from any previous point in time.  If you have a protected copy from say six months ago that you need for regulatory or legal or other reasons, you can simply mount that directly using Actifio back to the application server and present that database or that application, and it will look exactly like it did six months ago.  So you get the powerful economics of S3 storage, very low cost with the additional ability to deliver instant access.

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