Information Technology gives us a great vantage point to observe the paradox of change. On one side, is the constant movement toward new applications, new technologies, new possibilities. They push relentlessly, with increasing urgency and speed. On the other side, we see reluctance, a comfort with how things are. Resistance to change is expressed as understandable caution, conservative uncertainty. Any variance is a potential threat, an obstacle, an unknown for organizations, policies, individuals.
“It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear… It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.”
– Marilyn Ferguson, American futurist
It isn’t that change will come. It’s already here. And so we adapt, accept, embrace and take advantage in the best possible ways to exploit the new. Copy data virtualization is a leading example in IT that’s already taken firm hold. It’s why Actifio has been at the center of change in some very fundamental IT precepts. We’ve seen skepticism, excitement, resistance, tentative acceptance and stunning successes. Our clients know that the world has changed, and it’s been our mission to help them address it.
There are uncontrollable changes. Infrastructure is increasingly commoditized. Cloud is gaining – Private, Public, Hybrid Clouds are presenting “as a service” software, platforms and infrastructure. The rigid infrastructure we’ve been chained to for thirty years is melting away. What’s strategic are the applications that run our businesses. What’s strategic is data.
That isn’t hard to accept. The concept of strategic data value is not a change. The change, the opportunity, comes in how we manage the data. Particularly in large enterprises, excess redundancy, cost, complexity, inflexibility have all been built into data management. “How we have always done it” has had staggering costs in time and productivity. It’s held back innovation and competitive progress. The change in how we view and manage copy data is our opportunity for positive change – an advance beyond incrementalism to breakthrough technology driving an obvious future. We know we’re on the right track because copy data imitators have started popping up to follow us.
The fundamental concept of Actifio is simple. Virtualize data. Reduce it to a single, protected, golden copy. Then use that to service all of the traditional requirements for backup, BC/DR, Dev & Test, Analytics, etc. But do it virtually. Use any infrastructure you like because the data has been separated from underlying infrastructure – unlinked. The data is now bound to the application. It’s a simple, elegant solution that eliminates all the dedicated systems and licenses and specialized data management resources. Think of it as the optimum advanced data protection platform. Your last backup modernization ever.
The change means more than better business resiliency. It means instant self-serve data access and ease of data movement, locally, remotely, to the cloud and back. The combination of speed, savings, and simplicity create powerful business impacts that amplify value through the complete data lifecycle.
As we present the possibilities, it’s not unusual for a potential client to say “Sounds good, but can you prove it?” Yes, we can. Hundreds of times.
Examples include a global mining company that consolidated data management, saved $1.3M and accelerated data protection by 33X. For the first time, they had practical data protection and recovery at remote sites around the globe.
An enterprise SaaS organization used Actifio to replace six different technologies from backup software to WAN optimizers. Data protection speed increased 98% and recovery times improved 88%. They reduced required storage and saved nearly $3M. But their best reward was a 90% increase in time-to-market on new application development – a direct impact to their bottom line.
Of course we have many more examples and variations by industry. But there’s one common benefit that impacts everyone – the end-state technical architecture. Imagine a traditional data architecture diagram. It’s full of physical devices from multiple suppliers and connected by arrows linking specialized data protection applications and redundant systems. It’s complicated, messy, slow, expensive. It’s difficult to test and so of uncertain reliability.
Now imagine that same diagram transformed to the essential components of server, storage, primary and remote site. Add Actifio at each end. That’s it. Put a big X through all of the other stuff. Don’t need it anymore.
Some changes are well worth making.