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Actifio Enhanced Products and Services for Copy Storage

February 8, 2013

Actifio Inc. announced product and service enhancements designed to make managing copy data – and transforming the economics of enterprise storage – easier.

The company introduced products and service packages, a ‘pay-per-use’ utility pricing option, deployment tools, and a suite of features in its 5.1 release. The enhancements are designed to invite customers and channel partners to choose Actifio’s economic value proposition, which propelled the company to 700% growth in 2012.

StorageNewsletterToday’s enterprise IT infrastructure faces a wave of data, coupled with the cost and complexity of the

software tools, hardware, and personnel required to manage it. IT executives are recognizing that the driver of this growth is the copy data – redundant copies of corporate data created by point tools to
meet the BR to protect, share, and analyze information. With a solution to address the root cause of the copy data problem – siloed data protection and availability applications – the company offers customers the ability to recover anything for a TCO up to 90% less than the traditional model.

  • Simplified Packaging & Pricing

To make it easier for channel partners and customers to embrace the model, the company announced its 100T product package. It is designed for deployment by mid-sized IT organizations, or departments of larger IT organizations. It protects both physical and virtual IT environments with data management
technology, and features Actifio Optimized Storage capable of protecting up to 100TB of production data and 1,000 VMs. The 100Ts can be combined in a scale-out architecture to support up to 2PB of
production data, with custom configuration of the appliance.

To help customers take advantage of their existing storage, the company also announced Actifio Gateway, a hardware and software tandem that doesn’t include its own storage, but instead can virtualize and manage third party storage devices. It is designed for regionally and globally distributed enterprises, including cloud and managed service providers. It’s built for a mix of physical, virtual, and heterogeneous server and storage infrastructure, and also scales to handle multi-petabyte of data.

  • Utility Pricing Model Option

Pricing model enables customers to pay as their data volumes grow, avoiding the up-front capital requirements that challenge many procurement cycles. The utility pricing for a complete storage system – hardware, software, storage, installation, and maintenance – is based on a per-TB per-year basis, with rates decreasing as volumes increase. Customers who wish to purchase the hardware and services through traditional means will still have that option.

  • Wizard Slashes Setup Time Up To 80%

The 5.1 version of Actifio’s copy data storage system also includes configuration wizards that reduce
deployment cycles by as much as 80% over its last generation models.

  • New Software Functionality

The company is also introducing version 5.1 of its software, which includes features in the areas of data
governance, business resilience, and service management. As enterprise environments put the focus on security and control of application data, the company has ramped-up its data governance features to include SLA-based data integrity validation; enhanced SLA compliance reporting; user/role-based auditing; LDAP and Active Directory integration; and disk-to tape enhancements integrated into Actifio’s SLA Lifecycle Manager for compliance-oriented, long-term retention.

The company has expanded the data access capabilities of its copy data storage platform with three new capabilities:

  • Bare Metal Restore to allow for recovery and rebuild of Windows and Linux servers, including to
    dissimilar hardware.
  • Test Failover to allow for non-disruptive DR tests as often as needed
  • FailBack and SyncBack help to resume operations after a disaster by moving uniquely changed
    application data from the DR site back to the primary site, once it’s ready to resume operations

Service providers have chosen Actifio to accelerate service introduction, deliver functionality and
customer satisfaction, and improve their business margins. Actifio 5.1 advance service management functionality by addressing operations and delivery needs with system monitoring, alert correlation and
processing, auto-updates, VPN access enhancements, and integrated reporting.

The ESG analyst firm has independently validated that Actifio 5.1 can provide almost 300% IT efficiency
savings over the competition, and a 400% better annual TCO than alternative storage solutions.

In a world that moves faster than ever, enterprises faces what we call ‘The Agility Imperative,‘” said Actifio founder and CEO Ash Ashutosh. “Actifio was designed from the start to free businesses from
the undue burden of wildly redundant copy data, free IT executives from the complex tangle of data protection and availability applications consuming more and more of their IT budgets, and free IT managers from the stress of unmet SLA’s and recovery time objectives impossible to deliver with 20th century technology. These enhancements take us further down that path, making radically simple copy data storage easier to buy, deploy, and love than ever before.

We deployed the 100T and within fifteen minutes Actifio was configured and online. An hour later it was customized to our environment, backing up, dedupand replicating to our DR facility 3000 miles away,” said Daniel Acosta, IT Director, MC Assembly“If something goes wrong, now I just go back in time and mount the snapshot directly from Actifio. To our users it looks like a server reboot, to us it’s the ultimate peace of mind.

Technology is an invaluable learning tool here at the university, which means that I need to plan for maximum uptime and availability. In the past this meant frequent data protection and business resiliency testing that required planning, application downtime and costly excess infrastructure which ultimately impacted our users,” said Rich Siedzik, senior IT director, Bryant University. “That was before Actifio where we now have the ability to run Failover Test non-disruptively as often as needed. And if there’s a
site failure, I can easily and automatically sync back our unique data.

According to analysts of Taneja, “For a long time the storage indeustry has focused heavily on primary production storage, not realizing that the cost of copy storage has been growing exponentially to the point where it costs more than primary storage. Moreover, it certainly is a pain to manage and grow.
Actifio’s microscopic focus on relieving pressure on this 
copy‘ storage (which, by the way, includes backup, restore, snapshots, replication and more) may not appear so but it is indeed a paradigm
shift. With the new release, Actifio has simplified the delivery for all customers and enhanced its appeal for service providers.

The challenges associated with large volumes of unmanaged data have historically focused on cost and
risk. But a larger challenge is that no one department has end-to-end responsibility for the data,
” said Shelia Childs, managing VP, Gartner, and Alan Dayley, research director, Gartner, in a report titled, Use These Unstructured Data Management Best Practices to Manage Based on the Time Value of Data, published November 16, 2012. The report continues: “Progressive organizations are realizing that information can give the business a competitive edge if that information is well-managed and accessible in a way that optimizes its usefulness. The business inherently realizes that it cares more about some data than other data, and should fine-tune its applications and environment to address information costs, risks and, especially, value.

Copy data is everywhere – it could start off with multiple copies of the same file, move on to multiple copies of the volume, application data, backups, test/dev, online copies for operational and DR…the list goes on,” said Ashish Nadkarni, IDC storage research director. “In fact in a recent IDC study, we found that nearly 75% of all data generated is copy data. Which means only 25% of all data generated is unique – everything else is copy data. That is a staggering number and exposes the tip of the iceberg of how serious this problem really is.

Many enterprises struggle with exponential data growth, shrinking backup windows, and static budgets- which leads to the classic conundrum of how to back up more data in less time with the same amount of money,” wrote report author Rachel Dines, Forrester Research Inc.’s senior analyst, serving infrastructure and operations in a November, 2010 report titled Market Overview: Enterprise-Class Backup And Recovery Software.

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