Copy data protection provider Actifio has introduced a new cloud-based version of its data management suite called Actifio One. Positioned as a “business resiliency cloud,” it brings the functionality of its appliance delivered as a service.
Actifio helps with taming data sprawl created by copy data. Copy data is proliferation of file copies made by various enterprise systems, each operating on its own, such as backups, test and development, disaster recovery, and business continuity.
Actfio CEO Ash Ashutosh believes the cloud version of the software makes it appealing to a wider audience desiring the simplicity of consuming services on demand.
“Most of these folks don’t want to buy, train, install,” he said. “They can now access application data anywhere. It is a big mind-shift for the product.”
Actifio claims it replaces several data protection and management tools. Many mid-sized businesses have a solution in place to back up their physical machines, and another solution to protect their virtual ones. They have a solution to handle snapshots, and another for replication; a point tool for tape, because it’s inexpensive, and a point tool for disk, because it’s fast.
Actifio One is a single integrated system that the company says replaces all of these individual tools. At the center of everything are its copy data virtualization technology and Virtual Data Pipeline.
Copy data virtualization removes unnecessary copies and improves business resiliency by keeping a “golden copy” safe. Its Virtual Data Pipeline stores a single “golden copy,” captured at block level, in native format, according to the customer’s SLA.
If something goes wrong, it quickly restores the application data and fails back to production, eliminating the traditional slow restore process.
The benefits are freeing up stranded storage investment, decreasing backend complexity, and better resiliency
There is a software download with the cloud service, but then customers manage the system through a browser-based portal. It allows users to fail back to production if something happens.
“[Actifio provides] the ability to instantly create an extension of the data center,” said Ashutosh. “If something goes bump in the night, data center built somewhere else, or if you want to migrate applications all the while doing the usual backup, you can do that faster at a fraction of the cost on a pay-per-use model. This is the holy grail of what everyone is trying to do.”
Actifio raised $100 million last year at a staggering valuation of $1.1 billion. While the cloud version is targeted at smaller than typical customers, Ash said its average deal size has gone up.
“Having that infusion of cash built confidence for some of the larger users sitting on the sidelines,” he said. “They say that ‘this is a company I can build around.’ Since then, there’s been significant growth in our average order values. There’s been several multi-million-dollar deals and an average of close to a million.”
Actifio is one of many enterprise tech vendors who have been compelled to release a cloud version of their offerings. It isn’t a matter of sticking something on a cloud and calling it cloud. This shift involved thinking about things a little differently, according to Ashutosh.
“As you make the shift from product to service, the operational aspect comes into the picture. How do you deliver an outcome, a service level? There’s a lot of work on the backend to deliver a service, such as how do you provision a user? Bill a user? How is the day-to-day different? You are in an operations business much more than a technology business.”
Actifio does not expect the new service to generate significant revenue in the short run. But it does expect Actifio One to help it tell a better story to public market investors. “As we begin telling our story to institutional investors in the public market, we recognize the importance of our business being both high growth and highly predictable, and we think offerings like this will play an important part.”