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Nasdaq meets the challenge of maintaining constant system uptime, immediately experiences ease-of-use benefits with extreme improvements in backup and recovery.

Nasdaq Backup Reduced from Hours to Minutes: Actifio demonstrates Exchange backup efficiency and speed.


Nasdaq is well known for their position in the financial services industry. They have close relationships with listed technology companies and employ technology extensively in their own business operations. It is imperative that all systems be up and running all the time and email is a critical component in the mix.
However, the speed of legacy approaches to email backup were no longer satisfactory. After careful evaluation, Nasdaq chose Actifio to meet their challenge, and immediately experienced ease-of-use benefits with extreme improvements in backup and recovery. “That was the turning point for us.”

Nasdaq Overview

Established in 1971 as a U.S.-based equities exchange, Nasdaq now operates around the globe as a diversified worldwide financial technology, trading and information services provider. More than 3,500 staff serve businesses and investors in 26 countries across six continents – and in every capital market. Nasdaq exemplifies all that can be achieved through a shared commitment to the pursuit of innovation, knowledge and continuous improvement. That innovation has always been a central factor advancing the company as a technology provider and as a leader in technology, trading, and intelligence for capital markets.

“Actifio fits our approach and our
technology strategy. Some more
traditional methods are still in place,
but our question is always can we
do it better? The toughest thing that
we’ve had to break through in this
whole transformation is the way we’ve
always done it. That’s the only way we
knew. Now, one of the things Actifio is
teaching us is ‘Oh, by the way, there’s a
better way to handle that data situation.’
It’s changed how we look at data


The Challenge

As a service provider, Nasdaq manages an IT infrastructure operating multiple data centers of significant size and scope. They encompass petabytes of data storage transferring “a billion bits of information every day.” “I like the analogy our CIO recently used,” said Patel, “Just blink and that’s about 10 thousand shares that have been matched or sold in the market.” Nasdaq is a global brand with a 24×7 business operation and an immense storage footprint. SLAs are tight and the storage team is always looking for technology solutions that increase their product offerings and reduce service times.

With no tolerance for downtime, Nasdaq IT operations must meet service level commitments to both internal and external customers. They also need to maintain strict regulatory adherence and internal guidelines. And they’re constantly challenged to maximize expense efficiencies and technical performance. One of their biggest challenges is the scope and volume of data ingested on a daily basis. It must all be protected, backed up and, if necessary, recovered immediately.

Because it is a mission critical application, the speed of legacy approaches to email backup were no longer satisfactory. With terabytes of Exchange data to be backed up daily, traditional solutions stretched far past allotted times. And data recovery extended to hours as well. New solutions were required. Fortunately, because of Nasdaq’s global technology scope, they get early introductions to a range of emerging and potentially useful technologies. One of those was Actifio.

“We have multiple exchange servers in diversified data centers with many terabytes of data that must be backed up on a daily basis. Traditional solutions just weren’t doing it for us. That’s what led us to look at new technologies. Fortunately, that’s what led us to Actifio.”

The Solution

Nasdaq engaged Actifio with typical introductions of the technology and platforms. After several hands-on demos, the Nasdaq team took advantage of the Actifio CDS capabilities to utilize virtual production copies of exchange data, Oracle databases and SQL server databases. Their users liked the results, and particularly saw the advantages of the incremental forever data architecture. The Nasdaq team immediately experienced the ease-of-use benefits and potential for extreme improvements in backup and recovery. “That was the turning point for us,” said Butwell “because we could see that we could recover an exchange mailbox in minutes instead of hours and hours. That’s a huge advantage and it became our new benchmark when evaluating other products.”

Assessing Results

Here’s how Joe Butwell, Senior Nasdaq Storage Manager summed up the impacts that Actifio is having at Nasdaq: “Actifio copy data virtualization is second to none. Once we were in production, my skepticism vanished. Compared to traditional backups, we’re seeing a huge reduction in the footprint of storage with backup storage reduced from petabytes to terabytes. I’ve been blown away by the reduction.”

“So, I would describe the Actifio solution in three words, elegant, friendly, and fast.”