“Actifio came on site to show us how it worked. To demonstrate restore speed, they deleted a one terabyte database and restored it from the snap pool. It was up and running again within two minutes and serving SQL requests. The process was so fast; my reaction was ‘How did that happen?’ When they explained the technology, we knew we needed to pursue it.”

Dave Palica – Engineering Manager


Microsoft SQL Server Copy Data Management.


Backup, Recovery, Cloning & Analytics for SQL Server Databases & Applications

OVERVIEW

Actifio provides a single platform for backup, recovery, cloning and analytics for SQL Server databases which reduces RPO, RTO and TCO – on-premises and in the cloud.

Enterprises create many copies of SQL Server databases for use cases including backup, disaster recovery, test/dev, DevOps, analytics, reporting and more.

For all of these use cases, Actifio software provides a scalable, enterprise-grade Copy Data Management (CDM) solution. It manages SQL Server database backups and copies of any size or flavor (Standalone, Windows clusters, AAGs) efficiently and securely on-premises or in any public cloud.

Download: Extending the Value of Microsoft SQL through Copy Data Virtualization

Use Case

Modernize SQL Server Backup and Recovery.

“Our Microsoft administrators were blown away the first time we actually had to recover a database for a production problem. What would have taken many, many hours to recover took just minutes. And everybody was just thrilled with it.”

Joe Butwell – Senior Storage Manager, Nasdaq


 

Backing up SQL

 

Recovering SQL

Challenges

RPORP

Recurring Full Backups

Many solutions force a recurring full SQL Server VDI backup at least once a week, if not daily. This impacts the production database performance, increases backup window and Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

RTORT

Large Recovery Time

With many legacy solutions, a point-in-time SQL Server database recovery involves recovering from a SQL Server VDI backup, applying SQL Server differential backups, followed by SQL Server transaction log restores. This whole process not only takes hours but also burdens the DBA with time, effort, and stress.

DataTime

Large Database Cloning Time and Storage Costs

Actifio helps enterprises reduce total cost of ownership by automating the creation, management and deletion of SQL server copies using  a single, powerful, software platform.

Cost

Very High Costs & RTO in the cloud

In a public cloud such as AWS, Azure, GCP, and IBM, users continue to use the approach of SQL Server dump to disk and snapshot to object storage, which leads to very high storage costs. Moreover, recoveries from dumps on disk or snapshots are slow, leading to large RTO.

How Actifio Helps

Backup, Recover, and Clone, in just minutes, a complete multi-tier SQL Server application including database, application, and middleware running in VMs, physical servers or any public cloud.

ProductionNoImpact

Reduce RPO

Actifio eliminates recurring full SQL Server backups. It leverages patented Actifio Change Block Tracking to perform incremental forever backups, thus reducing RPO to minutes, while maintaining application consistency using VSS snapshot integration.

InstantMount

Reduce RTO

Recover a 50TB  SQL Server database in just minutes with Actifio’s unique instant mount and recovery technology.

LOGDocument-Log

Automated Log Management

Protect SQL Server transaction logs as frequently as every 15 minutes and recover to any point in time with automated log restores.

SLA-Lifecycle

SQL Server Mount & Migrate

After instant mount and recovery, migrate the live SQL Server database to another storage tier without any downtime – with 1-click.

Speed

High-Performance

Instantly mount and recover SQL Server databases over Fibre Channel, iSCSI, or NFS with high performance. 

Multicloud

Multi-Cloud Ready

Protect and recover SQL Server databases, VMs, and physical servers in hybrid cloud or in any public cloud such as AWS, Azure, GCP and IBM.

CloudObjectStorage

Reduce Costs using Cloud Object Storage

Store SQL Server backups in inexpensive, high speed S3-compatible cloud object storage and recover instantly with direct mount from cloud object storage.

Platform

Wide SQL Server Platform Support

Support for SQL Server standalone, Microsoft Windows clusters, and Always-On Availability Groups (AAGs) configurations.

Learn More: How Actifio Works for SQL Server Backup & Recovery

USE CASE

Accelerate Application Releases with Rapid SQL Server Database Cloning.

 

Cloning SQL Database


“We used Actifio to do destructive testing during a SQL upgrade. It greatly accelerated the conversion process, saving us time, money and aggravation. The Actifio system of virtualized data requires so much less time than our previous methods, it’s a quantum leap ahead.”

Bill Croteau – Information Services Director, Electric Insurance


Challenges

PointInTimeRestore

Many Days to Provision SQL Server Test Data

Manual processes for approvals, capturing data from production, scrubbing & subsetting – it costs days or even weeks to provision SQL Server test data to DevOps and Analytics, introducing wait cycles and delays.

Performance

Poor Performance

Some solutions can provision SQL Server virtual database clones, consuming no extra storage, over NFS. However, it delivers poor performance either because of no Fibre Channel support or custom deduplication format.

GraphLine

Very High Costs

Some tools that can provision SQL Server virtual database clones need staging servers with live Windows OS and SQL server DB running 24×7. This increases the infrastructure and DB license costs. Additionally, users still have to buy more point tools for backup, and disaster recovery. This increases the license & infrastructure costs.

How Actifio Helps

Clone your multi-TB SQL Server databases in just minutes for Dev, QA, UAT, Analytics teams. Accelerate application testing, reporting and release cycles.

Time

Reduce SQL Server Database Cloning Time

Reuse backup copies to instantly provision dozens of rapid SQL Server virtual database clones to any point-in-time for Dev/QA testing, analytics and reporting.

Savings

Reduce Storage Costs

SQL Server virtual database clones do not consume any extra storage. For example, 10 clones of a 10 TB SQL Server DB can be provisioned without consuming any extra storage.

DevOpsPerformance

High-Performance

Provision SQL Server virtual database clones over Fibre Channel for best performance. iSCSI and NFS are also supported.

RemoteSite

High Availability

Use Actifio CDX 2-Node cluster for high availability, ensuring that the SQL Server virtual DB clones are always accessible for DevOps and Analytics.

VirtualDatabaseClone

Wide SQL Server Platform Support

Supports provisioning virtual DB clones in SQL Server standalone, Microsoft Windows clusters, and AAGs configurations. Also supported in AWS, Azure, GCP, and IBM cloud.

Profit

Reduce License Costs

Use a single platform and license for backup, DR, and DB cloning for Test Data Management and manage on-premises and cloud instances from a single pane of glass.

Selfservice

Self-Service & CI/CD Integration

Dev, QA, UAT, Analytics users can provision SQL Server virtual database clones in a self-service manner. Actifio can also be integrated into existing CI/CD pipelines via REST APIs.

Security

Security

Administrators can specify role-based access controls (RBAC), encryption at rest and automate sensitive data masking using Actifio workflows.

Learn More: How Actifio Works for SQL Server Database Cloning

How to Choose SQL Database Backup, Recovery & Cloning Tools.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Every enterprise creates multiple copies of their production SQL server databases.

DBAs dump SQL server images backups to disk.

Backup Admins backup these dumps to backup storage and replicate to a remote site for vaulting or DR purposes.

For low RPO and RTO DR, DBAs set up SQL AlwaysOn replication.

Test/Dev, DevOps, Analytics, Security, UAT users need copies of production SQL databases for testing purposes.

These siloed copies lead to a copy data explosion that drives  very high infrastructure costs & operational burdens. With no automation to manage all these SQL database copies, data provisioning for testers takes many weeks, stretching application test and release cycles.

Actifio’s VDP software platform solves this Copy Data Problem with its Copy Data Management (CDM) solution.

Actifio’s pricing model is very simple and easy to understand. It’s based on the amount of source data protected. For example: If an enterprise wants to use Actifio to protect 5 SQL databases, each with 10 TB source database size, the enterprise would need Actifio license for 50 TB of source data. Enterprises can use this license anywhere in private or public cloud.

For more details, refer to this licensing page.

Actifio VDP is the patented core Virtual Data Pipeline technology that can be consumed in multiple form factors.

Actifio Sky is a VM appliance that runs Actifio VDP engine and can be provisioned in a public cloud VM or on-premises in VMware and Hyper-V VMs.

Actifio CDS/CDX is a physical appliance cluster that runs the Actifio VDP engine with High Availability and is typically used on-premises.

Yes. Actifio supports all major public cloud providers including  Azure, AWS, Google, IBM, and Oracle. It’s also in the leading public cloud marketplaces.