Actifio Takes Unique Storage Approach to the Cloud
September 11, 2014 Alex Woodie
Actifio is carving out a niche in the backup and data de-duplication market with its unique Copy Data Storage (CDS) approach that eliminates the need for companies to store multiple copies of data. This summer, the vendor announced that its pushing the core CDS technology into the cloud to enable disaster recovery (DR) in enterprise applications, and it’s already being adopted by a major DR service provider, Sungard Availability Services.
Companies typically have many copies of their data floating around in various silos, including production, backup, archive, data warehousing, development, test, and more. Millions are spent keeping up with this data, replicating it, de-duplicating it, compressing it, masking it, and encrypting it. As the volume of data grows at a company, so do the company’s costs associated with keeping all of the copies fully managed and up to date.
Actifio addresses this situation with its flagship Actifio CDS offering. The appliance runs the company’s patented Virtual Data Pipeline (VDP) technology, which is a distributed object file system that centralizes a customer’s data and virtualizes application access paths to it, thereby eliminating the need to physically store multiple copies of data. The technology–which has worked with IBM i data since the summer of 2013–allows a company to store a master copy of data in a compressed format (and perhaps one or two backups for safekeeping), and then “hydrate” the data when an application requests it. This approach can slash storage costs by upwards of 90 percent, the company says.
Earlier this summer, the company unveiled a new cloud-based offering called Actifio Resiliency Director. The cloud solution combines its CDS offering and a software-only version of the technology (called Actifio Sky) and is aimed at managed service providers (MSPs) building private and hybrid cloud services for application and data recovery.
According to Actifio, the new Resiliency Director offering enables “one-click” recoveries of entire applications at the DR site on the MSP’s cloud. The vendor says the software allows users to orchestrate the recovery of virtual machines (VMs). They can be recovered in a certain order, in groups, or simultaneously in parallel, thereby helping to reduce recovery times. In addition to being faster, recovering at the VM level instead of the LUN level (as used with traditional storage platforms) also provides more granular recoveries, the vendor says.
Sungard AS–which was recently spun off from its parent company and is now completely separate from SunGard Public Sector–has already stepped up to run the Resiliency Director software. Actifio says live tests on commodity (X86) servers at a Sungard AS facility demonstrated that Resiliency Director could recover hundreds of VMs in less than 20 minutes.
Sungard AS is using Actifio’s storage and cloud offerings with its new Recover2Cloud service, says Souvik Choudhury, vice president of product management for recovery services at Sungard AS. “We’re excited by the demand for these new capabilities because it helps our customers achieve many of their strategic priorities, from a single platform,” Choudhury says in a statement.
Sungard AS manages hundreds, if not thousands, of IBM i images on behalf of its IBM Power Systems customers. It supports IBM i and AIX with its Recover2Cloud offering. While Actifio’s software does support IBM i, it’s unclear if Actifio’s Resilience Director is being used with the Power platforms.
In any event, you can expect to see Actifio’s unique approach gaining steam in the marketplace. The Boston-based company has already racked up more than 400 customers, including MSPs like Sungard AS and big enterprises with big heterogeneous data centers to manage.
Editor’s Note: This article was corrected. In the sixth paragraph, the story referenced “SunGard Availability Services,” when it should have referenced “Sungard Availability Services.” The upper case “G” is only used in SunGard Public Sector, which is an entirely separate company. IT Jungle regrets the error.