Briefing Note

George Crump, Senior Analyst

Actifio is not a client of Storage Switzerland

In today’s data center there are a multitude of data protection solutions running, often each protecting the same data. There are the enterprise backup applications, application specific backup applications, often there is an environment specific backup application (VMware backup), storage specific protection (snapshots), multiple replication processes (storage and application) and then multiple application continuity methods like clustering at the OS or within the application. All of these individual tasks leads to extra complexity and extra cost.

Actifio’s Data Management Virtualization taps into data at its core by using a virtual data pipeline to eliminate the need for all of these redundant processes and copies of data. The data pipeline feeds a virtual storage pool that contains multiple snapshots of data, deduplicated backup copies of data and optionally a full copy of primary data. Since the snapshots and deduplicated backup copies are off the primary storage they can be kept as long as needed and they can be stored on far less expensive storage types. From a DR perspective all or part of the virtual pool can then be replicated to a remote virtual storage pool. Finally the data on the virtual pool is stored in its native form allowing recoveries without data movement. Simply point a new server at either the primary site or the DR site at the virtual pool and resume operations. Recoveries from single file restores to entire applications are measured in seconds.

Storage Switzerland’s Take

Actifio, while taking a different approach to protecting storage may be taking the approach the industry should have been using all along; tap into the data at its source and offload the data protection processes from the applications, OS’s and storage. The solution addresses our concerns about snapshots which require that the primary array stay in operation, impact the performance of the array and using up 20% or more of expensive primary storage disk capacity with what is essentially backup data. Moving this data to a secondary device and performing the data protection, disaster recovery and business continuity task simplifies the data management process and significantly reduces the costs associated with data protection.