Category Archives: Actifio

Verizon Enterprise launch cloud backup product with Actifio

cloud puzzleVerizon Enterprise Solutions has launched a new cloud backup service alongside Actifio, aimed at accelerating application development, and improving business resiliency.

The new offering, which will be available to customers using a virtualized environment, to create unified hybrid cloud environment with the aim of making data easier to manage, access and protect. The product will be available for customers in North America in June, and other regions towards the end of the year.

“The complexity of legacy infrastructure limits the ability of many enterprises to innovate around their data,” said Dan Jablonski, Director of Cloud and IT solutions, Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “We chose Actifio’s class-leading copy data virtualisation technology to power this new offering because it means we can now offer customers a simple, single solution to protect, move and store data in our cloud. Together with Actifio, we’re helping clients to be more agile so they can deliver better experiences to their own customers.”

The new offering is built on Actifio’s technology, which it claims will allow customers to move data back and forth between the customer premise and Verizon’s cloud-based infrastructure, allows self-serve instant access to data to improve speed of deployment and improve resiliency and availability by protecting data across the full range of conventional protection use cases.

“Data is the lifeblood of business, and it’s essential to have access to the data and applications you need when and where you need them,” said Ash Ashutosh, CEO of Actifio. “This next step in our relationship with Verizon will enable us to provide exactly that to more customers around the world, more easily and efficiently than ever before. We are thrilled to take this step forward with what is becoming one of our most important and valued cloud service provider partnerships.”

What the buzz is DevOps?

Pixelated DevOpsIn an industry where there seems to be a constant conveyor belt of buzzwords, you’ll struggle to find one that is currently more widely used that DevOps.

In its simplest form, DevOps is, among other things, a business practise which ensures greater collaboration between the development and operations function within the organization, the Holy Grail for most businesses! Development often considers operations too regimented, and operations tends to consider developers too wishy-washy. Finding a middle ground can be a tricky task.

But this is where DevOps fits perfectly; a cultural shift which enables collaboration between development and operations. It’s an ideology which strengthens communication, collaboration, integration and automation.

There are various nuances of the definition, but is more or less the same irrelevant of who you are talking to, but the use-case can vary. Not dramatically, but the output of DevOps can depend on the organization which you belong to, and the business case for the cultural change within the organization itself.

What is refreshing is that DevOps seems to be one of few concepts/technologies/ideologies which doesn’t seem to focus on being more cost effective. Almost every use case for DevOps focuses on proactive business benefits, as opposed to simply reducing CAPEX/OPEX.

The business applications for DevOps are potentially limitless, though here, we’ll focus on three areas; speed of delivery, improved quality and greater control/security.

First and foremost, speed. Speed is defining almost every facet of the digital business landscape, as well as consumer expectations. If you’re not working fast enough, your boss will start looking over your shoulder, and if you’re not releasing products fast enough your customers will buy elsewhere. In short, if you’re not fast, you’re not in business.

“DevOps enables IT to move applications from development and into production as quickly as possible,” said Brett Hofer, Global DevOps Practise Lead at Dynatrace.

Fast delivery design, vector illustration“DevOps can also ensure testing doesn’t occur too late in the development lifecycle, to maximise its potential value. If you don’t integrate automated testing throughout development, operations teams will have to repeat tests manually every time a configuration is made, and problems will be found too late to make vital changes,” said Hofer.

The concept of DevOps brings development and operations teams together, ensuring that the team are working in a complimentary manner. The essence of collaboration which is driven by DevOps allows teams to work towards the same objectives to ensure that product delivery is more efficient.

“If companies align toolsets so teams are able to share insights and cooperate effectively, they can ensure everyone is working toward the same goals and that everyone is measured against the same benchmarks. With a unified view of performance data across teams, DevOps gives employees a unified comprehensive outlook that translates into an overall competitive advantage,” said Hofer.

Speed to market is all well and good, but this does not necessarily guarantee you will have the most effective product. An alternative objective for DevOps is evolution and continuous evaluation.

“As a DevOps user, Salesforce has seen benefits in several areas,” said Pauline Dufour, EMEA Developer Relations team at Salesforce. “The continual iteration, testing and collaboration that DevOps involves means it is much easier to incorporate customer feedback into products and to do this more quickly.”

“This has a big impact on our customers as we really do include much of their feedback into our product design and upgrades,” said Dufour. “The DevOps approach also enables us to be more innovative and nimble – values that are core to our company. Continual collaboration and iteration means that we are able to deliver continual innovation.”

While there are other uses for the concept, Salesforce have seemingly prioritized product relevance, keeping themselves ahead of competitors. Here, DevOps enables the team to update the product offering, building in new features and answering the call of customer feedback, while minimizing downtown and disruption to customers.

Open cloud retail sign“In fact we believe that unless businesses adopt an open, integrated approach they will find themselves displaced by digital disruptors, as we’ve seen with Uber and Hailo in the taxi industry,” said Dufour. “For organisations with a less collaborative and open culture, DevOps may be harder to implement, but I believe it is definitely worth the effort – it can turn your development into a competitive advantage.”

Alongside Salesforce, the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) have also utilised this methodology of continuous development to develop its new product offering Digital Content Store. The offering is being trialled currently by five universities, and will enable CLA’s customers to more effectively manage extracts which are under licence, as well as making the content more widely available for the students.

“I’d define DevOps as a culture which enables IT (as a whole, not just Development and Ops) to be more productive and efficient,” said Adam Sewell, IT Director at the CLA. “Which in turn means they can be more reactive to changes in the market, more responsive in terms of delivering solutions to customer (e.g. by taking feedback from customers actually using new products early on in the product lifecycle and being able to develop and release new features faster and with confidence) and ultimately, be more innovative as a business.”

As with every other aspect of the community, security is another consideration here. While most people would now consider themselves cloud experts, let’s not forget that it is just entering the mass market. Most buyers are continually concerned with security, robustness and reliability. DevOps presents a very simple solution.

“In product development data has to be both accessible and secure,” said Ash Ashutosh, CEO at Actifio. “It’s a tricky balancing act, made all the more difficult by excess physical copy growth. More data copies will just increase the ‘attack surface’. So the idea is to create fewer physical copies, decrease the number of security targets, mask sensitive data, create an audit trail and reduce overall risk.

“The control of sensitive data starts with the reducing excess physical copies. What’s essential is that the system incorporates all key technical standards and multiple levels of data security that will address physical, virtual and hybrid environments. It’s fast, simple to understand and operate. It supports and helps to reinforce broader enterprise security strategies.”

Although the question of cost will always arise, as we can see from the examples above, early adopters of cloud technologies and derived methodologies (including DevOps), can create new business opportunities, launching brands into new markets and attracting new customers. Cloud, DevOps and all the other buzzwords in this space are more than just a means of reducing cost.

Actifio claims Global Manager will slash costs of managing hybrid cloud data

cloud storm rainVirtualisation company Actifio claims its new Global Manager can create the same savings for hybrid cloud managers that its earlier systems achieved in product data management.

Actifio’s virtualisation technology inventions aim to cut costs by preventing the endless, expensive replication of massive data sets by each different DevOps team across an enterprise. The new Actifio Global Manager (AGM) offers enterprises and service providers a way to manage data more efficiently across the full lifecycle of applications in hybrid cloud environments.

Actifio claims it can scale thousands of application instances associated with petabytes of data deployed across private data centres, hybrid and public clouds. After an early access programme with 100 beta testers, Actifio has launched AGM on general release, targeting web-scale environments.

Users are evolving to multi-site, multi-appliance environments and use public cloud infrastructure like Amazon AWS as part of their data centre. At the same time data migration, load balancing and migration become increasingly fraught and expensive, according to David Chang, Actifio’s Senior VP of Solutions Development.

The new AGM system will allow companies to save on storage by obviating the need for petabytes of duplicated data, improving on service levels, cutting capital and operational expenses through software defined storage, load balancing, simplifying capacity management, deepening the integration of systems and giving managers a better view of their virtualised estate, according to Actifio.

By helping clients to ‘scale up from one to multiple instances’, Actifio said, its AGM system will manage thousands of applications, petabytes of data, independent of hardware infrastructure or physical location. This, it claims, makes for a painless application data lifecycle across private, public or hybrid cloud infrastructures.

After validation testing of Actifio Global Manager and its RESTful API this year, beta tester Net3 Technologies, a cloud service provider, is building it into its automation platform. “Now we can scale and manage the data infrastructure of clients more easily,” said Jeremy Wolfram, Director of Development at Net3 Technologies.

“Actifio Global Manager unshackles the infrastructure dependency and makes it faster and easier for our largest customers and service provider partners to access and manage their data at global web-scale,” said Actifio founder Ash Ashutosh.

Actifio Announces PAS 5.0, Radically Simple Copy Data Management

Actifio today launched PAS 5.0, a major platform upgrade that extends the company’s signature capability – the ability to recover any application instantly for up to 90 percent less total cost of ownership (TCO) – to large scale enterprises and cloud service providers. This new version of its Protection and Availability Storage (PAS) platform – a proven virtualized storage solution with more than 100 users worldwide – addresses more deployment scenarios by delivering new cloud-based services including multi-tenancy, networking optimization and reporting capabilities. It also offers improved workflow to accelerate application development lifecycles, now including Oracle, with efficient self-service database cloning to lower test/development storage costs across large enterprises.

PAS has disrupted the enterprise storage industry by transforming its underlying economics with a purpose-built system optimized for the real driver of today’s data storage explosion: copy data. By focusing on smarter and more efficient copy data management – where it is not unusual for a business to maintain 13-120 redundant copies of production data – Actifio provides faster recovery and more reliable data protection for up to 90 percent less cost than traditional backup and recovery point tools.

“The copy data explosion is creating significant problems for the enterprise and the reason is that a whole slew of traditional, expensive and siloed data backup and recovery applications can’t instantly find, manage and protect ever-increasing data assets,” Ash Ashutosh, founder and CEO of Actifio. “With PAS 5.0, enterprises can create and maintain a single copy of everything in their production environment, eliminating the need for multiple redundant copies. It also recovers data within seconds, which is more important than ever in mission-critical environments.”

Through Actifio’s radical simplification of the copy data management problem, organizations are freed to reinvest dollars often counted in the millions of annually recurring expenses into more strategic IT initiatives driving growth and innovation. PAS users – including Boston University Medical Campus; Audax Group; NaviSite, a Time Warner Cable Company; City of South Portland; and Jones & Bartlett Learning – are already realizing such savings and putting those resources to better use inside their own organizations.

“Finding ways to extend our current IT investments into new areas can make a good technology decision a great technology decision,” said Erik Dubovik, vice president of IT, Audax Group. “This is exactly the case with PAS 5.0 because it lets me simplify copy data management for more of our environment in addition to lowering test and development storage costs by 95 percent.”

“Our work in the fight against disease is essential but it generates unwieldy ‘Big Data’ that’s hard to store, share and protect using conventional tools,” said Dr. John Meyers, assistant professor of medicine and director of technology for the Department of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. “PAS 5.0 will let us recover anything, physical or virtual, across our entire data center – instantly – with a single solution with 80 percent less dedicated backup storage. For us, that will save time, money and trouble – and allow us to focus on the advancement of science.”

This new release coincides with the accelerating worldwide adoption of PAS, which has been installed by hundreds of customers and sold by more than 120 value added resellers worldwide. This momentum has enabled Actifio to double revenues for seven consecutive quarters and expand in key regions across Europe, Asia/Pacific and the Middle East. It has also resulted in tremendous industry-wide acclaim for Actifio, which was recently chosen as one of Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Storage Technologies1 for 2012.

The new PAS 5.0 supports larger deployments and more diverse enterprises while accelerating the test and development process in Oracle environments. Actifio has significantly bolstered the scalability and performance of PAS 5.0 with these powerful new features:

  • 200 percent dedupe capacity increase
  • 2x increase in throughput
  • 10x bandwidth increase with 10GbE
  • 75 percent network bandwidth savings with DeDup Async™ replication
  • Faster on-boarding of remote applications via portable storage
  • Actifio Enterprise Manager – a new software capability that enables
    simple management of large scale PAS deployments

PAS 5.0 gives developers and IT teams copies of production data within minutes to dramatically hasten the arduous testing process. Within Oracle Test and Development environments, PAS 5.0 eliminates more than 95 percent of storage costs by creating multiple copies at a fraction of footprint. Actifio now enables immediate self-service database cloning – taking less than 15 minutes to clone a five terabyte database when it previously took several days using legacy approaches.

For cloud service providers, PAS 5.0 offers a wealth of public and private cloud data management services including backup, remote backup, and test and development. It also provides several new, in-demand features including DeDup Async, secure multi-tenancy and the Actifio Enterprise Reporter.

This new version of PAS now supports a wider variety of environments – including all file system data on Windows and Linux including DAS, NAS and SAN. It provides comprehensive protection and availability for heterogeneous networked and direct-attached server environments, supporting a range of in-band, out-of-band, physical, VMware, structured and unstructured environments.

Additional Multimedia Assets

  • [Video] – Solving
    the Big Data Problem with Actifio
  • [Video] – Boston
    University: Discovering Effective Big Data Management with Actifio
  • [Video] – NaviSite:
    Delivering the Economic Promise of Cloud Backup with Actifio
  • [Video] – Accelerated
    Oracle App Development, Protection & Delivery with Actifio PAS 5.0

PAS 5.0 will be available the week of June 18.  Contact for more information.