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World's ONLY virtualised snapshot firm refreshes product: Here, take a sniff

Rival-free Actifio hopes latest version can tempt cloudy bods

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The latest version of data storage software house Actifio's Copy Data Storage platform is intended to spread its use more widely – without providing any significant new core functionality.

Actifio's software snapshots data from production IT systems and then presents virtual instances of the copied data to other systems that need it, such as backup, test and development, business continuity, disaster recovery, archiving and analytics. The main benefit is significant storage capacity savings with a side benefit of vastly simplified copy data management.

This stuff has such widespread appeal that Actifio claims it is "the fastest growing storage company from inception, ever."

Version 6 of the Copy Data Storage platform features self-service provisioning of data instances for test and development with Actifio's Live Clone technology providing live-updated virtual copies of data. There are "user-defined scheduled processing of copy data to streamline workflows for test and development."

Ash Ashutosh, Actifio's founder and CEO, said in a prepped quote: "With Actifio 6.0, we’re introducing new workflow tools and specialised features to transform the way DBAs get their hands on the data they need to develop new applications, for example. And over the coming months you’ll see us refine and integrate similar features, to better support the use cases our customers are showing us every day.”

Version 6 includes features to help cloud service providers (CSPs) launch services using Actifio:

  • Multi-tenancy – Secure separation of tenants with custom-scoped SLAs, resources, replication types and more
  • On-Boarding – Data seeding, non-disruptive application/data migration, rich API for portal integration
  • Billing/Reporting – Easy integration with existing billing systems through RESTful API, PostgreSQL queries; virtual reporting appliance included
  • Security – Role-based access controls, encryption in flight, optional encryption at rest, and full audit logging

These are intended to help CSPs launch DevOps and dev/test services, backup/recovery and archive-as-a-service offering using Actifio's software.

Copy Data Storage supports SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, SAP, Oracle, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, and IBM iSeries systems.

Naturally, Actifio has taken Android and iOS on board as well, providing a measure of integration with the two mobile platforms. In the company's own words, it has a "mobile management suite for iOS and Android devices that provides CIOs and IT administrators with real-time monitoring of their business SLAs wherever they are."

Actifio faces no real competition at all, there being no other company taking the same approach to presenting data set copies using virtualised snapshots. It ought to have competition, though. On the face of it, every storage array supplier with a snapshot facility ought to be able to develop its own version of the basic functionality.

Actifio's patents could be an obstacle to this, but El Reg hazards a guess that, notwithstanding the PAS software's decreased storage capacity byproduct, every snapshot-capable storage company is having its engineers cast an eye over Actifio's PAS software and think about reverse-engineering it while avoiding the patent trap.

Version 6.0 of Actifio's Copy Data Storage software should be available as an upgrade in the fourth quarter of this year. ®

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