Actifio is a new vendor proposing that it has the potential to cause disruption to the existing storage vendors. Whether these existing vendors are niche or broad portfolio providers; their solutions are often focused on taking care of a specific task such as backup, de-duplication, disk-to-disk, DR/BC, search etc.
Actifio’s solution is based on Object Based storage and operates as an appliance running on X86. The idea is to consolidate the many tasks mentioned above onto a single appliance. Not only is data consolidated but the various tasks operate on a single data pool. The net benefit is not only capacity reduction, but the Actifio software architecture enables granularity and serving up data images quickly.
The company is focused on non-production data at mid-sized enterprises and above. It is also worth noting that Actifio does not offer the storage itself, only the appliance. Solutions based on Object Based storage are coming on the market thick and fast (1, 2) , demonstrating that there is new innovation coming in storage. With the approach of the Swiss army knife, prospective customers may need time evaluate just how radical the solution is. Not just for a future storage environment, but also on the existing one and how to migrate.
The simplest ideas sometimes have the greatest potential, but market adoption depends on many additional factors. It is clearly attractive for IT professionals to delegate numerous storage tasks to an appliance with the least amount of intervention. It is also interesting that Actifio is targeting the service providers who as IT customers are looking for large scale efficiencies and economies of scale. Just like in the case 3PAR, once you get their seal of approval markets may move very quickly. Meanwhile the existing storage suppliers should take note of this new approach to multi-role non-production storage.
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