Pester power! One big customer prompts Dell EMC PowerProtect systems to work with Actifio

Dell EMC PowerProtect arrays (formerly branded Data Domain) have gained copy data management functionality via Actifio, through a deal prompted by an unnamed customer.

Actifio CMO Brian Reagan told us: “The primary driver here was one of our largest joint customers, who was looking to extend the useful life of their DD estate and also capitalize on the installed Actifio data management platform. They needed an integrated solution that could scale to support their global environment. Actifio and Dell share a commitment to customer success, so it was a natural conclusion.”

Actifio supplies copy data management software that makes virtual copies of databases and other data. It provides them on-demand to copy data users, such as test and dev, and compliance officers. It has used its OnVault software to store archival copies of this data on public clouds – AWS, Azure, GCP, IBM COS and others – or on-premises object storage systems – Dell EMC ECS, Hitachi Vantara HCP, NetApp StorageGRID and Scality.

The deal with Dell sees Actifio step outside the ranks of public cloud and on-premises object storage systems for the first time.

Now it is adding PowerProtect storage to that list. This entails Actifio integrating PowerProtect interface functionality into OnVault, enabling the software to act as a source for data stored on PowerProtect arrays. According to Actifio, users get high-performance and scalable instant access to data stores of any size.

OnVault can capitalise on a 7:1 fan-in ratio (7:1) for cross-appliance deduplication and better space efficiency. That refers to seven Actifio appliances pushing data to a single PowerProtect system with cross deduplication of data from those seven source appliances.

Actifio said it does not intend to sign similar deals with other suppliers of backup-to-disk (B2D) target systems, such as Commvault, Exagrid and Quantum: “We do not have plans to support other B2D systems,” Reagan said. “Our primary interoperability strategy with OnVault is object storage platforms on-premises or in the cloud, including EMC ECS, IBM cloud object storage, HDS content platform, Scality, and all hyperscalers.”

Deepening partnership

In a recent Silicon Angle webcast sponsored by Actifio, Reagan said: “We’re fortunate to have partnered with Dell EMC as one of our focus infrastructure partners.

Actifio CMO Brian Reagan appearing on Silicon Angle’s theCube

“We have reference architectures for converged infrastructures using the rail and the rack designs [with] the VxFlex OS underneath and really going after the database cloning market opportunities. So, bringing an, essentially, data centre pod architecture with Actifio software running inside to power these databases as a service opportunities that exist in the large enterprises.”

Separately, Reagan told us: “OnVault will be included as part of our OEM relationship with Dell, so all Database Cloning appliances will support this functionality.” 

We understand the Actifio partnership with Dell EMC will be extended in the coming months.