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Actifio Updates Data Protection Appliance Management For Service Providers

Service providers tired of managing one virtual or physical Actifio appliance at a time finally get global management.

Actifio, a developer of technology to help businesses manage all the copies of their data, has introduced a new front end to its software to simplify its use for service providers with multitenant environments.

The new Actifio Global Manager, designed to improve backup and disaster recovery, was welcomed by a couple of the Boston-based vendor's channel partners, who said the new front-end management solution will make it easier for them to close deals.

The Actifio Global Manager allows businesses or service providers to manage, monitor and handle the troubleshooting of dozens of Actifio data protection appliances, both physical and virtual, across scattered environments, said Chandra Reddy, Actifio's vice president of product marketing.

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The number of Actifio appliances deployed by customers grew quickly a couple of years ago with the introduction of virtual appliances, Reddy told CRN. "At that point, the number of appliances sprawled, including to [Amazon Web Services] environments," he said. "Customers said they wanted a central management system. So we introduced Actifio Global Manager."

Until the introduction of Actifio Global Manager, customers had to manage each Actifio data protection appliance separately, Reddy said. "Customers had to log on with our desktop user interface," he said. "They then pointed to a specific appliance to manage it. They pointed to another to manage that one. There was no aggregate view of all the appliances. For service providers, this was a critical need for their managed service business."

It was a capability long in coming, a couple of Actifio channel partners told CRN.

It is exactly what service providers have been asking for, said Abdul Altamimi, founder and chief technology officer of RestorePoint.net, an Atlanta-based service provider that has partnered with Actifio for about three years.

"We are looking for centralization," Altamimi said. "We have customers all over the place. The new dashboard is easy to look at, and makes it easy to do actual management."

The Actifio Global Manager will have another advantage, Altamimi said. "This lets us go up the stack to talk to bigger enterprises about service beyond backup," he said.

The Actifio Global Manager is key to adding Actifio as a service, said Ken Beckman, solutions architect at Dynamix Group, a Roswell, Ga.-based service provider that has worked with Actifio for about four years.


"The market is often defined by the user experience," Beckman said. "Actifio is unique in its approach. The fact that it didn't have a global manager for its physical and virtual appliances showed it had not matured yet."

This is a real deal maker, Beckman said. "Without a global management software, it's a real hindrance to sales if we have to tell customers to manage 10 to 20 appliances on a one-to-one basis. It's hard to scale to the enterprise that way."

The Actifio appliances work by collecting data from multiple locations to let customers make decisions regarding their applications, and then adding resilience and data protection to those applications, Reddy said.

"They can keep virtual copies of the applications and data for test-dev," he said. "It's also a quick and secure way to do copies of production databases to help quickly find bugs. When the application goes live, Actifio appliances can copy the data, and deduplicate and replicate it. And customers get a second copy at a remote site for instant recovery when needed."

About half of Actifio's revenue comes from service provider partners, while the rest is a mix of direct and indirect channel sales, Reddy said. "Our channel sales are growing quickly," he said. "With our virtual appliances, it's easier for the channel to work with us."

PUBLISHED JAN. 22, 2015

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