I am pretty sure you know the classic fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty” by the Brothers Grimm. It is about a beautiful princess sleeping for a hundred years in a castle, overgrown with roses, until a handsome prince comes and awakens her.
Perhaps this is a little bit far-fetched, but let me tell you a short story taking place in your data center 🙂
Large amounts of backup and retention data are sleeping there. Sometimes for decades because of regulatory requirements. And in most cases, they inhabit really luxurious castles. Expensive, deduplicated disk devices with nice sounding vendor names on it.
And even if the data is stored on cheaper tape media, costs sum up in the long term due to operational and service soft costs.
And unlike in the fairy tale, it is not so romantic when you try to get access to the stored data again in real life. Because then you normally are in need to restore data quickly, even after years. And I am not talking about problems like vendor lock-ins, failure rates and slow restores from tapes, or difficulties to assemble the dependency chain again. Topics, not make things any easier and that can destroy the happy-end of a story really fast.
If you now expect to hear, Actifio’s OnVault is the prince who solves all these problems with a kiss, then I have to disappoint you.
One reason for this is that princes normally kiss for glory & honor. But since OnVault is available in Actifio‘s Virtual Data Pipeline™ (VDP) version 7.0 software, you will have to invest some old-fashioned coins for licenses 🙂
Another reason is, that the product is pretty new and I was only able to learn about it from marketing slides. And we all know, that marketing slides are sometimes a little bit like fairy tales, where princes can turn into frogs…
But maybe we can name Actifio OnVault a kind of good fairy that enables you to throw the long-term data retention beauty out of the expensive castle into “the cloud” (AWS S3, Google Cloud Nearline, and IBM Cloud Object Storage). And all this without the danger of a vendor lock-in – not even to Actifio itself (if we can trust the marketing slides).
To ensure security and efficient storage utilization, OnVault is using compression, encryption in transit and/or encryption in rest.
Besides all this, Actifio’s OnVault is more than a multi-year data retention solution in the cloud. It also includes the „kiss your backup/retention data“ awake aspect, as it enables you to use the data actively, eg. for on-demand analytics, data warehousing, media streaming or fast data integrity checks.
I know that there are also other solutions available on the market that can bring your retention data alive, too. (eg. LTFS [Linear Tape File System], Quantum StorNext,…). But as I really like what Actifio is already doing with their Virtual Data Pipeline (VDP), I think OnVault is worth a look, too.
By the way, if you want to learn more about Actifio I recommend you to take a look at the video recordings of their Tech Field Day 11 presentation. Doing so will give you a deep insight about their solution.
This was the first technical review that was really funny to read. Thanks for that. And I will take Actifio into account for future decisions.