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Data Management Virtualization Debuts

The nascent data management virtualization market just gained a formerly stealth member when Actifio announced its existence, its receipt of $8 million in Series A financing from North Bridge Venture Partners and Greylock Partners, its intention to debut its inaugural product sometime in the next four weeks, and a top-flight team of executives who have joined Actifio during its 18-month life span.

For those of us not steeped in data management virtualization, Actifio defines it as "technology which transforms individual data management application silos into a unified, virtualized, highly efficient solution for data protection, disaster recovery and business continuity." After noting that server virtualization technologies from Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware, plus developments from Cisco, HP, IBM among others have transformed IT infrastructures into productive, cost-effective resources, Actifio decries the failure of storage infrastructures to keep pace, calling it a "major bottleneck" in this transformation.

When this lagging storage infrastructure problem is combined with data lifecycle management bound in silos as a result of limited point tools, the result, Actifo says, is unnecessary complexity, inflexibility and high costs. As founder, president and CEO Ash Ashutosh puts it, "There is a disconnect where server meets storage. Data management virtualization is about decoupling data management from where data is stored. Managing data should really be as simple as storing it."

Ashutosh knows of what he speaks when it comes to storage management. He was formerly VP and chief technologist of HP's StorageWorks division and a co-founder of AppIQ. He also worked at Greylock Partners, which no doubt help opened the Series A financing doors there.

Other executive team members include VP of Products David Chang, also a co-founder and VP at AppIQ, Steven Blumenau, VP of marketing and formerly VP of Digital Archive Sales at Iron Mountain, Rick Nagengast, VP of Sales and ex VP of Channel and Partner Development at EMC, and James Pownell, customer operations manager, and previously founder and president of Exagrid Systems.

Nagengast will preside over a "100 percent channel-based" company that will be initially focused on the northeast U.S., says Ashutosh, adding that Actifio proved its viability to him with 40 beta customers over seven months across a wide variety of vertical industries.

Waxing hyperbolic on a press release, Ashutosh declares, "Actifio's DMV technology brings to data lifecycle management the same paradigm shift that virtualization brought to the server environment with all the resulting simplicity and efficiency." That's talking the talk. In a month or so we will see if Actifio can start walking the walk.

Question: Does data management virtualization sound like a winning concept to you?

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 07/20/2010 at 12:48 PM


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