Actifio releases Version 7

April 4th, 2017

Steve Adil
Disk Products Manager

Actifio has continued its progression in offering industry-leading Copy Data Management solutions, with the release of Actifio Version 7.

For those not familiar with Actifio, this product created solutions for the $40 Billion Copy Data Management market. Actifio addressed the need to better manage data copies and was a pioneer in CDM. Since Actifio entered the market seven years ago, dozens of companies – well established and newcomers alike – have produced or repackaged their offerings under the CDM heading. Actifio still provides the most comprehensive and powerful set of capabilities in the CDM market.

What is new with Version 7?

Version 7 applies to both the appliance and software defined versions of Actifio. The appliance version is called the Copy Data System (CDS) while the virtual (software defined) version is known as Sky. Version 7 offers the following new or improved features:

StreamSnap offer direct replication of incremental snapshots from a local snapshot pool to a remote pool, supporting a much lower RPO for DR compared with Dedup-Async replication. StreamSnap is intended for high-quality, high-bandwidth IP networks where faster replication can provide lower RPOs, down to 1 hour. StreamSnap adds a replication policy on top of a snapshot policy, within an SLA template, and keeps a full virtual copy of the application on the remote side, available for immediate failover, test failover, or a mount operation for any remote use. All in-flight data is encrypted and checkpointed as well.

VSphere Release 6 Support

Vault to Cloud Storage adds a vaulting tier to SLA templates. The Actifio appliance will vault data to Google Nearline or Amazon S3 cloud storage according to the defined vaulting policy. Users manage and pay for their own cloud storage directly with these providers. Vaulted backups are self-sufficient so recovery of vaulted data can be done from the original Actifio appliance, or from a newly provisioned Actifio appliance (for example, in case of DR). When using an Actifio Sky appliance, you can mount a backup, and read directly from it, without having to first copy the entire backup into the local snapshot pool.

Log Protection Enhancements streamlines handling of Oracle and SQL Server database transaction logs is an integral part of the SLA assigned to those databases. Different capture frequencies can be specified for the database files and transaction logs. You can recover a database to a point in time by rolling logs forward, controlled directly from within the Application Manager in the Actifio Desktop. Logs can be retained for up to 90 days and will only consume two VDisks. Stored logs can be used together with database images from the dedup pool—you will see the available recovery range according to the available logs. Logs are optionally compressed by the database (Oracle or SQL Server). This simplifies “hunting” for the right point-in-time for recovery.

Hyper-V CSV support

Actifio CDS appliances now support capturing, protecting, accessing, and restoring Hyper-V VMs on the Hyper-V CSV infrastructure.

Database Enhancements

Oracle ASM databases will now be captured to ASM-managed staging disks by default (previously capture was to a file system by default). This approach simplifies access to database images for recovery and test/dev purposes.

Authentication for Oracle backups and data capture is now handled by the OS, by default, so a database user with the right credentials is not needed. The old authentication method is still supported and will remain the default on upgraded systems (until changed by the user).

The creation of “grandchildren” applications for both Oracle and SQL Server databases is now supported.

Log purging for an Oracle database is now controlled with the same parameter as it is for an SQL Serverdatabase. In releases prior to 7.0, logs were always purged if Log Protection was enabled.

The dedup engine throughput can be monitored from the Dashboard and Domain Manager in the Actifio Desktop to see current and historical levels for capacity planning.

Extended SLA mode is now turned on by default. You can easily modify/monitor snapshot and dedup image preservation, and catch-up activity from the Dashboard and Domain Manager in the Actifio Desktop.

Improvements in SLA analysis to increase accuracy and to report on the reason for SLA violation.

You can set Actifio Connector credentials for VMs (similar to regular hosts) in the Domain Manager in the Actifio Desktop.

Performance and Scalability Enhancements

Performance of dedup ingestion and restore operations has been enhanced.

Various tiers of storage have been qualified as storage for the dedup pool to provide different levels of performance, including 10K RPM SAS drives and flash storage, and support for SSD for dedup acceleration was added to Sky 7.0.

Actifio Sky appliance I/O performance has been improved and no longer requires a 25GB SSD volume for caching.

CDS 7.0 snapshot storage under management was increased 4x (up to 4PB).

Interoperability Enhancements

Support for Infinidat and XtremIO storage with Actifio CDS appliances (Actifio Sky appliances already support Infinidat and XtremIO storage).

Support for AIX servers with Actifio Sky appliances (Actifio CDS appliances already support AIX).

If you’re interested in having Mainline assist you in evaluating this or any other technology, please contact your Mainline Account Executive, or contact Mainline directly.

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