Next Generation Cloud Services. White Paper

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1 Next Generation Cloud Services White Paper Ash Ashutosh, CEO, Actifio February 2012

2 Table of Contents Introduction... 3 Uncovering Opportunities in Copy Data... 4 The Impact of Margin, Quality of Service and Customer Reach on Business Success... 4 Protection and Availability Storage (PAS) Designed for the Cloud... 5 The Impact of PAS on Service Provider Fundamentals... 6 About the author... 6 Sources... 7 About Actifio

3 Introduction According to market research firm IDC, public cloud services suppliers will drive 48 percent of all IT infrastructure hardware spending by Market demand for outsourced services is here, but using legacy technologies to affordably provide more mission critical IT functions has not kept place with end- user demand. These legacy technologies have heavy agents, dedicated infrastructure for each type of service, proprietary storage hardware, and minimal API and CLI support. From a fundamental perspective these older technology companies have engineering teams and associated roadmaps scoped specifically for private, non- shared, dedicated use. The resulting impact is that Cloud Providers cannot easily or cost- effectively go to market with highly valuable services using technologies available from current market share leaders. Market Definitions and Legacy Technology Challenges Let s begin with some background and market definitions for context. First, there are two types of Clouds: Public and Private. Public clouds are provided by third party organizations such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Hosting Service Providers (HSPs), Managed Service Providers (MSPs), and any other organization building a business based on providing IT- and infrastructure- related services. Private clouds are developed by organizations to service their own business units. IDC says that cloud services will drive 48 percent of all IT infrastructure hardware spending by Data Protection services are a significant portion of Cloud Services; with more than (US) $2billion in spend. The Cloud Services business is a high- growth revenue market, but providers are having difficulty maintaining margins using legacy technologies. Let s review why. Overall Cloud spending is expected to grow 3x faster than internal spending. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on thee types of Data Management services: (1) Backup/Recovery, (2) Business Continuity/Data Replication and (3) Test/Development. Backup/Recovery is when the Service Providers provide outsourced backup/recovery to systems that are either based at the customer site, or at the remote data center. Legacy technologies for this type of offering are usually tape drives/libraries while disk- based technologies using deduplication are slightly more current. Next, there are two types of off- premise backup. The first one is when the customer s data is replicated from their site to a Service Provider, or to the Cloud. The other type of off- premise backup is when the customer s server is based at the remote data center and the Service Provider offers managed backup. Using legacy technologies, there are usually two different data protection platforms for each type of implementation. In addition, bandwidth becomes a limiting factor in how much capacity a Service Provider can cost- effectively market. Most service providers target off- premise backup at customers with less than 2TB of capacity per site. Business Continuity and Replication services range from providing physical office space to complete server recovery including OS, Application and Data. In most cases today, Business Continuity / Data Replication technologies are unfortunately not linked to Data Protection technologies requiring yet 3

4 another disparate tool set. Extra expensive enterprise storage hardware and Data Replication software licenses are required. Uncovering Opportunities in Copy Data Data Copy services is the newest type of service offering. Since a SaaS suppliers primary business is application hosting, being able to provide copies of a customer s data for analytics and other reasons is a highly valuable solution with incremental revenue easily justified. However, Data Copy / Snapshot Services are most cost- consumptive for a Service Provider because additional infrastructure, bandwidth, floor space and operations investments are usually beyond what customers are willing to pay for. Since using legacy technologies for Data Copy Services requires double- triple- and quadruple- infrastructure for each copy of the data, Service Providers cannot affordably provide this as a Cloud service due to all these additional requirements. With organizations grappling with the data explosion and networks beginning to buckle under the demands of Big Data, the time has come for a more modern approach to providing Data Management services at scale. Unfortunately, many technology vendors have billion- dollar product lines that are either not integrated with one another or not developed for Service Providers specific operations requirements. The burden of using these legacy solutions is put on the Service Provider to integrate into their own business. The Impact of Margin, Quality of Service and Customer Reach on Business Success Margin, Quality of Service and Customer Reach are three fundamental attributes Service Providers consider when reviewing success of their business. Let s look at each individually. Margin: How can a Service Provider receive profit on Cloud Services, while keeping pace with annual price declines? Most technology suppliers want Service Providers to purchase proprietary hardware, which can be 10x the cost of industry standard solutions. In addition, each of these technology suppliers has different technologies for each type of service. Each of these technologies has it s own management framework and engineering resources. All of these attributes impact a Service Provider s ability to generate adequate margin. Quality of Service: How can a Service Provider ensure that the same quality is delivered to all customer types, and SLAs are being met? Let s review again the technology stack provided by a leading technology supplier. These multiple backup/recovery technologies have different performance and management attributes, and are 4

5 designed for specific use cases. Service Providers are challenged to provide consistent quality of service when they have customers with many different attributes small/large companies, off- and on- premise, minute to hourly Recovery Time and Point Objectives. Customer Reach: How can a Service Provider expand its market to include all customer types? Using the same customer definitions in the quality of service review above, it s challenging for a Service Provider to support all markets using legacy technologies as they are designed for specific use cases. Agent support and scalability of backup servers are two components that limit broad adoption of managed data protection services. Protection and Availability Storage (PAS) Designed for the Cloud Now, Service Providers need a new class of data management and storage solution that supports evolving business requirements and is explicitly designed to better manage copies of data, and support the fundamentals of Margin, Quality of Service and Customer Reach. They need Protection and Availability Storage (PAS). Underlying PAS is a new data management framework called Virtual Data Pipeline (VDP) technology. VDP introduces virtualization into data management, bringing about the benefits of reduced costs, lowered operational expenses and radical simplicity of use. VDP is based on the premise of capturing data once and reusing it for multiple applications. It virtualizes the core primitives of data management (copy, store, move and restore), and consists of an Object File System that enables instant creation of virtual copies of point- in- time data from the collection of unique blocks of data. It enables a single solution to replace one or more existing tools - - including backup software, disaster recovery, business continuity or test and development solutions - - and can also be used as a platform for search, compliance and analytics tools. The resulting simplicity of operations and reduction in infrastructure dramatically drives down costs compared to legacy methods. VDP begins with virtualizing the capture of production data, using a device- independent snapshot with change block tracking. These blocks are then stored as objects with associated application, time and Service Level Agreement (SLA) information in an independent, virtualized storage pool, ensuring that there is a true backup image of the production data. Based on the SLA, VDP then pipelines the data for long- term retention or transport to a remote site for disaster recovery and business continuity. When a point- in- time copy of data is needed, VDP instantly reconstitutes the data in the required application format, and presents it to the application server through a Fibre Channel, iscsi or NAS interface. The result is a single, flexible and scalable solution that can be deployed at an end- user site, and then replicated to another PAS system within the Service Provider s facility. PAS, with VDP, transforms the chaos of multiple silos of infrastructure and applications traditionally deployed for data management into a single, SLA- driven, solution that does far less copying, storing, and moving of data. 5

6 The Impact of PAS on Service Provider Fundamentals PAS has a positive impact when reviewing the three key functions a Service Provider uses to evaluate service effectiveness. From a margin perspective, PAS enables multiple services including Cloud Backup, Data Replication and Business Continuity, and also Data Copy Services from one architecture. There is no other technology that allows this. One solution minimizes the cost of managing multiple vendor contracts. The resulting impact is that Service Providers can either be a cost- leader for these next generation data management services, or price- to- market and be highly profitable. PAS minimizes network bandwidth restrictions by using deduplication and allows many services from the same footprint. The resulting impact is that Service Providers can target large- and medium- size capacity customers that are located on- and off- premise. This broadens total available market. PAS has a positive impact on Quality of Service allowing more simplistic operations and management of the environment. Operators can view the customer environment and complete services portfolio from one portal, making sure that SLAs are met. PAS snapshot, retention, and replication attributes can be simply customized by each customer/application type thereby increasing quality of service. Net result is that the entire customer experience is significantly improved. Cloud Services are growing rapidly and will be a $15 billion market in three years. Data protection is a sticky service with low customer churn, while offering much higher margin than standard SaaS offerings. Cost per GB continues to decline and Service Providers must be prepared for their infrastructure costs to scale down accordingly. Data Copy services for Test/Development and other SaaS offerings will also be a key differentiator. In order to position competitively for future growth and begin building new revenue streams with cost effective next- generation Cloud Services, the time is now to consider what PAS can do for Service Providers and the fundamentals of margin, customer reach and quality of service. About the author Ash Ashutosh is the founder and CEO of Actifio, Inc. (http://www.actifio.com), the Protection and Availability Storage (PAS) platform company, pioneers of industry s first storage system optimized for managing copies of production data. You can contact the author at 6

7 Sources IDC, Worldwide IT Infrastructure Hardware for Public and Private Cloud Forecast: Convergence and Self- Built Solutions Drive Expansion, Doc # , Dec About Actifio Actifio pioneered the industry s first storage system optimized for managing copies of production data, eliminating redundant silos of IT infrastructure and data management applications. Actifio Protection and Availability Storage (PAS) platform is based on patented Virtual Data Pipeline TM (VDP) technology, delivering dramatically enhanced business availability by eliminating backup and restore windows and the creation of virtual point- in- time copies of data on- demand, for use by any business application. Integrating data deduplication, network and processor utilization optimization, Actifio provides the most efficient way to manage data growth while solving your biggest IT challenges around information protection and availability. For additional information, visit Actifio at or contact Actifio at or

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