What do you like best?
Actifio has done for data management what virtualization did for server management. In one appliance, it manages all our data maintenance. We have zero downtime backups with different SLAs for based on our needs all managed automatically. More importantly, any one of those backups, including databases and server images, can be mounted instantly from the Actifio console and available for use on any server. It can even mask PII on backups so they can be mounted by development for testing. Multiple developers can mount the same backup and it acts their own private copy without taking up valuable SAN storage.
Actifio also replicates our environment to our disaster site and has the ability to bring our disaster site on line with a single click based on a rule set we customize. And it brings servers on line within in a minute or 2, not 20 like many recovery software packages.
And what is really nice is that all of this happens from a single interface dashboard. Plus they have phenomenal customer support. They take responsibility for all upgrades, and "phone home" alerts.
What do you dislike?
The only complaint I have ever had is that there is a limit of 2 TB / LUNs if you put the Actifio in-band instead of side-band. The only reason to do this is if you want Actifio to do block level replication between sites. We opted for sideband and used mirroring for the unstructured data that needed real-time synchronization between our two sites. Works great. But knowing Actifio and their continual innovation, they will probably solve this restriction as well.
Recommendations to others considering the product
Talk to customers. There is so much power in this product, you need to hear how others are using it. We have even surprised Actifio with how we were utilizing their platform.
Also, don't discount the speed at which Actifio can mount a backup or bring a disaster server online. Actifio has made data protection, restoration, and management a non-issue. I never realized how much energy and time was devoted these data issues until we didn't have them anymore.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
We were virtualizing our data center servers and storage and needed zero-downtime backups, copy data management to minimize the growth of expensive SAN storage, full managed disaster recovery at alternative site. We needed to manage data efficiently form a single interface and not from several packages cobbled together.