Vendorwag with Actifio – Ash Ashutosh [Episode 64]


This weeks vendorwag is with Ash Ashutosh, who is CEO of Actifio.


If you’ve not come across them – here’s an in-a-nutshell paragraph from their website about what they do:


“Actifio’s Protection and Availability Storage (PAS) platform is the industry’s first solution optimized for managing copies of production data, resulting in the elimination of redundant silos of IT infrastructure and data management applications. By virtualizing the management and retention of data, Actifio transforms the chaos of multiple silos of infrastructure and point tools traditionally deployed for backup, disaster recovery, business continuity, compliance, analytics, and test and development into one, Service Level-driven, virtualized Protection and Availability storage device. Actifio PAS delivers a radically simple, application-centric, policy-driven solution that decouples the management of data from storage, network and server infrastructure, resulting in 10X reduction in costs.”


Ash comes with quite a pedigree and experience – as you would expect with a founder and CEO:


Ash Ashutosh brings more than 25 years of storage industry and entrepreneurship experience to his role of CEO at Actifio. Ashutosh is a recognized leader and architect in the storage industry where he has spearheaded several major industry initiatives, including iSCSI and storage virtualization, and led the authoring of numerous storage industry standards. Ashutosh was most recently a Partner with Greylock Partners where he focused on making investments in enterprise IT companies. Prior to Greylock, he was Vice President and Chief Technologist for HP Storage. Ashutosh founded and led AppIQ, a market leader of Storage Resource Management (SRM) solutions, which was acquired by HP in 2005. He was also the founder of Serano Systems, a Fibre Channel controller solutions provider, acquired by Vitesse Semiconductor in 1999. Prior to Serano, Ashutosh was Senior Vice President at StorageNetworks, the industry’s first Storage Service Provider. He previously worked as an architect and engineer at LSI and Intergraph. Ashutosh remains an avid supporter of entrepreneurship and is an advisor and board member for several commercial and non-profit organizations. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Computer Science from Penn State University.


As ever I spent sometime with the guys – which helped me build up list of questions dealt with towards the rear of the podcast.


Here’s my list of questions:


Q1. How has storage evolved over the past few years to better handle virtualized workloads and where do we need to get to to achieve the full promise of cloud/virtualization?


Q2. How is Actifio implemented into my existing environment and what are the implications? (Actifio sits in front of my storage – and add additional features – How does that work? Do I need give Actifio rights to my existing storage? Won’t this add an “overhead”?)


Q3. How does Actifio gain access and provide application/hypervisor-aware information protection? (You say you don’t need an “agent” for some of the advanced features – but isn’t a “connector” just another word for an agent?)


Q4. Where does Actifio work? (Currently you support iSCSI and FC. Do you plan to support NFS in the future? What made you choose iSCSI and FC in the first instance?)


Q5. Can you walk us through a restore process? Say my manager has deleted a photo of his daughter from an email, and wants it back – how would I go about doing that?


Q6. What are the main challenges to adopting Actifio – If a listener wanted to adopt the technology, what gotchas should they look out for?

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