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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Actifio CEO Ash Ashutosh (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 4th 2020

Sramana Mitra: One of the things I’m hearing in your description is that there is the infrastructure layer of making this data available. Then there is an application layer to make use of that data. Is that a correct observation?

Ash Ashutosh: Yes. In fact, there are three layers. One is the data virtualization layer, which is where we capture it and tag it. Then there is data mobility. You have to move it around seamlessly. It was very tough when the cloud platforms came around.

Not only do you move stuff around, but you also have to transform it. If I’m going from on-premise into one cloud to another, I’d have to do the transformation differently. There’s a whole bunch of mobility technology.

Finally, there’s the orchestration where data, at the point of access, is made easy to consume. We build applications for operations people like DevOps tools. Then there are a whole bunch of other tools that we integrate into. We integrate into ServiceNow, DevOps tools, and machine learning tools. 

Sramana Mitra: Do you also have some sort of a PaaS for developers to build applications on top of your platform?

Ash Ashutosh: We have a SaaS version of our offering called Actifio Go. For a developer to actually access, it’s not a free-for-all. You don’t want every developer to access all the data inside the enterprise. The operations people provide the guidelines. There’s all kinds of security built into every object.

The location matters. There’s a whole motion of digital nationalism that is happening. There’s all kinds of this security entitlements that we build into this solution that allows the operations person to setup an SLA.

Where can the data go? How long can it be? Who can access it? When they access it, what can they do with it? It’s a resource that is being delivered by the operations people like a service.

Sramana Mitra: Who would you consider as direct competitors?

Ash Ashutosh: We fall into variousbuckets. The good part about a platform like Actifio is that it spans many use cases. The first part of a data consumer’s journey is to first get the data.

We could have done what people traditionally did. Database administrators would capture data from data lakes and data warehouses and take three to six months to put it into a data warehouse, polish it, and then give it to the developers. By the time they see it, it’s already six months old.

We decided to do something different. Most organizations already do backup. Every day, data is captured. There is already a single source of truth. The only problem was that traditional backup was designed for one thing. It was not designed to be used.

We used the operational practice that happens every day for backup, but we’ve designed it very differently. The first effect of this is that we disrupt the traditional backup market. There are lots of backup players, but they position it differently. For them, backup is the end game.

It’s a dead end road. For us, it’s just the starting point to capture the data, create this copy data lake. Then comes the interesting part. What do we do with it? Who can use it? Where should it go? When should it be deleted? That’s the part where there are very few competitors. We pretty much pioneered this whole space where it begins with backup. Most importantly, it’s about reuse of this data over and over again.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Actifio CEO Ash Ashutosh
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