Actifio expands African operations
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American data technology company Actifio has announced that it will be expanding its operations across the African continent. The company has been at the forefront of global data management, leading the way in the virtualisation of copy data and creating an industry now worth an estimated $46 billion.
Although Actifio has only been in the African market since 2014, they have previously proved themselves to be apt at recognising digital market trends across the globe. Internet usage on the continent is increasing and so too has the potential for data virtualisation; their move to increase coverage surely reflects that their finger is firmly on the pulse.
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Since its inception in 2009, the company has used its cloud-based data management model to build a strong, trusted base of clients – Actifio manages a whopping total of two exabytes of client data (two billion gigabytes!)
Grant Amos, Actifio General Manager MEA said: “African markets have much to gain from the deployment of Actifio’s innovative technology which brings proven cost and efficiency benefits. Studies indicate the adoption of technology by developing nations has had profound effects on their economies, such as reducing the national costs of production and establishing standards for quality, ultimately resulting in economic growth.
He went on to say: “Actifio is offering ground-breaking technology to these markets and opportunities for local businesses to expand.”
Increasing coverage of this particular type of data management has the potential to bring South African businesses into the twenty first century, if this technology can be implemented affordably. The finance and insurance sectors will surely lead the way in implementing this technology which could also bring down its cost to make it affordable for more humbly sized business.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”