Actifio hopes to do for the storage space what VMware did for servers, according to CEO, Ash Ashutosh.

The data protection vendor, which markets an integrated data backup and disaster recovery solution, is looking towards the growth of VMware to guide its own expansion in markets such as Australia.

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"We want to take their whole paradigm and apply it to the storage side," he said.

Since VMware has enabled businesses to transform one part of their computing, Ashutosh admits it makes it somewhat easier to try to convince customers to transform another side of their IT operation.

"Storage is one of those technologies located in the underbelly of the business, where a lot of money is being spent and people do not understand why," he said.

Ashutosh said that businesses spend "enormous" amounts of money on making copies of data, with a lot of that amount going towards the management of the copies.

"In the enterprise market, that problem is so big that IDC has estimated that $44 billion is spent on managing copies of data," he said.

"We compare that market to what we used to see on the server side two years ago until virtualisation came along."

Channel expansion

Actifio is expanding its footprint in Australia through channel partners, and recently held a training session during a customer and partner event held in Sydney.

Ashutosh said the expansion in Australia took both time and investment by the company, particularly from the channel.

"With any start-up, you have the challenge of trying to solve a problem you don't know you have with a technology they have not heard of," he said.

"When a company like Actifio shows up in Australia and channel partners don't know about you, you are met with scepticism."

After six quarters in market, Ashutosh said the company has managed to bring on board approximately 15 channel partners.

"You need critical mass for any initiative to take off, and those six quarters were key for us in kicking off," he said.

According to Ashutosh, the channel comprises 86 per cent of the company's business worldwide.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.