Whether on-premise or in the cloud, business applications can take up a lot of storage, which can prove costly and complex to move. IBM and Actifio, a Waltham, Mass.-based technology startup, have partnered to help enterprises make the transition to the cloud easier while cutting their cloud storage requirements down to size.

The companies today announced IBM SmartCloud DataVirtualization (SCDV), a service that “will enable customers to decouple their application data from their physical infrastructure, improving business resiliency, agility, and the ability to move more seamlessly into the cloud,” they boasted in a statement. These capabilities rest on Actifio’s Virtual Data Pipeline (VDP).

The appliance and software combo maintains a “gold copy” of application data as it is changed by a server. VDP then makes that single copy available for multiple uses (analytics, backup and recovery, testing, development, compliance) without moving it across an organization’s storage infrastructure, or in this case, the cloud.

In a statement, Laurence Guihard-Joly, general manager of IBM’s Business Continuity and Resiliency Services, said the Actifio-powered product can give organizations a dependable, cloud-enabled boost to their data protection initiatives. SCDV, she asserted, “combines the power of Actifio’s data virtualization platform with IBM’s Resiliency technology and operational reliability.”

Guihard-Joly added, “SCDV will not only offer many customers faster recovery times at better price points, it will enable them to leverage their protected data as a business asset rather than simply an insurance policy.”

Actifio CEO and founder Ash Ashutosh pledged to work closely with IBM “to bring more customers the power of our combined offering as they move to take advantage of the transformative economics of the cloud.” In his view, SCDV will help remove some of the biggest roadblocks that are keeping some businesses from moving their enterprise workloads to the cloud.

“The bottom line here is thousands of IBM customers are now able to achieve better SLA’s for more mission critical applications, accelerating their business and their path into the cloud,” stated Ashutosh.

It’s not the first time the two companies have teamed to put the cloud on a diet. In 2012, IBM and Actifio announced that they were leveraging the latter’s Protection and Availability Storage (PAS) platform to simplify data management and reduce the storage costs and capacity requirements for cloud provider.

Last year, Actifio raised $50 million in financing round led by Technology Crossover Ventures. To date, the company has raised $100 million in VC funding.