Where is all that Big Data coming from?

In enterprises, a lot of it is composed of copies upon copies of backup data, according to Actifio, a Waltham, Mass.-based data storage startup. Today, venture capitalists rewarded the company in a big way for its approach to slashing the storage capacity requirements of backup data.

Actifio announced today that the company raised $50 million in a funding round led by Technology Crossover Ventures. Andreessen Horowitz, ATV, Greylock Israel and North Bridge Venture Partners also backed in the round.

To date, the company has attracted $100 million in financing. It’s a staggering figure, according to Actifio founder and CEO Ash Ashutosh.

“First I’ll say we didn’t set out to raise another $50MM this quarter, or expect to have raised over $100MM in total by this point in our growth. I recognize that’s an enormous amount of money, and I’m humbled by the faith of the people who’ve invested it in us,” wrote Ashutosh in a company blog post.

The startup first burst onto the scene with an array of “data management virtualization” offerings, namely Actifio DP (data protection), Actifio DR (disaster recovery) and Actifio BC (business continuity). “The paradigm we’re applying to data management is analogous to what virtualization did to servers,” said Ashutosh at the time.

Actifio’s software and appliances cut data storage costs — up to 90 percent — by essentially “virtualizing” backup and production data, eliminating the need to maintain multiple copies of data for each individual backup, recovery and storage management application within an IT shop. With less “copy data” to store and manage, enterprises can potentially save big on IT costs.

Sensing an opportunity in cloud storage, IBM inked a deal with Actifio to bundle its tech with select Big Blue’s storage systems aimed at the cloud services market. Last June, Actifio enhanced its platform with multi-tenancy support, a self-service database cloning feature for Oracle and network bandwidth reduction optimizations.

Actifio boasts that in fiscal year 2012, it “attained critical mass with 700 percent year-over-year growth, becoming the fastest growing enterprise storage company from inception ever.” As is the case with fast-growing startups, it will use the funds to expand in practically every part of its business in an effort to dominate a copy data storage market valued at $44 billion by IDC.

“You can expect us to invest more aggressively in accelerating the growth of our global go-to-market model, enhancing our IP portfolio, and developing new and exciting opportunities for customers to benefit from our radically simple copy data storage platform,” stated Ashutosh.