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Key Enhancements for IBM Data Resilience on-premises and in cloud environments

By Roland Leins posted Fri December 17, 2021 03:44 AM


What is new in IBM Spectrum Protect 8.1.13, IBM Spectrum Protect Plus 10.1.9 and IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management 2.2.14?

The December 7th, 2021, announcement introduced several functional enhancements towards IBM’s core data resilience offerings enabling better data resilience infrastructures and improving data protection in the cloud and containerized environments. With a Technology Preview of Open Snap Store Manager (OSSM), IBM also introduces the next milestone towards the convergence vision of IBM Spectrum Protect and IBM Spectrum Protect Plus.

 Lots of new functions and capabilities

IBM Spectrum Protect 8.1.13 introduces three-site-replication of IBM Spectrum Protect backup data, one on the primary server, and two additional on target replication servers.  Retention set to cloud enables clients to leverage object storage to lower costs for long-term retention data. There are two classes

  • Standard cloud storage classes supporting Amazon Web Services (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3), Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud® Object Storage, Google Cloud Storage, and validated “S3” providers, which can be found on the IBM Spectrum Protect cloud object storage support page.

  • Archival cloud storage classes with support for Amazon S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval, Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive, IBM Cloud Object Storage Archive, and IBM Cloud Object Storage Accelerated Archive

Furthermore, the new version of IBM Spectrum Protect simplifies the experience for file-level backup and restore, and further enhances the IBM Spectrum Protect Web Client, enabling self-service and help desk operations through a web-based interface. IBM Spectrum Protect Data Protection for Mail 8.1.13 adds support for HCL Domino 11 and 12.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus 10.1.9 broadens support for protection of container-based workloads by adding support for Microsoft™ Azure Red Hat OpenShift environments.  It simplifies deployment by eliminating the need for an IBM Spectrum Protect Plus vSnap server and enabling the ability to store Red Hat OpenShift and Kubernetes backups directly to Azure object storage, AWS S3 and IBM Cloud Object Storage.. It simplifies operations by enabling deployment and management of IBM Spectrum Protect Plus BaaS Agent from the Red Hat OperatorHub.

The new version of IBM Spectrum Protect Plus received both IBM and Red Hat certifications for the IBM Spectrum Protect BaaS Agent and the IBM Spectrum Protect Plus server delivering confidence in the solution by meeting the stringent IBM and Red Hat standards for containerized software.

IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management 2.2.14 enhancements include Open Virtual Appliance (OVA) operating system upgrade delivering platform OS update from CentOS 6 to CentOS 7 to strengthen security and optimize performance and IBM Spectrum Virtualize enhanced stretched cluster support to allow clients to improve data resilience by supporting hardware snapshot operations in IBM Spectrum Virtualize Enhanced Stretched Cluster environments.  To provide easier commercial access to this offering, IBM announced an 50% list price reduction of IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management.

These enhancements got general available on December 10th, 2021, for all products, except IBM Spectrum Protect Plus for IBM FlashSystem and IBM Spectrum Storage Suite which is planned for December 17th, 2021.

IBM Spectrum Storage Suite is getting even stronger

The IBM Spectrum Protect and the IBM Spectrum Storage Suites are an industry unique commercial model and the most flexible way to acquire and utilize IBM Software-defined-storage services and offerings. With the recent announcement, IBM Spectrum Protect Suites 8.1.13 and IBM Spectrum Storage Suite 1.3.3 include now IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management as a component of these suites. 

 This gives clients owning those Suite entitlements immediate access to the following IBM Copy Data Management driven solutions:

  • Application recovery: Using application consistent snapshots and its instant recovery, IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management can help IT teams perform application recovery.
  • Disaster recovery: IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management can perform both crash-consistent and application-consistent snapshots. It has the capabilities of replicating that data to a secondary site or to the cloud. With the second copy of data, IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management can help perform recovery in the event of a disaster.
  • Cyber resiliency: All the data is on the hardware and IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management utilizes the hardware APIs to create clones from snapshots. This allows recovery to be quick and enables users to test the copies at the click of the button. Users don't need to wait for data to be copied over to a test server and can iterate through multiple copies for a safe recovery point.

  • Development and testing (dev/test): IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management has a catalog to track all the snapshots and clones that it creates. Users can create multiple copies for dev/test purposes and clean up those copies when developers or quality assurance testers are done with the copies to help decrease data sprawl. With the self-service portal, users will have access to their own data and create copies on demand or following a schedule. This removes the burden from IT to create the copies and puts the tasks in the hands of the user.

With commercial trade up offering from its component products to the Suite offerings, clients can take advantage of this new capabilities, by preserving their previous investment into the stand-alone Spectrum products.

IBM Spectrum Protect convergence - The Tech Preview of OSSM

Many clients have been asking for infrastructure simplification and unification between the different architectural approaches of IBM Spectrum Protect and IBM Spectrum Protect Plus. After adding IBM Spectrum Protect Plus visibility into the IBM Spectrum Protect Operation Center in the last release of IBM Spectrum Protect, now IBM Spectrum Protect 8.1.13 introduces the Open Snap Store Manager (OSSM) as a technology preview to provide the foundation for enabling IBM Spectrum Protect Plus to store data directly into IBM Spectrum Protect, eliminating the need for an IBM Spectrum Protect Plus vSnap repository.

The goal of the new feature is to enable you to leverage the powerful and scalable IBM Spectrum Protect data protection platform for your IBM Spectrum Protect Plus workloads. The Tech Preview requires a machine running the Linux x86 64-bit operating system. It demonstrates the new OSSM capability by running a simulated workload, which will consist of randomized data in an isolated storage pool. The data will be maintained separately from production data. Depending on your system environment and other factors, the workload simulation can take 15 minutes to a couple of hours.

To learn more about the OSSM technology preview please also read the Tech Notes Document Number 6475581, Technology preview for direct backups from IBM Spectrum Protect Plus to IBM Spectrum Protect.

More resources

To get more details on the new announcements I strongly recommend the following 30min video from Steve Kenniston’s Data Resilience SpectrumCast series - Episode 1045 - What's New in IBM Data Resilience and Tricia Jiang’s technical deep dives on the different function with 12 brand new videos in her YouTube technical enablement channel

For a wider picture on IBM Data and Cyber Resilience solutions, please check out the additional material on IBM Data Protection solutions and download the storage edition of  Understanding the must-haves of data and cyber resilience.

Any question, please reach out to me.