Today, IBM is announcing new efficiencies for IBM® Cloud Object Storage System™ driving down the cost of storage nodes by over 15%. We are also highlighting two important regulatory standards helping you meet the requirements of United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 17a-4(f) and Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) PUB 140-2, bringing our object storage leadership to customers when regulatory requirements exist.

Storage efficiency is something that IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS) excels at with our geo-dispersed erasure coding and adding support for 12TB drive configurations brings new savings to our customers. These new drives mean larger storage capacities supported per node and bring a 15+% cost reduction as measured in $/GB per storage node.

IBM has received a third-party assessment report that highlights IBM Cloud Object Storage with its write-once-read-many (WORM) storage along with policy enabled vaults to provide the ability to help meet the requirements of SEC Rule 17a-4(f). IBM Cloud Object Storage has also integrated FIPS 140-2 mode into the standard system software. FIPS 140-2 mode has been certified by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as complying with the requirements of FIPS 140-2, when operated in FIPS mode. Both these features are for the on-premises and private cloud versions only.

Starting as small as 72TB but growing to massive scale while maintain an always-on access to your data, IBM provides a flexible foundation for storing data safely and securely, while meeting regulatory requirements. In Gartner’s recent Critical Capabilities for Object Storage, IBM Cloud Object Storage scored highest overall for the object storage use cases.

Compliance assessment
In a newly published report, Cohasset Associates assessed that the IBM Cloud Object Storage on-premises and dedicated cloud solutions with policy enabled vaults meet securities broker-dealer industry requirements for preserving records and maintaining data integrity in a write-once-read-many (WORM), non-erasable and non-rewritable manner such that objects are immutable until retention and legal holds are no longer applicable.

Making data immutable (unchangeable over time) is supported natively in IBM Cloud Object Storage System software at no additional cost. This capability is now enabled in our software with no impact to availability and performance of a customer system. Customers can access their data using the same standard S3 enabled API but now will be unable to delete the data if the appropriate policy is enabled.

Compliance efficiency
The Cohasset report highlights IBM Cloud Object Storage geo-dispersed erasure coding and information dispersal algorithms (IDAs) store data as a set of “slices” that are distributed through network connections to storage nodes locally or geographically distributed across a Wide Area Network. No complete copy of the data resides in any single storage node, and fault tolerance is achieved via the ability to retrieve the original data using the slices from a subset of the nodes that contain them. By using geo-dispersed erasure coding across three or more sites, IBM can maintain full access to data even if a site goes offline or becomes unavailable for any reason.

IBM Cloud Object Storage creates efficiencies by storing only one copy of protected data without the need for replication like many other storage systems or back-up appliances.

FIPS 140-2 Mode
IBM Cloud Object Storage System FIPS PUB140-2-compliance is now part of the standard software but must be enabled in FIPS mode for use. The FIPS-compliant mode uses the IBM Cloud Object Storage System FIPS Cryptographic Module V.1 certificate number 2599 as the encryption module for the platform.

IBM® Cloud Object Storage System V3.10.0 FIPS mode meets the requirements of the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) PUB 140-2. All cryptographic operations performed on the data stored in the FIPS mode of the object store are executed in a FIPS-compliant manner. Once this mode is enabled, it cannot be turned off. IBM Cloud Object Storage System can be deployed on certified hardware servers in a single site or across multiple, geographically dispersed locations and connected by public or private networks

Conclusion
IBM Cloud Object Storage is a breakthrough platform that uses geo-dispersed erasure coding to create storage efficiencies at massive scale. This geo-dispersed erasure coding stores only one copy of protected data translating into a lower cost solution, while maintaining a very durable (up to 15 nines) and available solution.

Lowering the cost ($/GB per storage node) even further by using the new 12TB disks makes this on-premises offering even more attractive.

Storing data utilizing IBM COS policy enabled vaults is now backed by a letter of assessment for SEC 17a-4(f) & CFTC 1.31(c)-(d) compliance and brings even more opportunities for financial services to utilize the efficiencies of IBM Cloud Object Storage. With the growing need for data security, the accreditation by NIST for FIPS PUB 140-2 highlights IBM’s commitment to creating a secure environment for customers’ data.

“Now with broad regulatory compliance, IBM Cloud Object Storage is a natural fit for regulatory archiving because of its ability to grow extremely large at low TCO,” said Amita Potnis, Research Manager, File & Object-Based Storage Systems at IDC Consulting. “It is well suited for storing newer types of data such as voice, images, video and files that can be properly tagged, sorted and accessed using metadata.”

This solution is available for on-premises deployments as small as 72TB or dedicated cloud deployments in IBM Cloud. Customers can now cost effectively store massive amounts of data with the assurance that the data is tamper proof and meets government compliance standards. View the IBM Cloud Object Storage website to learn more details about cost efficient savings as well as solutions that can be utilized with our storage.

For complete information about the IBM Storage announcements on February 20, see our blog.

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