Coming soon: IBM Spectrum Protect Plus for VMware on IBM Cloud.

It seems like everyone is talking about data reuse these days. For us, it’s more than empty talk. IBM already has solutions to help customers solve problems today leveraging secondary data in new and innovative ways. Now that we’ve introduced our future solution for availability and reuse, we are expanding our capabilities to enhance data protection and offer more ways to reuse that data.

2017 marked a giant step forward in IBM Storage’s data reuse strategy. We introduced a brand new data protection solution for virtual environments, IBM Spectrum Protect Plus. It brought so much more than data protection. With that solution IBM Storage introduced our future vision of data protection as a starting point for data management and data reuse. The keys are the global catalogue of copies and the ability for anyone with authorization to access backup copies nearly instantly, in place for recovery activities and beyond. You can read more about this strategy in Steve Kenniston’s blog series on the evolution of data protection, snapshot and automation, and data reuse.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus offered integration with our award-winning enterprise backup and recovery solution, IBM Spectrum Protect and by the end of 2017, we made IBM Spectrum Protect Plus available as part of the IBM Spectrum Protect capacity licensing making it not only easy to deploy but easy to acquire. You can read more about that in Eric Herzog’s blog from December.

The latest versions of IBM Spectrum Protect and IBM Spectrum Protect Plus will hit the market this quarter and here’s how they can help you get more value out of your secondary data. With the newest release we add more capabilities to deal with the new threats and emerging regulations using your backup data. We also offer new ways to catalogue more of your data with IBM Spectrum Protect Plus for backup, recovery, and availability but also for data reuse.

Steve Skully, Senior Analyst at The Evaluator Group believes this to be a key trend in datacenters. “A trend in the data center is to get more out of backup data than just recovery. Reusing data for new use cases such as DevOps and Analytics allows IT organizations to derive more value from their data. IBM Spectrum Protect Plus indexes all VM and file copies to further meet the needs driven by this new trend.”

Ransomware detection and alerting
As we all know, ransomware threatens all organizations. Proper security should be your first line of defense. But with IBM Spectrum Protect version 8.1.5 administrators can monitor secondary data for unusual changes that indicate an infection event has occurred. Once detected, administrators are alerted to the possible malware event so that they can respond quickly and limit data loss. Back in June I wrote about the continuing threat of ransomware in my blog. In that article, I referenced a research report that showed 70% of organizations paid ransom to restore their data in 2016. Now with proper airgap and faster alerting to a ransomware infection available in this latest version, administrators can respond quickly to the event, recover from airgap copies of data and avoid paying the ransom.

GDPR readiness and auditing
Secondary data is also becoming important with the emergence of new regulations around data ownership and the right to deletion also known as the “right to be forgotten” requirements laid out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Proper preparation for GDPR compliance which goes into effect in May of 2018 will require a mix of software features, people and processes. IBM has the tools, knowledge to help organizations develop their GDPR strategy. You can read more about the overall IBM GDPR readiness strategy here. The latest version of IBM Spectrum Protect is an important part of that preparation. With additional logging of metadata and expanded documentation for auditing for GDPR, administrators will be prepared to comply the coming regulations more easily.

When it comes to your catalog, bigger is better
IBM Spectrum Protect Plus is a central element to our data reuse strategy and version 10.1.1 available this quarter provides more ways to protect data, and more ways to access data. The keys to data reuse are the global catalog of secondary data and an easy and automated way to get access to secondary data.

Take, for example, the expansion of database backup. Now that IBM Spectrum Protect Plus includes databases (SQL and Oracle), database administrators can use all the automation capabilities available in IBM Spectrum Protect Plus for access to copies of databases. Either though the easy to use role based portal or through the REST APIs, database administrators can access database copies in place without creating moving new copies. Alternately, they can create clones of the databases and move them for their own test, development or reporting purposes.

With so much valuable information in the copy catalog, availability of copies is becoming critical. To ensure that IBM Spectrum Protect Plus copies are always available when and where administrators need them, this latest version of IBM Spectrum Protect Plus supports vSnap replication enabling vSnap repositories to be replicated locally or to other sites. Administrators can rest easy in the knowledge that their valuable data is protected and available even in the case of a site outage.

The innovations just keep on coming. In March, just in time for IBM THINK you will find IBM Spectrum Protect Plus available for VMware on IBM Cloud giving organizations a push button easy way to backup and recover their VMs on IBM Cloud. If you would like to learn more about our latest features and enhancements you can read about them in the IBM Knowledge Center. And make sure to come and join us at IBM THINK where we will be demonstrating the new capabilities of IBM Spectrum Protect and IBM Spectrum Protect Plus, as well as having several session and hand-on labs.

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