Expanding cloud options
According to industry analysts, more than 50 percent of IT spending will be cloud-based by 2018. IBM research confirms that 75 percent of enterprises in the US plan to increase cloud investment. It’s clear that cloud computing has become a foundational part of 21st century IT infrastructure solutions.
Data protection is one area that has significantly benefited from the move to the cloud. Using public cloud resources, organizational leaders can dramatically streamline data protection solutions. Resources can be purchased only as needed, with few capital outlays. Data can be quickly and easily backed up to the cloud across a wide variety of cloud providers. Connecting to the cloud, however, can create very complex and daunting management challenges. These include copying and moving massive data sets, maximizing network performance, using the most cost-effective cloud and on-premises storage tiers and scheduling and monitoring and tracking backups among many other tasks.
IBM Spectrum Protect provides a wide range of backup, snapshot, archive, recovery, space management and disaster recovery capabilities. It can help protect and manage data on systems of all sizes – from a single point of control. It can help to advance data protection for many different types of environments being used today, including cloud, virtualized and software-defined environments. IBM Spectrum Protect helps recover individual items, complex systems and entire data centers.
With the introduction of container technology to IBM Spectrum Protect nearly two years ago, IBM helped make cloud-based data protection solutions simpler to deploy, extremely efficient and cloud friendly. IBM Spectrum Protect has steadily expanded its list of supported clouds and in version 8.1.2, it has expanded further to include Microsoft Azure (hot or cold) Blob storage as a target for cloud-container storage pools. Now that incorporating cloud-based data protection has become less complex and more open, enterprises can shift the focus of their decision-making processes toward selecting the right cloud provider. They carry the knowledge that it will be supported by their data protection architecture.
The new IBM Spectrum Protect version 8.1.2 helps teams to more effectively address these questions. It provides expanded cloud service provider options and makes data protection management in the cloud even easier through many new enhanced features and capabilities such as:
- Expanded cloud options
- Native Microsoft Azure Blob storage support integration
- Enhanced virtual environment capabilities
- vSphere Web Client Native HTML5 support
- Enhanced monitoring capabilities native to the vSphere Web Client
- Persistent snapshot management of VMware virtual volumes (VVOLs)
- Optimized recovery for VMware environments
- Support for Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016 Resilient Change Tracking (RCT)
- Improved data protection management
- At-rest encryption for directory-container storage pools
- Performance enhancements for multi-session, no-query restores from container storage pools
- Configuration wizard for scheduling SQL Server and Exchange Server backups
- Ability to send NetApp NDMP backups to container storage pools
- Improved integration and performance when using IBM Spectrum Protect and IBM Spectrum Scale together
The addition of support for Microsoft Azure Blob storage as a target for cloud-container storage pools is an excellent example of the increased flexibility and expanded options provided in the new release. IBM customers can now use hot or cool Blob tiers to optimize data economics. Then, IBM Spectrum Protect adds its powerful inline data deduplication, compression and encryption to lower costs even further.
“Microsoft Azure Blobs are an easy and cost-effective way to store hundreds to billions of objects, in hot or cool tiers, depending on how often data access is needed,” notes Sarah Muckler-Visser, the Global Alliance Director with Microsoft. “Now IBM Spectrum Protect enables organizations to leverage the advantages of Azure Blob storage to build agile, cost-effective data protection solutions on the Microsoft Azure cloud. As more and more customers take their backups to the cloud, we think this new, cloud-ready capability from IBM is critical for data protection in the modern data center.”
IBM remains a leader in data backup and recovery software. We are also one of the top cloud services providers on the planet. With a pedigree like that, it’s easy to understand how cloud and data protection naturally came together in IBM Spectrum Protect. Now, we are once more expanding cloud-based data protection options and capabilities, providing more flexibility for our customers and helping them gain greater benefits from cloud-based data protection solutions.
 IDC FutureScape: WorldWide Cloud 2016 Predictions – Mastering the Raw Material of Digital Transformation
 IBM Center for Applied Insights, “Global Tech Hot Spots: A country-level look at big data & analytics, cloud, mobile and social.”