Yet more new stuff!

Ok, so you think you know the Spectrum Storage portfolio? Guess Again! I’d like to introduce the newest member of the portfolio “Spectrum Discover“.

IBM Spectrum Discover

So, what is Spectrum Discover?

Simply put, it’s a metadata analysis system, for analysing Spectrum Scale and IBM Cloud Object Storage datastores, it comfortably operates at Exabyte scale. So, you’ve not got an Exabyte? well, it’s still good for you, it operates from the smallest to the largest datastore equally well.

What does it do?
Key features of Spectrum Discover are:
  • Event-notifications and policy-based workflows to automate metadata ingestion and metadata indexing at exabyte-scale
  • Fine-grained views of storage consumption based on a wide range of system and custom metadata.
  • Fast, efficient search through exabytes of data, resulting in highly relevant results for large-scale analytics.
  • Ability to quickly differentiate mission-critical business data from data that can either be deleted or moved to a cheaper, colder tier.
  • Policy-based custom tagging that enables organizations to classify and categorize data and align this data with the needs of the business.
  • A Software Developers Kit (SDK) to build Action Agents that extract metadata from file headers and content, automate data movement and provide integration to open source software, such as Apache Spark, Apache Tika, PyTorch, Caffe and TensorFlow, which facilitates data identification and speeds large-scale data processing.

Pretty Cool huh?!

Find out more over at the IBM Spectrum Discover web site.

Hold on to your hats, it’s new software time!

Here it is, a dual release of Spectrum Protect 8.1.6 and Spectrum Protect Plus 10.1.2.

There are oodles of new features, the details of which you can find at the following links:
SP https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSEQVQ_8.1.6/srv.common/r_wn_tsmserver.htmlSPP

SPP https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSNQFQ_10.1.2/spp/r_techchg_spp.html

I’ll just list a few of the new features that are of interest to me:

Spectrum Protect:

  • Tiering of inactive data to Object storage, with granular age/exception rules
  • Ransomware detection has been beefed up and now covers virtual machines as well as physical machines

Spectrum Protect Plus:

  • New GUI, much better drill down to data from GUI elements, etc.
  • DB2 is now supported for data protection and reuse, physical and virtual
  • Encryption at rest in vSNAP

You can download a free 30 day trial of Spectrum Protect Plus from the IBM web site, it installs for PoC use cases in under 15mins, dive in, have a go:
https://www.ibm.com/account/reg/us-en/signup?formid=urx-20152

Hold on to your hats, there’s news a-coming…

Ok, we’ve got a whole load of Spectrum and IBM storage related announcements.

Here’s a blog from Eric Herzog over at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ibm-storage-delivers-new-solutions-your-multi-cloud-eric-herzog/

However The Register did a nice job in bullet pointing everything we’ve just announced, take a deep breath and plough on through:

  • Spectrum Protect’s automated tiering has been extended to a object storage tier,
  • Spectrum Protect Plus (SPP) will have vSnap repository encryption,
  • SPP has expanded item-level support in application environments including newly-added IBM Db2, with existing SQL server and Oracle databases,
  • Cloud Object Storage (COS) can now be a backup/archive target for mainframe z/OS,
  • COS can be target for DS8800 arrays with in-flight encryption,
  • hardware vendors can self-certify their COS support, sending verification test results to IBM for validation, meaning a faster certification process,
  • COS v3.14 will support Lenovo SR630 and SR650 servers,
  • Spectrum Scale (parallel filer software) v5.0.2 now has AWS support with bring-your-own licence functionality and AWS QuickStart for rapid deployment,
  • Spectrum Scale has added file audit logging, a watch folder, an improved user interface and greater network resilience,
  • IBM’s Elastic Storage Server (ESS) has preconfigured systems and implementation services to support NAS protocols,
  • IBM Cloud Private has added Spectrum Access Blueprint support for IBM Z,
  • there are new multi-cloud IBM storage options for for SAP and EPIC Electronic Health Records, and (whew)
  • the FlashSystem 9100 array now offers VDI.

Phew. And that’s not to mention the converging of a Z Server with Flash storage in a single 19″ rack, the new DS8882F and an upgrade path for older DS arrays.

An extra level of protection from Protect.

It seems like quite a while since I’ve written a blog piece, but I’ve been galvanised into action by some new features that were introduced into Protect 8.1.5 while I recently spent some time away from work…

Spectrum Protect 8.1.5 will now detect “suspicious activity” in your clients. Or to put it more simply – Protect will help to protect you against ransomware attacks as they start. That is the period where the ransomware is quietly encrypting away and spreading over your network but is still un-noticed by your production users.

security notifications

To achieve this Protect will now notify you in the Operations Centre overview screen and in a new Security Notification screen of in-expected changes to various metrics. The metrics are tracked, averaged over time and include increase/decrease of the amount of data/number of files being backed up and decreases in the dedupe ratio. These all being indicative of something making changes en-masse to the underlying filesystem. You can configure the server to email your server team or application owners directly if their servers have warnings pop up against them.

Pretty cool huh?

You can see a short video by Tricia Jiang here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKmoh4V-XUw

Spectrum Protect Plus 10.1.1

It’s been out a little while now and it’s about time I said something about Spectrum Protect Plus 10.1.1. The new release has had a large dump of new features liberally spread across it, building a more compelling solution on top of the initial 10.1.0 release.

Top amongst these features is greatly enhanced MS SQL Server support and the addition of Oracle Support. However unlike many of the other similar products on the market SPP is differentiating itself here. The support for MSSQL and Oracle is not tied to VMs, it’s for physical machines and even clusters as well. Agentless (or rather – you don’t have to manually install an agent), with progressive incremental backups, instant restores, including point-in-time restores and data re-use features.

vSnap replication is another new addition of note, which now allows for replication of images between two vSnap servers. This is combined with a new concept of “sites” which allows different vSnaps to be assigned to a “site” allowing a more easy visualisation of the infrastructure. Replicating from Prod to DR, being more conceptually easy than between two different server names.

A key strength in the new replication system is that the frequency can be as low as 5 minutes, allowing for high frequency, short retention backups to be moved over to DR. This effectively replaces the hypervisor to hypervisor VM replication features in a number of similar products with a true backup. The backed up VM can be started at the remote site with an instant restore. Instant restore being the expected default for SPP restore operations.

More information can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGSsFZ3QIDY

A free trial version can be downloaded here: https://www.ibm.com/us-en/marketplace/ibm-spectrum-protect-plus