What is it about IBM Spectrum Protect that other backup administrators don’t know?

Well, first off, Protect does everything in software – everything. IBM never require a user to buy specialist hardware to enable their backup package’s features. You can present up to 800TB of raw disk in a dedupe pool (1PB without LZ4 compression) delivering up to 4PB dedupe storage. Some other vendors limit the amount of disk in their dedupe pools, unless you buy their appliances.

Next, there’s the Progressive Incremental backup system. For the vast majority of data-sources, Spectrum Protect doesn’t need fulls (except the first one), incrementals, differentials, synthetic backups, reverse incrementals or any of that nonsense, it’s all covered by the Progressive Incremental backup. Sure, you’ll hear any number of arguments for the full backups, like taxing the network infrastructure to make sure it would work in a DR scenario, but this is serious clutching at straws.

Progressive Incremental is not the same as Synthetic backup, it’s just not. There is no hammering away at the server to produce a periodic virtual full backup image. Protect simply and quickly selects the files required for a restore at the time the restore is initiated.

Those non-Protect backup users who still use tape always have that nagging worry that the tape might not read. Their tapes sit in libraries, slowly expiring their images, becoming less and less efficiently used, until finally the whole tape becomes expired and is returned to scratch. With Spectrum Protect, those tapes used are being optimised all the time so the required data is as optimally stored as possible. This gives assurance in the tape restore process, but also delivers efficiency in the use of media. Protect’s advanced media handling allows for backup data to be moved between tape formats with only a couple of commands – even into a new library. Just ask a non-Protect user how easy their last library upgrade was? Not just a couple of commands then? No. Be warned, they might cry.

Protect backs up incremental amounts of data, so dedupe numbers appear low. Low dedupe is a good thing with an efficient dedupe algorithm, it means that you’re selecting data efficiently, not just backing everything up. Protect requires less raw disk or tape to backup clients than any other package.

Worried about ransomware corrupting your dedupe pool? Protect has got you covered, you can air-gap that pool to tape and restore any corrupt extents.

Finally, for this article, at least: Protect is part of the IBM Spectrum Suite Software Defined Storage package. Suite allows the end user to build a fully software defined datacentre, from archive and data protection, through virtualised disk arrays, software defined arrays to monitoring, alerting and scale-out infrastructure, all with a single per-TB cost. Plus, no requirement to buy any particular vendor’s hardware. If you put you Spectrum Protect data stores on a Spectrum Scale back end and monitor it with Spectrum Control, you only pay once.

Find out more at http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/storage/spectrum/suite/