10 More Ways to Licence Spectrum Protect

Three years ago, my colleague posted a superb article on the 10+ ways to licence IBM Spectrum Protect. The blog was very popular but it’s time for an update. A lot can and has changed in three years. Before getting stuck into this post, we recommend reading the original blog to familiarise yourself with the basics.

Gravy Train

We talk to many users of IBM Spectrum Protect about what they are getting in return for their annual support maintenance fees. It’s not so much the absolute costs, more the perceived value, or total return on investment. To use a phone analogy, its like paying for the latest iPhone but only using the SMS and call features. The incidence of technology debt is pandemic in the backup and recovery field but is it the manufacturer’s fault? Backup is often seen as a cost of doing business and is notoriously hard to manage and upgrade. Migration projects take time and just like when decorating your house, there is always one “room” left to do.

The house analogy might be more appropriate than the phone one. Phones are usually disposed of, with care for the environment we hope, after every upgrade cycle. Your data is probably not, it represents the valuables in your home. Spectrum Protect is a quality product and ranks highly for giving users peace of mind. For many though, it’s not as modern a “house” as they would like.

Money to Burn

Some companies get tired of their cluttered houses and throw their lot in with a second, or even third, storage company. Before you know it, not only is the garage full of stuff, the yard is littered and you have more items in local storage. It can’t be the best solution.

Back to what’s changed since our 2017 blog post.

Later that same year IBM announced the general availability of Spectrum Protect Plus. Perceived by some as a new product, we believe it’s an upgrade to help you modernise Spectrum Protect and gain greater value from your investment. Spectrum Protect now offers a much simpler administrative experience for users, as well as covering more of the “cloud-native” infrastructure starting to penetrate the enterprise. The new software adopts the “agentless” model used by many backup companies targeting the VMware protection market, whilst allowing for very efficient long-term data retention, for which Spectrum Protect is lauded.

This presents the Spectrum Protect user with the opportunity to modernise their “house” from the inside out, whilst eliminating losses caused by unnecessary use of “garages, yards and third-party storage boxes”. Second homes are great, but you wouldn’t keep your valuables in them. Far better to get a new kitchen or bathroom, than buy a second home.

On the Money

Referencing the great advice given in the original blog, which licence model is best to bring-in Spectrum Protect Plus, to modernise your data protection system?

Spectrum Protect Plus (SPP) is licenced on a per-VM basis. However, if you have use of a capacity-based licence model, you can offset some of your capacity allowance to bring in the new technology. The conversion is one terabyte (1 TB) of back-end capacity to ten (10) virtual machines. If you subsequently copy the snapshots into Spectrum Protect, say for long-term retention, you don’t pay again for the use of capacity in that repository. This is not true if you use a third-party product for your snapshots and copy that data into Spectrum Protect. It makes commercial sense to replace any third-party software, such as Veeam, with Protect Plus. So, by modernising your “house” from the inside and reclaiming the cost of your “second home”, you consolidate and simplify your protection estate.

The Bottom Line

If you are familiar with cloud-billing models and are of a mind to preserve cash, you can switch to a pay-for-what-you-use subscription model. This has the added benefit of avoiding any of those obtrusive vendor licence audits. This “no surprises” model is much more flexible than the old IBM PVU or legacy capex options. It is especially suited for companies moving data between the core, the cloud and the edge.

When combined with management platforms such as Predatar, customers can more easily track usage and allocation of licences, down to the business unit, application or even individual node.

Just as with bank accounts and utility bills, customer loyalty is often rewarded with higher prices. With so many ways to consume the IBM software, it makes sense to consider your options.

If you want to stop wasting money, here’s three things you can do today:

1. Read our free Spectrum Protect licencing explained guide
2. Try out our Spectrum Protect savings calculator
3. Talk to us. We’re happy to help.