3 ways to get IBM Spectrum Protect working harder and smarter in 2022.

Well, it’s January – time to take stock and plan for the year ahead. For many of our customers this means taking an objective look at their IT software assets. If you are too, you’re probably wrangling with conundrums like this…

Should you put more investment into software that’s been in place for several years? Hold and maintain? Or cut your losses and start over?

In this post, we consider your IBM Spectrum Protect environment and what can be done to maximise your investment.

The truth is, there’s probably a lot of features and functions in Spectrum Protect that you’re not using and some powerful new features that you may not even know about. If you want to get Spectrum Protect working harder and smarter for you in 2022, we recommend you focus on these three C’s

 

Focus 1 – Convergence

For most readers, you will certainly be running Spectrum Protect for your bare metal and database workloads and maybe SP4VE or a competing product for your virtual machines. Many SP users run Veeam and even copy Veeam workload to tape via the IBM workhorse. This is inefficient, makes disaster recovery processes more complex, and therefore increases risk.

Thanks to IBM’s acquisition of the source code last year for it’s new generation backup project – Spectrum Protect Plus (SPP), it’s now possible to mount and read virtual workloads directly from SP container pools allowing you to exploit the huge data reduction benefits of Spectrum Protect.

Last month IBM released a tech preview of Open Snap Storage Manager (OSSM), which utilises the technology.  A full release of OSSM will be released in the next few months. For any SP user running multiple backup products (and there are many), implementation of OSSM should be a high priority project for 2022. It has the potential to reduce your storage costs and simplify your storage environment significantly.

Focus 2 – Cyber

It’s always been the case that a good backup is an essential component of your defence against data loss and downtime. And whilst it’s unlikely to prevent a security breach it remains a cornerstone of your recovery and mitigation strategy. If you use IBM Spectrum Protect, here’s a few things to watch out for in 2022.

  1. Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). A mainstay of most enterprise security policies, it should be no different for your web portal administrator access to Spectrum Protect. An Opt-In approach including a QR code for “teach to app” should be available early in 2022.
  2. Command approval. It just make’s sense to require a second administrator to approve data destructive commands and its available now as a feature in Spectrum Protect.
  3. Data Encryption. Many ransom payments are made even when companies can recover without access to decryption keys because of the fear of data exfiltration. With malware dwell times increasing, attackers have already taken your sensitive data and passwords. Client and server encryption is a free feature in IBM Spectrum Protect.
  4. 3-site replication. Spectrum Protect users no longer need to use protect storage pools and can replicate data from a source backup server to two targets.
  5. S3 Object Lock. Already supported by Spectrum Protect Plus, this immutability feature will be made available for Spectrum Protect in 2022.

Focus 3 – Cloud

We have not seen a significant shift to Cloud backup for enterprise customers yet. But expect this to change in 2022 as cloud begins to take an important role in cyber security. S3 object storage will take centre stage for long-term policy managed data. Spectrum Protect Retention Sets provide a useful and cost-effective way to manage this type of long-term storage and can now be stored in AWS, Azure, GCP and IBM Cloud object storage.

Finally, As we move further into 2022, we expect the mega trend of “everything-as-a-service” (XaaS) to gather pace. All the major OEMs from Dell (Apex), HPE (Greenlake) and now IBM are offering Opex models for consuming server and storage infrastructure. This, combined with the demands on administrators to constantly verify the integrity of backup through constant recovery testing and scanning, is making managed backup services increasingly popular. We’ll cover more on this in an upcoming post.

If you’d like to get more out of Spectrum Protect and Spectrum Plus this year, talk to Predatar. Our intuitive backup management platform and cyber resiliency tools help enterprise infrastructure teams to take control of their Spectrum Protect and Spectrum Protect environments, while our team of expert Data Defenders provide flexible managed backup and recovery services on a subscription basis.

Contact us at info@predatar.com