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IBM Spectrum Protect Plus tackles VM data protection

The new IBM Spectrum Protect takes another shot at virtual server data protection. Spectrum Protect Plus provides backup and recovery for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.

IBM has designed a new application to protect virtual machines, as part of its IBM Spectrum Protect storage suite.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus includes Google-like search, snapshot-based recovery and policy management in virtual environments. It works with VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors.

The agentless software can be deployed as stand-alone software for data protection or application availability in small environments, or integrated with the agent-based IBM Spectrum Protect Tivoli Storage Manager -- for physical and cloud data protection.

It also supports the agent-based IBM Spectrum Protect for data protection in physical and cloud environments.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus will enter beta in September, with general availability planned for later in 2017.

IBM previously had a similar product for virtual environments. Tivoli Storage Manager for virtual environments was the company's first attempt at backup and restores in virtual environments that leveraged the VMware vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP).

"Protect Plus still uses VADP, but it also uses blockchain technology. It's written so much more efficiently," said Randy Kerns, senior strategist and analyst at IT consultant firm Evaluator Group.

Backup and recovery for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V

The IBM Spectrum Protect Plus server provides block-level incremental forever backup for vSphere and Hyper-V. Backups are stored as read and write snapshots, and the storage can be tiered to disk, tape and the cloud. Instant restores are available in a repository for multipurpose data access for testing, DevOps, reporting, analytics and other operations.

The product provides global search and restore so that administrators across the organization can do text searches across all VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). IBM claims Spectrum Protect Plus can install in less than 15 minutes and be configured in an hour.

Customers can deploy storage service-level agreements via the centralized policy management for consistent data protection practices across VMs. IBM Spectrum Protect Plus also works with virtual machine APIs to create application- or crash-consistent data copies. It also performs block-level incremental forever backups and immutable backup snapshots, using any storage as a backup target.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus also works with virtual machine APIs to create application- or crash-consistent data copies.

"The Google-like search can be done not just by timeline but by text search," said Doug O’Flaherty, program director for IBM's Spectrum marketing. "This is a brand new product by the development team for backup and management in virtual machines. It's designated for simple installation and simple ease of use."

Evaluator Group's Kerns said now administrators can directly mount snapshots and bring up VMs for instant restores. In previous IBM Spectrum Protect versions, administrators had to restore the data first and then bring up the VMs.

"When you get the Spectrum Protect suite, you can also leverage more advanced features like tiering to the cloud and tiering to tape," Kerns said. "And the unique thing about the file-level search is you can do it across all VMs, whether it's VMware or Hyper-V."

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