IBM have been dropping hints for some time now that they have a new product, specifically aimed at recapturing some of that virtual machine backup market. Sure, with Spectrum Protect for Virtual Environments, IBM have a compelling product with state of the art support for virtualised environments, particularly those using vSphere.
Multiple other products (I won’t name them) are chipping into that market by claiming that customers don’t really need a backup application, that they can just install a piece of software that will get things running in half an hour. You don’t have to worry about stuff like configuration, you don’t have to consider the architecture. Just install and go.
IBM knew they had to mix it up. Granted, for the customer who is already committed to Spectrum Protect, then using that product to store backup data for virtualised environments is a no-brainer. But, there’s a gap for customers that either don’t have the full Spectrum Protect product, or that want to take snapshots more frequently, and have the option to spin up those snapshots rapidly and use them for alternate workloads.
Expanding the Spectrum Protect family
IBM has long had products in the portfolio that hit some of those sweetspots. Spectrum Protect Snapshot for Vmware allowed for more frequent snapshots, but that product stopped development at 7.1. More recently, Spectrum Copy Data Management allows for more flexible use of those snapshots in hybrid cloud environments.
But, by providing solutions with multiple levels of functionality, it’s possible that IBM is missing that market that just wants a solution to do one thing, and to do it simply. The smart money was that Spectrum Protect Plus, which is being announced at VMWorld 2017, would be a product combining the power of Spectrum Snapshot and Spectrum Copy Data Management with a GUI that is easy to understand and to deploy, and that is engineered to easily scale workloads across hybrid cloud environments.
That prediction isn’t far from the truth. Spectrum Protect Plus is going to be available for rapid deployment as an Open Virtual Appliance (OVA), it will be relatively straightforward to license, and as we surmised ahead of time, it’s going to make backups of VMs much easier to schedule and configure.
Fresh features for a new outlook on backup
Some of the features such as SLA based policies and global file search are direct challenges to the competition, and these combine with an easy to use GUI that is determined to make this product easy to use for both backup and VM administrators.
Finally, Spectrum Protect Plus is going to interface easily with existing Spectrum Protect servers for retention of long term data. If you combine this with all of the usability features, IBM seem to have hit on a solution that hugely simplifies their backup of virtualised solutions, whilst still retaining the benefits and scale of pre existing solutions.
Due to be announced at VMworld next week for GA in Q4, expect to see a lot of press about Spectrum Protect Plus, and to find out how you can implement this in your own environment, make sure to get in touch with us at Silverstring.