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IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud now supports Azure

IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud provides customers with new integrations, most notably expanding hybrid cloud choices by integrating with Microsoft Azure.

IBM is expanding its Spectrum storage software line to Microsoft Azure, giving customers another path to the hybrid cloud.

IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud is part of the vendor's hybrid storage-as-a-service portfolio for customers pursuing a blended public-private cloud infrastructure, and adds to the company's already-established integrations with AWS and IBM Cloud. Integration with Azure will also include Safeguarded Copy, technology used to protect again ransomware attacks.

Scott Baker, vice president of IBM storage product marketing, said IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud is a software-defined counterpart to its IBM FlashSystem, the vendor's all-flash, enterprise data storage product. Both products are built on IBM Spectrum Virtualize software, which Baker likened to using the same operating system. Together, Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud and FlashSystem enable customers to move and manage block data between on-premises and the public cloud.

"This is a way for organizations to create a consistent set of data and operational services on top of non-IBM gear," Baker said.

Randy Kerns, an analyst at Evaluator Group, said customers can benefit from using the same software on-prem and in the cloud for two reasons: First, the virtualization software from IBM is a fairly mature product compared with new implementations that may have issues still to be uncovered.  

"The second major benefit is that by leveraging the software, a vendor can focus resources across different potential uses," Kerns said.

For data protection

Baker said customers have been using IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud as part of their data recovery strategy. They replicate structured and semi-structured data sets from an on-premises site to the public cloud for long-term storage, recovery and discovery operations.

Along with Azure -- now a public cloud option -- customers will be able to use Safeguarded Copy as part of the vendor's cybersecurity offerings, which also includes free access to a vulnerability assessment tool.

Safeguarded Copy creates snapshots of data, which customers can store in a Secure Recovery Environment and can be stored on-premises or in the cloud, according to Baker. The data is further protected through encryption and immutability or air-gapped copies, according to a blog post by Laura Tuller, a systems engineer at managed services provider Mainline Information Systems. In the case of a breach, the Safeguarded Copy snapshots provide organizations with a path to recovery.

IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud integrates with IBM QRadar security information and event management software, which is used to monitor machine-to-machine and human-to-machine interactions for anomalies. In the case of a detected anomaly, QRadar triggers the IBM Guardium data protection product to automatically create data backups.

IBM has the opportunity to be a single provider and could do greater integration on some point.
Randy KernsAnalyst at Evaluator Group

The focus on cybersecurity could set IBM apart from other vendors.

"IBM has several elements of its own, [whereas] other storage vendors must use different sourced products," Kerns said. "IBM has the opportunity to be a single provider and could do greater integration on some point."

Turbonomic gets to work

Turbonomic, an application resource management and network performance management software that uses AI for optimization and automation, has also been integrated with IBM FlashSystem. Baker said the integration provides customers an ability to manage storage resources and automatically address network performance or capacity needs of their applications.

Kerns said combining application and network resource management with input from FlashSystem could provide a single software source to perform analytics for optimization.

IBM made additional enhancements to IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud recently. For data protection with containers, Spectrum Protect Plus, data protection software for hybrid cloud environments, has Red Hat certification and direct backup to Amazon S3 object storage. It also enables OpenShift workloads to be deployed on Azure, according to a blog post.

"The Spectrum Protect Plus certification, support for backing up in an OpenShift environment on Azure and direct backup to S3 will be attractive for use in container environments," Kerns said.

The IBM Spectrum Protect, which is data backup software, now supports replication to additional backup servers and utilizes object storage for long-term retention. IBM Spectrum Scale, a cluster file system, has new native cloud support promising faster S3 results.

IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud for Microsoft Azure, along with other IBM Spectrum highlights, is available now.

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