Volume 11, Number 5 -- February 8, 2011

IBM Unveils Local Storage Option for Cloud-Based Backup Service

Published: February 8, 2011

by Alex Woodie

IBM's Business Continuity and Resiliency Services (BCRS) is now providing local data recovery services with its cloud-based backup and recovery solution. The offering, which bears the unwieldy (yet IBM-esque) name "Information Protection Services - managed backup cloud - onsite data protection," promises to keep customers' data safe in a cloud infrastructure, while simplifying management and recovery tasks.

According to the IBM United States Services Announcement 611-017 of January 25, the new Information Protection Services - managed backup cloud - onsite data protection service offering is a service that includes "disk and/or tape." Customers have the option of utilizing shared cloud resources to store their backups offsite, or to get dedicated resources from BCRS.

Regardless of whether their backups reside on dedicated or shared servers, customers are guaranteed that they will have access to 24x7 monitoring of their backups. They will also be provided a Web-based interface where they can add or delete the servers that are being backed up, and also run reports. IBM promises that no IBM intervention is required to initiate recoveries.

Optional services available with Information Protection Services--managed backup cloud--onsite data protection service include: encryption; replication of data to a secondary site; recovery of replicated data at a secondary site; and shipping and recovering tape cartridges with third-party vaulting services.

BCRS says it utilizes the Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) backup and recovery software to power backups of server operating systems, databases, applications, and file systems with this offering. Because the IBM i operating system is one of the OSes supported by TSM (as a client, but not as a controlling server, of course), one could draw the conclusion that IBM i infrastructures are supported by this offering.

However, attempts to confirm this with IBM were not successful. The IBM product literature says it supports "most major formats" with this offering, which includes Oracle, SAP, Informix, DB2, Sybase, SQL Server, MS Exchange, and Lotus Notes formats. (The information on the website about this offering is, to say the least, a little "cloudy.")

IBM offers two other services within its Information Protection Services - managed backup cloud offering, including Fastprotect online, which is designed for protecting laptops and desktops; and "remote data protection," which is designed for protecting geographically dispersed IT environments. For more information on this topic, check out IBM BCRS' "managed backup cloud" web page at www-935.ibm.com/services/us/index.wss/offerfamily/bcrs/v935221a73552t93.

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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Timothy Prickett Morgan
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