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Volume 20, Number 26 -- July 25, 2011

Big Blue Doesn't Compete Against i Cloud Backup Vendors

Published: July 25, 2011

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

The midrange is a mouthy bunch, and we spend a lot of time telling IBM what it should do and what it should not do. Just for a change of pace, I want to point out something that Big Blue has not done and show you why this is a good thing.

Last week, in announcement letter 611-007, the company talked about its plan to offer the SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery on its SmartCloud compute and storage clouds. As the name suggests, this is a full managed service that allows companies to fail-over their workloads running on Windows or Linux on X64 iron or AIX or Linux on Power Systems to virtual instances running inside IBM's own data centers. IBM is offering customers the ability to take an already virtualized workload and pass it over to its SmartClouds for it to resume running or to take server images from tape or disk and virtualize them and suck them into its SmartCloud iron where they can be reanimated. Customers who want virtual machine failover can pay to keep a live partition running on the IBM cloud, ready for disaster, or fire one up when the bits hit the fan and pay less money for the service.

The one thing that IBM did not do here, you will note, is offer a recovery service for OS/400 and IBM i workloads. This is good news for the several companies that have started their own backup and disaster recovery clouds, usually in partnership with one of the HA software suppliers in the midrange. This includes Vault400, SafeData, Concentric, SunGard, Consonus Technologies, i365 (formerly Evault), Storagepipe Solutions, Venyu, Server Backup, and Synergistic Online, just to name a few.

IBM may eventually get around to offering such a service, since it does have its own PowerHA clustering software. But for the moment, at least, Big Blue is letting the IBM i vendors that are trying to create a new cloudy recovery market alone.

IBM's own SmartCloud virtual server recovery service for Windows, Linux, and AIX workloads is expected to be live on January 31, 2012. Pricing was not divulged.


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