IBM i Support Added To IBM Spectrum Protect Backup Software
July 28, 2021 Alex Woodie
At long last, IBM has added IBM i support to Spectrum Protect, its enterprise backup product. After numerous requests for IBM i support, IBM quietly made the change in November by presenting Spectrum Protect as an S3-compatible storage repository, which is supported on the IBM i via the Cloud Storage Solutions for i (5733-ICC) offering, IBM product managers said recently.
For many years, IBM supported IBM i with Tivoli Storage Manager, the flagship enterprise backup offering that eventually was renamed IBM Spectrum Protect. However, IBM let the IBM i support lapse, an event that was noticed by many IBM i shops.
Multiple times per year, IBM i customers would ask about IBM i support in Spectrum Protect, says Del Hoobler, the program director for product management for IBM Spectrum Protect in IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software division.
“I get asked [about that] quite often, and many times in the last couple years I’ve had to basically say no,” Hoobler says in a recent edition of the Spectrum Cast video log on the IBM Community website with Steve Kenniston, IBM’s market development executive for IBM Spectrum Storage Software. “And I’m really happy that we can say yes now.”
IBM i customers can now back up their data using a combination of BRMS commands and the Cloud Storage Solutions for i (5733-ICC) offering, which enables BRMS backups to be sent to S3-compatible object storage sitting in the cloud. The Cloud Storage Solutions for i offering, of course, was added back in 2016 as a way to enable IBM i shops to back up their data to the cloud.
According to Hoobler, IBM brought BRMS and IBM i backups into the fold by adding support for S3 as a storage medium with Spectrum Protect. In other words, Spectrum Protect can now function as an S3-compatible repository to accept and store backups.
“ICC plus BRMS enables you to store IBM i backups into object storage,” Hoobler said in the video. “Well guess what: We added in November an S3 interface into Spectrum Protect . . . So effectively we opened up our ecosystem to enable products to store data directly into Spectrum Protect using the S3 interface.”
“So now if we add all that together, you’ve got ability to save BRMS backups through ICC and store that data directly to Spectrum Protect,” he continued. “So bingo, now I can leverage my investment in Spectrum Protect and be able to back up my IBM i system.”
There are some caveats to the support. Customers are limited to backing up no more than 2TB of data per day, which is a restriction imposed by the ICC software, Hoobler said. “This has to do with the amount of data that can be transferred and the amount of data that can be stored and meeting the RTOs that are necessary for a restore,” he said.
There are also some configuration settings that IBM i customers should be aware of as they’re putting this solution together. Hoober recommends that IBM i shops watch a YouTube video posted by IBMer Tricia Jiang to learn more about these settings. You can view that video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf8GnU9pIj0.