IBM Ups its Spectrum Storage Game for the Cloud

Big Blue offers new IBM Spectrum Storage innovations to improve security and data management in the cloud.

Cloud storage

IBM recently upped its storage game with a series of new innovations to its IBM Spectrum Storage family of software-defined storage offerings. The products aim to help organizations improve storage management, data security and reduce data costs as they deploy new technology to support cognitive and other data-driven applications across hybrid cloud environments.

New features include IBM Spectrum Virtualize storage virtualization, which helps users improve data security and reduce costs, the company said. It now offers a new software feature that provides data encryption on existing heterogeneous storage systems, eliminating the need to purchase new infrastructure.

The new IBM Spectrum Scale software and the IBM Elastic Storage Server integrated system help clients reduce capital and operating expenses for large volumes of files and objects used by cognitive and cloud applications. New features include data compression to improve storage utilization and efficiency and the ability to accelerate Hadoop applications with a new Hadoop Filed System (HDFS) interface.

“As organizations transform to digital business, they increasingly require a solution to store data safely and cost effectively,” said Jamie Thomas, general manager of IBM Storage, in a statement. “The advancements in Spectrum Storage will help clients by increasing data security and improving data storage management.”

IBM’s new Spectrum Control feature helps users reduce IT costs and complexity by optimizing data and storage. It now extends management and data analytics capabilities for IBM FlashSystem and IBM Spectrum Scale file and object storage systems. These enhancements, along with broad support for traditional storage systems, provide an integrated control point for optimizing today's diverse data infrastructures, IBM said.

As organizations are storing more data than ever before from a diverse set of sources for analytics and other applications, often through their mobile devices, IT solution providers are increasingly focused on storing, managing and protecting this data.

Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) research shows that improving information security along the data lifecycle is the top IT priority this year at organizations of all sizes. Similarly, new research on data protection reveals that encryption features are the top consideration for IT managers as they evaluate and select new backup vendors or solutions, according to ESG.

IBM noted that over the last six months, both customers and IBM business partners have chosen offerings from the IBM Spectrum Storage portfolio for their data storage needs. For instance, Key Information Systems, an IBM business partner that provides compute and storage solutions for software-defined data centers, has helped clients improve management of large amounts of storage with IBM Spectrum Storage.

“Data encryption has become one of the top priorities for our clients as they face more stringent corporate security requirements around data storage,” said David Howard, a solution architect at Key Information Systems, in a statement. “Now, with IBM Spectrum Virtualize and its ability to encrypt external storage, customers have a single, standard storage encryption solution that protects their current storage investments eliminating the need for islands of encryption or the purchase of new storage systems.”

In addition to enhancing the security and data management elements of its storage platform for hybrid cloud environments, IBM has been adding new cloud services at a rapid pace to help customers deploy apps in the cloud. Last week, Big Blue announced two new services for IBM Cloud -- IBM Active Deploy and IBM Event Hub to help developers run updates with no downtime.

The new services help developers avoid disruption to apps when deploying updates, eliminate complexity from manual processes, and integrate data from sources of real-time information.

IBM Active Deploy, now available on IBM’s Bluemix Platform as a Service, enables developers to deploy software updates to cloud-based apps with zero downtime and no service disruption. The new continuous delivery DevOps service enables development teams to produce software updates in short cycles and be confident they can deploy these updates seamlessly and invisibly. For core business applications, even a few minutes of downtime can mean lost revenues and a sharp drop in customer satisfaction, IBM said.

The IBM Event Hub solution, a beta service on Bluemix, brings together events generated by a variety of web services or on-premises systems into a centralized, cloud-based system. Multiple event streams can easily be aggregated within the Bluemix Message Hub, while still keeping data separate, organized and easily accessible. IBM Event Hub is launching initially with four connectors to enable integration of some of the largest sources of data into apps: Twitter, Salesforce, Cloudant and MQ Light.

Just last week, Big Blue announced the availability of IBM Streaming Analytics and IBM Message Hub as services on the IBM Cloud.

These tools are based on the popular Apache Kafka messaging engine and are designed to work together to make it easier for developers to integrate external data into their apps, as well as visualize and continuously analyze this data.