Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.

IBM adds a Plus to Spectrum Protect

9/6/2017 by Scott Perkins

In case you missed it, IBM just announced IBM Spectrum Protect Plus. At first glance, this product appears to be a rebranding and overhaul of Spectrum Protect for Virtual Environments.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus is deployed as a virtual machine via an OVA and has a very simplistic configuration. I like the software’s new interface because it is very intuitive.

The backup retention in Plus is based more on the SLA methodology (Gold, Silver, Bronze). It’s all preconfigured, which is not like the retention of Spectrum Protect server. The good news is that you can also scrap the predefined settings and create your own custom SLAs. This SLA methodology allows less TSM-centric individuals to work with it.

As for restores, there are a few options that are new. Here’s a quick overview of the three types of restores since I haven’t had a chance to dig into the details.

First, you can clone a virtual machine, which would be very useful in several situations. One instance is when you have a VM up and running but the application is down and you need files from an older backup without really knowing what files.

The second restore option is labeled as production; I assume that this is a normal restore, restoring the VM back in place.

The last option is test, and I noticed that you can modify or even create a new VM network that the VM can be attached to after the restore. This will be really useful when you test an application that happens to have multiple servers and they all need to be up and running and they can’t be on the same network as your production systems.

Getting to file level restores (**jumping up and down**), after many years they are actually getting back to the TSM restore functionality of a single point search across all backup points. Since TSM backs up all of the guests into a single TSM node, you can pick a file no matter when it was backed up just to restore that file or the group of files if you want.

IBM is also putting an emphasis on reporting. I’m excited to see the reports they have and to better understand how well they work in a day-to-day operation. This has been a weakness for IBM in the past, although third-party vendors have done a great job filling in.

I am excited to get my hands on Spectrum Protect Plus and put it through its paces. It is currently scheduled for release sometime before the end of the year.

You can see the IBM Spectrum Protect Plus End to End Preview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs6OhMLmu2Y

Scott Perkins is a Backup, Recovery and Storage Solutions Consultant for LRS IT Solutions. Holding multiple IBM certifications in Spectrum, Power, and storage, Scott has many years of experience implementing and administering networks and backup solutions.