IBM Boosts Protection of All-Flash Storage Range

IBM integrates Safeguarded Copy to FlashSystem family and announces the rollout of a new storage-as-a-service offering.

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IBM is ramping up the security features of its FlashSystem family of all-flash arrays with advanced data protection.

The vendor says it wants to help companies better plan for – and recover quickly from – ransomware and other cyberattacks.

As such, IBM has announced IBM Safeguarded Copy for the IBM FlashSystem range. Safeguarded Copy automatically creates data copies in “immutable snapshots,” which are securely isolated within the system and cannot be accessed or altered by unauthorized users.

In the event data is compromised, customers can recover their data from the snapshots based on known points in time prior to the breach.

Cybercriminals increasingly are taking advantage of the distributed data landscape to ramp up the frequency of their attacks. Ransomware in particular is on the rise. According to SonicWall, ransomware attacks rose to 304.6 million in 2020. This was up 62% over 2019, mainly due to the highly distributed workforces caused by the pandemic.

Denis Kennelly, general manager, IBM Storage, said protecting against cyberthreats requires “a two-pronged approach to resiliency.” This involves automated protection and rapid recovery.

“That’s why we’re standardizing our modern data protection software,” he said. “Cyberattacks are on the rise, but data can be protected and restored when you are prepared.”

Storage as a Service

IBM also announced plans to roll out a new storage-as-a-service offering. This aims to give customers “a fast, new way to integrate hybrid cloud storage into any data center environment.” It also eliminates the need for upfront capital expense of a system purchase.

As part of its new Flexible Infrastructure family, IBM says Storage as a service makes it simple for customers to choose the storage they need. They determine the right performance, capacity and service term that matches their workload and business needs.

Customers pay a single rate based on terabyte per month at a fixed annual rate and the performance level of the system they deploy. IBM handles the install and configuration to concierge-level services and support. This, it says, provides an experience that combines the control of an on-premises deployment with the ease of a cloud service.

Customers will be able to scale their storage capacity up or down as they need with variable pricing. Unlike some comparative services, the IBM Storage as a Service base and variable pricing (when customers need extra capacity) are the same. In addition, IBM doesn’t penalize customers for having data that is not compressible.

The solution will extend to support hybrid cloud use cases with the monthly priced Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud. This supports IBM Cloud and AWS, and with planned support for Microsoft Azure. IBM Storage as a Service will also support hybrid cloud solutions deployed via cloud-adjacent architecture at Equinix.

Pricing for IBM Storage as a Service will be offered in three tiers that consider the level of system performance needed, capacity required and the length of commitment. The service will start at $27 per terabyte per month on effective basis and come with full concierge life cycle services.

Customers can take advantage of IBM’s optional 100% data availability guarantee. For each solution, IBM will provide about 50% of additional reserve capacity above customer base needs to respond immediately for data growth. The reserve capacity will be billed at the same rate as the base capacity once it is utilized.

The company plans to make IBM Storage as a Service available across North America and Europe in September. It will extend the service to other regions around the world in the future.

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton


Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications.

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