Monday, February 26, 2018

Making Virtual Backups Easier Than Ever

By: John Demianiuk   Categories:Managed Services, Business Continuity

Making Virtual Backups Easier Than Ever
IBM has long been able to back up virtualized infrastructures with Spectrum Protect for Virtualized Environments (formally TSM for VE), but it always had the reputation of being a little more complicated then its rivals. The detailed retention policies of Spectrum Protect’s file-based world were not made for the image-based backups of the virtualized world we find today. With virtualization becoming more prevalent, things had to change - and they sure have.

Late last year, IBM introduced their future for virtualized backup – IBM Spectrum Protect Plus. Their goal was to simplify the backup of virtual environments. It is a standalone product that integrates with both VMware and Hyper-V. All data is stored in it’s own data repository, but also has the ability to offload to their tried-and-true Spectrum Protect server for offsite or long term protection.

Spectrum Protect Plus is downloaded as an Open Virtual Appliance (.ova) file; OS and application all rolled into one. You can be up and running within minutes of finishing the download and configured for your environment with the hour. This is an agent-less system that, whether installed on VMWare or Hyper-V, can back up either one.

The policy domains of Spectrum Protect have been replaced by SLA policies. Specify how many days you want to keep the backup images, how often you want to take them and when you want to take them. That’s it. To get you started, IBM gives you three sample SLA policies – Gold, Silver and Bronze – that you can use as-is, alter, or just delete and use your own. To apply an SLA to a VM, simply associate it with the policy. The SLAs can also be applied at the Datastore or vCenter level. VMs can be associated with multiple SLAs for more elaborate data retention policies.

The dashboard gives an quick view into the health of your virtual backups. At a glance you can see your storage capacity, deduplication and compression ratios, VM protections stats and general system information.

Spectrum Protect Plus Dashboard

Probably the best feature is a google-like global search for file restorations. If you’re not sure where the file is, or even what server it’s on – not to worry. Simply type in the name of the file in the search bar (wildcards welcome), and Spectrum Protect Plus will give you all the available restoration options for you. Of course, if you know what server to look up, that’ll always help.

As the first update nears its release, IBM will be adding more functionality, eventually completely replacing Spectrum Protect for VE. From a small shop with a few virtualized servers, to an enterprise with thousands; Spectrum Protect Plus offers a simple, but scalable solution that can meet your virtual backup requirements.

At Sentia, we have a dedicated staff to help you design and implement your storage, backup and disaster recovery solution. If your IT department is tight on time, or you don’t have one, let our experienced support operations staff manage and monitor your solution, so you don’t have to.

To find out how IBM Spectrum Protect Plus can help protect your business, or information on a free 90-day trial of the software, just drop us a line and we'll get the process started.

And stay tuned for information on an upcoming webinar I'll be hosting on April 4th that will discuss our value add as Backup experts in much more detail.

John Demianiuk
Senior Technical Specialist, Sentia

John Demianiuk
John Demianiuk

John Demianiuk

John is Sentia's Senior Technical Specialist and comes with almost 20 years of IT experience. John gained hands-on system administration knowledge and eventually taught the MCSE certification course he graduated from.

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Full biography

John is Sentia's Senior Technical Specialist and comes with almost 20 years of IT experience. John gained hands-on system administration knowledge and eventually taught the MCSE certification course he graduated from. John then moved to an IT consulting company, where he started focusing on customer facing projects, starting with IBM Lotus and Domino administration and then on Tivoli Storage Manager, now Spectrum Protect, where he has focused for the last 15 years. In his spare time, John is a certified motorcycle safety instructor that enjoys riding, music, cooking and travelling.


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