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IBM Announces New Features & Updates To FlashSystem

IBM Announces New Features & Updates To FlashSystem

  • IBM has extended the scope of Safeguarded Copy function to its FlashSystems.
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Of late, cyberattacks dominate the news cycle., especially after the pandemic. According to a Cybersecurity Venture report, cybercrime is going to cost $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Remote work has exposed the vulnerabilities of enterprise cybersecurity and also proved traditional methods fall short in dealing with such attacks.

To this end, IBM has announced a few steps to ensure the cyber resilience of FlashSystem products.

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Safeguarded Copy function

The security guaranteed by the IBM mainframe is top-notch and explains the legacy technology’s popularity even against modern systems. Such security capabilities are also desirable on everyday enterprise storage. One way to do so is to take frequent snapshots and keep them physically separate or air-gapped. While this is an important security strategy, it offers very little operational flexibility. To remediate this, IBM introduced Safeguarded Copy feature a while back to its mainframe-based DS8000 storage arrays.

Now, IBM has extended the scope of Safeguarded Copy function to its FlashSystems. This function automatically creates immutable snapshots according to a schedule. These snapshots help in creating logical air gaps from malware and other threats as they are not connected to the servers. Furthermore, any change or deletion to these snapshots has to be done as per a pre-planned schedule and eliminates risks related to employee negligence or malafide actions.

In case of an attack, Copy Services Manager (IBM’s orchestration software) helps in identifying the best-Safeguarded backup, which uses the snapshot technology, automatically and rapidly restores data into online volumes. Furthermore, using storage virtualisation in FlashSystem and IBM SAN Volume Controller, the benefits of Safeguarded Copy can be extended to 500 different storage systems. 

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Further, IBM Security QRadar, a security information and event management (SIEM) and threat management system, monitors activities that may indicate suspicious activities. With the new update, IBM QRadar can invoke Safeguarded Copy to create a protected backup when the sign of threat is observed.

IBM storage-as-a-service

The ‘as-a-service’ model has been gaining traction of late. As per an IDC report, by 2024, more than half of data centre infrastructure will operate these ‘as-a-service’ models. This is because customers now want to deploy cloud storage without planning or completing procurement cycles or worrying about maintaining Storage and prefer having the whole lifecycle managed.

As part of the flexible infrastructure initiative, IBM now extends its Storage as a service to hybrid clouds with a new flexible consumption model. This service takes care of both on-premise and hybrid cloud needs. In addition, this service has all the functional capabilities of IBM FlashSystems. Further, IBM Storage as a service comes integrated with IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud, allowing easy and seamless integration on most hybrid multi-cloud architectures.

IBM Storage as a Service is an easy, flexible way to get IBM FlashSystem storage with the benefits of subscription pricing, along with complete lifecycle support from IBM.

Storage for IBM Z Systems

IBM has announced a new generation of Storage for IBM Z Systems for better performance and availability. The performance improvement allows headroom for new AI and machine learning related workloads. 

Introduced in December 2020, the enterprise data system IBM DS8980F offers ten times better availability. This is 3-second downtime per year, on average. It also has double maximum cache and provides two times greater bandwidth capacity with 32 Gb/s fibre channel host adapters. All these features result in a 25 percent reduction in the response time for the mainframe database-like workload. This helps the user add functions like AI to extract more value from the data on IBM Z.

The new IBM TS 7770 has a flash cache that delivers the same performance in only one drawer as ten drawers of disk drives. This helps in reducing rack space needs. So TS7770, DS8910F, and networking can be combined in a single rack to reduce the floorspace by 50 percent.

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