IBM improves file cataloguing, object storage, protects databases in the cloud

IBM has updated Spectrum Discover, object storage and Spectrum Protect Plus products and added the FlashSystem 9100 array to its VersaStack converged infrastructure.

The company made the announcement in a webcast by by Eric Herzog, CMO at IBM Storage. He said the updates help customers better handle data in the petabyte-to-exabyte range. Forget data lakes – they are moving to data oceans.

Spectrum Discover

Spectrum Discover, a file cataloguing and indexing product, gets support for heterogeneous environments – Dell EMC Isilon and NetApp filers, Amazon Web Services S3, Ceph, IBM Spectrum Scale and IBM Cloud Object Storage.

It can detect personally identifiable information, such as credit card and social security numbers, and is said to be compatible with GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act which is expected to be enforced starting in 2020.

An un-named beta test customer said Spectrum Discover catalogued 254 million files across three file systems. Some 45 per cent of the data was flagged as inactive and transferable to cheaper archive storage. The software identified 84 users with wholly inactive data.

This Spectrum Discover product now has some similarities to Catalogic Software’s ECX cataloguing package which IBM worked with in 2016.

IBM Cloud Object Storage

There is a second-generation COS appliance featuring:

  • Drop of up to 37 per cent in terms of cost per terabyte, 
  • A 26 per cent increase in capacity in a single rack to 10.2 petabytes.
  • Up to a 25 per cent increase in throughput.
Herzog presenting on IBM COS.

Herzog said these are all versus the company’s original appliance. IBM is not telling us the enclosure sizes, the disk sizes or the prices or the availability. There is no way of comparing IBM on-premises COS systems to other vendor’s systems as all the comparisons IBM makes are self-referential.

Spectrum Protect Plus

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus, in v10.1.4, can now protect IBM Db2, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and MongoDB databases hosted on AWS. It can also run disaster recovery from backup repositories stored in AWS.

Data on AWS-hosted repositories can be archived to tape, or to S3 Glacier, Azure Archive Storage, or IBM Cloud Object Storage Archive, and it supports AWS S3 Intelligent Tiering

Spectrum Protect Plus is available via the AWS Marketplace.


The VersaStack CI portfolio now includes a FlashSystem 9100 offering. It includes Spectrum Virtualize and can federate up to 450 non-IBM storage arrays with the FlashSystem, as well as move data to and from public clouds.

Herzog said a 4-node 9100 system could pump out 15m IOPS.


There is much here to please IBM’s customers. The announcement was big on hero numbers and features but light on product details. IBM is maintaining a good quarterly cadence of storage news announcements but the announcements tend to be self-referential and lack the details needed for comparison with competing vendors’ products.