IBM extends backup products to SAP, Salesforce

IBM has announced data protection products for SAP and Salesforce users.

It is releasing Spectrum Sentinel for SAP HANA, the in-memory enterprise database management system. This uses Spectrum Copy Data Management to automatically create immutable, application-aware Safeguarded Copy backups. These are scanned for malware, using machine learning to detect signs of possible corruption and generate forensic reports. It uses the same appliance technology as Spectrum Sentinel for Epic, the healthcare records system, which was announced in June. 

IBM Storage VP Scott Baker says in a blog: “Because Spectrum Sentinel can intelligently isolate infected backups, your organization can identify the most recent verified and validated backup copies, accelerating time to recovery.”

Spectrum Sentinel frequently checks data copies for evidence of data damage caused by malware or ransomware. It then uses Safeguarded Copy snapshots to create a secure and isolated backup. Safeguarded Copy lets backup administrators automatically create point-in-time snapshots that are designed to be both immutable (unable to be changed) and protected (unable to be deleted except by specially defined users). Ransomware cannot remove, alter, or encrypt Safeguarded Copy snapshots, even with administrator capabilities, says IBM.

Big Blue points out that many customers use a “30-60-90” policy for backing up data – snapshots are captured hourly and daily, with full backups generated every 30, 60, and 90 days. Ransomware writers have produced malware code that sits apparently dormant for 100 days or more while infecting the victim’s production data systems and snapshots, and their backup copies. Sentinel’s automated immutability and backup scanning can help fight this mode of ransomware attack. 

IBM Spectrum Sentinel

IBM will extend Spectrum Sentinel to protect more major database workloads in 2023.

Spectrum Protect Plus Online Services for the Salesforce SaaS application enables customers to back up and restore Salesforce workloads. It provides a combination of automatic daily backups, on-demand backups, and comprehensive restore capabilities.  IBM is competing with Veeam and Ownbackup here. 

Providing data protection for Salesforce customers is proving popular, with AvePoint, CloudAlly, Cohesity, Commvault (with Metallic), Druva, Odaseva, Kaseya’s Spanning, and Skyvia also offering services in this area.

IBM has announced three other data protection updates:

  • FlashSystem storage arrays got a policy-based replication capability, as well as encryption on the wire
  • Spectrum Protect and Spectrum Protect Plus received data security enhancements
  • Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud on Azure 8 added functionality for currency with Spectrum Virtualize on FlashSystem and Spectrum Virtualize appliances, including support for policy-based asynchronous replication

IBM has also updated other Spectrum software products, and all the product version numbers are listed in the table below.

IBM Spectrum portfolio

These updates across the Spectrum portfolio come just under a year after a previous set of Spectrum software updates. Blocks and Files has been told to expect a renewed focus on software-defined storage by IBM in the coming months.