IBM’s Cloud To Offer Gold, Silver and Bronze Data Recovery to SMBs

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For SMBs and enterprises alike, IBM plans to launch new cloud-based storage, back-up and data recovery services later this summer, at gold, silver and bronze service levels and price points.

Although IBM first released information about the upcoming SmartCloud Resiliency Services in June, the earlier “soft” launch didn’t include as many details as Big Blue will divulge in a future “hard” announcement, said Rich Cocchiara, CTO of IBM’s Business Continuity and Resiliency Services.

To be provided through servers and software located in IBM data centers worldwide, the new cloud offerings will include SmartCloud Virttualized Server Recovery and SmartCloud Archive. The new archive service will be aimed at letting businesses in finance, health care, and other industries rest assured that they’re meeting regulatory requirements around privacy and information retention.

In an interview with NotebookReview (NBR), Cocchiara shared some of the specifics of the upcoming “hard” launch of SmartCloud Resiliency Services. At the “gold” level, the cloud service will supply “always on” realtime recovery, he said.

Through realtime recovery, IBM will deliver immediate data restoral if a customer’s own server crashes, whether due to a mechnical problem such as a bad hard drive or a natural disaster such as a hurricane or flood. These realtime recovery services use data center technologies that include virtual machines (VMs), server failover, and data replication, according to Cocchiara, who is also an IBM Distinguished Engineer.

To support these realtime services, servers will run the IBM Storage Manager Suite for Unfified Recovery, a disaster management software suite which can be enabled as a cloud storage option.

The less pricey “silver” level, on the other hand, is designed for businesses that only want realtime recovery services in place at certain times, such as when they’re doing system testing. Customers can plan system testing in advance, knowing that data will be immediately restorable if a server goes down during the test.

At the “bronze” level, on the other hand, data retrieval and restoral will be performed from back-up data stored on hardware such as NAS and tape devices. This is typically a much longer process.

IBM hasn’t yet set the pricing for the new SmartCloud services, Cocchiara told me. However, silver level customers will pay for realttime recovery based on the percentage of time that realtime recovery is in place on a monthly basis.

Contrary to public misconception, data storage and archiving aren’t one and the same, he noted. IBM’s new SmartCloud Archive offering will encompass services that include legal discovery; advanced search, indexing and retrieval; fast recovery of business-critical information; controls over storage management costs; and a document and records management system capable of handling both structured content like database records and unstructured content like e-mails.

The two new SmartCloud Resiliency Services will be available on the customer’s choice of Microsoft Windows, AIX Unix, or the Lintel distribution of Linux, he said.

The new cloud services will eventually be available in all countries with IBM data centers, but will be rolled out gradually to various geographic regions. “We have customers chomping at the bit for these services,” he told me.

IBM will also continue to offer the existing SmartCloud Managed Backup service through its data centers, according to the CTO. Pricing for the Managed Backup service is a monthly fee based on usage.

 

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