IBM Corp. today announced that it has enhanced its Spectrum Sentinel backup system to provide workload-specific data protection for SAP SE’s HANA and Salesforce Inc.’s namesake customer relationship management software.
IBM Spectrum Sentinel for SAP HANA performs ransomware anomaly analysis of immutable primary storage snapshots with automated recovery orchestration. A snapshot is a set of markers that capture the state of a system at a point in time. Though not a full backup, it provides an accessible copy of the state of a system that in many cases can be used to restore the system to a working state without requiring a full restore of the application and database.
IBM’s approach uses IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management, a technology that makes copies available to data consumers only when needed. It can automatically create application-aware backups that are scanned for malware using machine learning-based forensics. IBM Spectrum Sentinel can intelligently isolate infected backups, enabling organizations to identify the most recent verified and validated backup copies for faster recovery.
Safeguarded Copies are “immutable snapshots that are stored in logical air-gapped locations,” said Scott Baker (pictured), vice president of IBM Storage. “This announcement is an extension that provides verified and validated restore points as well as consistency for restored applications.” Snapshots are committed to flash storage and validated against threat signatures that verify that the copy can be used to recover the application.
“If the recovery can’t be done the snapshot is moved to a portion of Spectrum Sentinel where analysis can be performed,” Baker said. The snapshots are “space-efficient so customers can run them once every five seconds if they want to, although the default is once every five minutes.” Recovery times are typically within minutes.
Ransomware attacks doubled in frequency last year, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. International Data Corp. estimated that 37% of global organizations suffered some form of a ransomware attack last year.
Snapshots capture whatever is on flash storage and can include full virtual machines. “If you just snapshot the SAP HANA data, it’s whatever is stored in the back-end data store,” Baker said. “If you lose the host as well as the storage, you can recover with the dataset behind the HANA environment.”
IBM Spectrum Protect Plus Online Services for Salesforce applies the same principles to Salesforce workloads. It can be used for a combination of automatic daily backups and on-demand backups.
“Salesforce doesn’t guarantee protection in any way, shape or form,” Baker said. “They will give you cloud backup if you want to pay for it. We’re giving you the ability to store those backups offsite. It’s an alternative for customers who don’t want to pay for cloud backup or want to use their own.”
IBM also said IBM FlashSystem storage arrays now feature policy-based replication capability, as well as encryption on the wire for FlashSystem replication.