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IBM To Release Cloud-Based Backup Offering in July

IBM is planning to roll out a set of cloud-based backup services designed to help organizations save, archive and restore data after a system failure or disaster.

The SmartCloud Resilience services, which complement IBM's SmartCloud Managed Backup offering, is scheduled for global release in July, although the exact release date will vary from country to country. The offering consists of a physical and virtual server recovery service that constantly backs up an organization's applications and related data on IBM's secure cloud infrastructure. The service would return an organization to full capacity just minutes after an IT outage, IBM said.

The new services have two parts: SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery and SmartCloud Archive. The virtualized server capability is designed to eliminate business downtime and minimize data loss. It includes a portal to allow clients to remotely access the system on IBM's recovery infrastructure in the event of an outage. It operates by continuously replicating both server software and related data.

SmartCloud Archive is designed to provide advanced search, indexing, retrieval and e-discovery capabilities. The archiving service also includes a document and records-management system to handle structured and unstructured content while meeting privacy and regulatory compliance regulations. It also features data segmenting capabilities for customers.

Another important part of the service is tiered backup and virtualization support, which allows an organization to vary the amount of backup it needs, said Rich Cocchiara, IBM's chief technology officer for Business Continuity and Resilience Services. "One size does not fit all," Cocchiara said.

For example, an organization with business-critical, 24/7 data needs will have very different backup and recovery needs from an agency with less time-sensitive requirements. Tiering allows companies and agencies to provide virtual backup to a certain number of key servers while providing more periodic backup for less critical systems in the infrastructure. Tiered service "lets me choose what service I want at each tier," he said.

Although the SmartCloud offering is rolling out next month, Cocchiara is already looking ahead at potential new enhancements. Among them will be the ability to support Linux, Windows and AIX servers. IBM also will support competing platforms based on customer requirements, he said.

Feedback from test customers indicates a need for additional archiving features. Future updates to the service will allow organizations to index and file information for legal discovery. Another possible feature is e-mail archiving, Cocchiara said.

About the Author

Henry Kenyon is a staff reporter covering enterprise applications.

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