Following up on my take on the evolution of product and strategy of companies like Cohesity and NetApp, today I’d like to talk about IBM and its new data protection solution Spectrum Data Protect Plus.


In short, not too long ago IBM changed the names of all its storage products. I totally understand why they did it and it makes a lot of sense from a marketing point of view, but it is still confusing for people like myself that were familiar with the products before this change. Besides, with products now having similar names, it could be difficult to discern who does what.

In this particular case, data protection, you now have two products:

  • IBM Spectrum Data Protect: the good, old, TSM. While this product is one of those that have written Backup’s history and supports a myriad of Operating Systems and applications as well as backup, it is complex to operate and designed for large environments. Furthermore, it was designed well before the advent of hypervisors and modern applications, making it really tough to protect this environment efficiently.
  • IBM Data Protect Plus: a new product designed from the ground up for modern environments, including hypervisors, NoSQL DBs and more. It has a very modern snapshot-based design that pairs nicely with VMWARE CBT (change block tracking) for example. It’s easy to use and can be adopted by IT organizations of all sizes.

Videos from SFD18 can give you a good idea of the features and the potential of IBM Spectrum Data Protect Plus and there are a few aspects that I think are interesting to note:

IBM Spectrum Data Protect Plus might be a good companion for IBM TSM customers. Although the two don’t share anything, it is still an IBM product and from the procurement and budgetary standpoints, it could be much easier to adopt this solution instead of others.

Licensing is pretty flexible, making this product competitive from a cost standpoint on smaller infrastructures too. And this also makes it easier to place it in large infrastructures, aligning the cost with what is actually being protected.

Data Protect Plus is not at the level of features you can find on more mature products like Veeam, but the Data Protect Plus team is very committed and have a very aggressive release schedule.

This product has a good, scalable, architecture and the roadmap shows great potential for future releases, especially when it comes to sophisticated features around data reuse and management.


As I wrote above, Data Protect Plus might be a good option for IBM customers that already have TSM for their legacy infrastructure. What the IBM Spectrum Data Protect family is lacking the most for this type of customer at the moment, is a sort of unified GUI to allow SysAdmins to speed up operations and have better control of the backup infrastructure. But, as far as I can tell, it seems I’m not the first one to note this deficiency … the development team is already looking into it.


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