IBM Corp. announced today that it has improved its Spectre Sentinel backup system to provide workload-specific data protection for SAP SE’s HANA and Salesforce Inc.’s customer relationship management software of the same name.
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 given time. Although it is not a full backup, it provides an accessible copy of a system’s state which, in many cases, can be used to restore the system to a working state without requiring a backup. complete restore of the application and the 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 app-compatible backups that are scanned for malware using machine learning-based forensics. IBM Spectrum Sentinel can intelligently isolate infected backups, allowing organizations to identify the most recent verified and validated backup copies for faster recovery.
Secure copies are “immutable snapshots that are stored in isolated logical locations,” said Scott Baker (pictured), vice president of IBM Storage. “This announcement is an extension that provides verified and validated restore points and consistency for restored applications.” Snapshots are saved to flash storage and validated against threat signatures that verify the copy can be used to restore the application.
“If recovery cannot be performed, the snapshot is moved to a part of Spectrum Sentinel where analysis can be performed,” Baker said. Snapshots are “space-efficient so customers can run them once every five seconds if they want, although the default is once every five minutes.” Recovery times are usually a few minutes.
Ransomware attacks doubled in frequency last year, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report. International Data Corp. valued that 37% of global organizations experienced some form of ransomware attack last year.
Snapshots capture everything on flash storage and can include full virtual machines. “If you’re just taking a snapshot of SAP HANA data, that’s whatever is stored in the backend 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 does not guarantee protection in any way,” Baker said. “They will give you a cloud backup if you want to pay for it. We give you the option to store these backups offsite. This is an alternative for customers who don’t want to pay for a cloud backup or want to use theirs.
IBM also said that IBM FlashSystem storage arrays now have policy-based replication capability, as well as over-the-wire encryption for FlashSystem replication.