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IBM storage

IBM Launches Data Center Object Storage for Data That Can't Be Changed

Targets companies in highly-regulated businesses required to keep non-rewritable, non-erasable records

IBM this week announced two new ways it's making on-premises IBM Cloud Object Storage System more accessible, with new compliance-enabled vaults and options for those who don't need large-scale object storage.

The first is designed for companies in highly regulated businesses like financial services, healthcare and government sectors, where regulations often limit the number of choices available for cost-effectively storing compliance data in company data centers.

The problem is that regulatory agencies want the data to be easily accessible but with safeguards to prevent modification and deletion. As a solution, IBM is releasing compliance-enabled vaults (a new capability of its on-premises object storage system) which allow companies to preserve electronic records in a non-rewritable and non-erasable format.

According to Big Blue, this one has already been field-tested.

"One of the top five U.S. banks has adopted IBM Cloud Object Storage System’s compliance-enabled vault capability to store their data in a manner that meets relevant SEC 17a-4(f) compliance requirements," the company said in its press release. "The bank has been able to manage its growing archive of data in a regulatory compliant manner while achieving considerable cost savings and operational simplicity."

The second added capability to IBM Cloud Object Storage System deals with making object storage affordable for those who'd like to start small and scale big.

For large enterprises, object storage -- as opposed to block storage in a SAN or plain old-fashioned file storage -- is the most efficient and cost effective way of storing large amounts of archived data. It's robust and resilient, with each data object typically being mirrored in three distinct geographical locations to protect against a local disaster. Objects also have a checksum, which means that data corruption can be easily discovered, allowing the object to be replaced with a clean copy.

Object storage has worked well for large enterprises with a willingness to go all in and invest in infrastructure to support it. But the initial cost has been a stumbling block for some, due to the lack of lower capacity, lower cost options for companies that want to start with a smaller system that offers the flexibility to scale as needed.

According to IBM, there are few cost-effective object storage options available for those needing to store less than 300TB of data. But as you might expect, Big Blue is riding in for the rescue.

"Companies can now get started with the IBM Cloud Object Storage System at a capacity as small as 72TB, which is designed to require much less hardware infrastructure than IBM’s previous offerings," the company said. "IBM is introducing a concentrated dispersal mode capability that enables smaller footprint systems that easily scale to larger configurations."

In other words, companies can get their feet wet by starting small and if they like the water, grow big. The company says it can create configurations that are designed to use fewer resources than previously available to better match customer requirements for private cloud storage.

IBM business partner Panzura is already leveraging the concentrated dispersal mode.

"With the combined products from IBM and Panzura enterprise cloud file services, organizations can replace traditional NAS and scale to exabytes of data across multiple locations, all while experiencing top performance and functionality," Panzura's chief product officer Rich Weber said in a statement. "We also see the value of IBM's new compliance-enabled vaults and are working with IBM to deliver this capability for our joint customers."

The new compliance-enabled vaults and concentrated dispersal mode capability are currently planned to be generally available December 1, 2017.

TAGS: IBM
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