New IBM Services Target Security And Disaster Recovery

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IBM has seen the technology world changing as much as any other vendor and that’s part of the reason it bought SoftLayer last year –to broaden its cloud offerings. Today, the company has built upon that, announcing new security and disaster recovery services that could make the cloud more attractive to companies that remain skeptical.

One area the cloud excels in is disaster recovery because it stores your applications and data outside your data center. When a weather event, fire or other disaster strikes, your data is protected in the cloud and your operations can go on.

And that’s the idea behind IBM’s Cloud Virtualized Server Recovery (VSR), which will keep virtualized instances of your most critical applications and data in the SoftLayer cloud, regardless of whether your services are run primarily in SoftLayer or in your own data center or private cloud. As IBM, pointed out, downtime is expensive and if you have a virtualized cloud insurance policy, you could keep going even while your center was in tatters.

Ben Kepes, principal at Diversity Ltd, who writes and comments frequently about the cloud says disaster recovery might not be exciting, but it’s a sweet spot for the cloud. “Disaster Recovery is completely unsexy, but still a critical function for enterprises. It’s also a totally logical part of the business to run in the cloud. As enterprises continue to look at cloud as a viable way of delivering technology, DR is often a “first port of call”. This IBM announcement therefore makes total sense,” he told me in an email.

It’s worth noting these services are designed for SoftLayer customers, but IBM isn’t about to leave you behind even if you’re not using SoftLayer, also announcing a bevy of general cloud recovery services including Cloud Managed Backup, Cloud Data Virtualization, Cloud Application Resiliency and Cloud Virtualized Server Recovery.

And what IBM announcement would be complete without some consulting services, and this one includes Resiliency Consulting Services for SoftLayer clients to help customers with assessment, planning and management of the disaster recovery process.

Finally to sweeten the pot just a bit more, IBM announced two new data centers in Raleigh, North Carolina and Mumbai, India created specifically to house these resiliency services. This is in addition to existing centers located throughout the world and 15 new planned ones just for SoftLayer.

But while there are many benefits to the cloud such as this ability to keep your business going, even in the face of disaster, some IT pros still have broad security concerns when it comes to the cloud, in large part because the cloud data center is out of their control. In an effort to assuage those concerns, IBM also announced new security tools for its SoftLayer customers.

These security services are designed to give IT pros the kind of information they are used to getting inside their own data centers such as threat identification and incident tracking and what’s more, the services can be linked to your private data center as well to give you a complete look at your security across the public SoftLayer cloud, as well as your data center.

When companies are looking for ways to get into the cloud, they have various concerns and issues. IBM is attempting to address these concerns with this series of products and services, while finding ways to make the cloud more attractive to the naysayers.

PHOTO CREDIT:  (c) Can Stock Photo