December 2017: IBM introduces IBM Spectrum Protect v8.1.4

IBM® is now adding IBM Spectrum Protect Plus® to its IBM Spectrum Protect Suite®. In addition, IBM Spectrum Protect v8.1.4® delivers exciting new capabilities centered around its Operation Center, its VMware® data protection support, new interfaces for Hyper-V®,  improved management for SAP HANA® backups and a number of currency enhancements. Other enhancement include:
– Restore MS SQL Server® databases to alternate locations via VSS®
– Better VTL data deduplication for SAP backups on Db2®
– Simplified deployments of Spectrum Protect Snapshot for Linux/UNIX
– Better partial file system recovery
– Improved recall performance for Space Management on Windows®
– Microsoft SQL Server 2017® Support
– Support for Windows Server 2016 for Data Protection for VMware
– Support for NetApp ONTAP 9.2®
– Oracle® 12cR2 support for Spectrum Protect Snapshot®
– Linux on Power Little Endian for Space Management on Linux

… for a complete listing of the new functions with descriptions, please refer to IBM’s Announcement Letter and Knowledge Center:

September 2017: IBM introduces IBM Spectrum Protect v8.1.3

A major enhancement introduced in IBM Spectrum Protect 8.1.3 is the ability to migrate data from a directory container storage pool to a cloud container storage pool (object storage) based on age. This new “tier to cloud” functionality enables you to leverage high-speed storage for operational recoveries and lower-cost cloud storage for older backups and archives. Previously, data could only be stored directly to cloud container storage pools.

In addition, IBM introduced the IBM Spectrum Protect Suite Cloud Object Storage Tier, which is a new offering that provides lower pricing for data stored in IBM Cloud Object Storage (IBM COS) when used in conjunction with IBM Spectrum Protect Suite (back-end capacity model) licensing.

In Spectrum Protect 8.1.3, IBM also enabled centralized, automated client updates from the Operations Center.

A complete listing of all new functions can be found in announcement letter 217-415:

Announcement Letter

August 2017: IBM introduces IBM Spectrum Protect v8.1.2

Version 8.1.2 of IBM Spectrum Protect introduces new features and enhancements for Data Protection. Cloud support has been expanded by adding support for Microsoft’s Azure platform for object storage. In addition its capabilities for Hyper-V and VMware Virtual Environments have been significantly enhanced.  As a result, IBM Spectrum Protect is more powerful than ever and provides simplified usage and administration all around.

The new functions are described in IBM’s announcement letter 217-281:

Announcement Letter


May 2017: IBM Spectrum Protect for ERP – SAP HANA: Now SAP-certified for Power on Linux Little Endian!

IBM Spectrum Protect for Enterprise Resource Planning – Data Protection for SAP HANA has been certified by SAP for data protection (Backup/Recovery) of SAP HANA systems running on IBM’s Linux on Power Little Endian platforms. For customers seeking the real-time business benefits of SAP running in-memory, SAP HANA on Power is an important option. As clients have enjoyed the strong performance on traditional SAP on Power Systems, SAP HANA users can take advantage of the throughput, bandwidth, and enterprise-grade reliability of IBM Power. IBM provides a complete solution, including data protection, for running SAP HANA on the Power platform. This new SAP-certification (HANA-BRINT-PW 1.2) for data protection proves successful integration with SAP HANA .  At the time of this publication IBM is the only vendor, who is SAP Certified for IBM’s Linux on Power Little Endian (Suse Linux v.12) platform.

Certification link:

IBM Spectrum Protect for ERP (formerly IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for ERP) has been previously SAP-certified for data protection of traditional SAP systems (AIX, Linux/x86, HP-UX, Sun Solaris and Windows) and SAP HANA systems on Linux/x86 platforms.

March 2017: Introducing IBM Spectrum Protect v8.1.1

Enhancements in the Operations Center
Now, the Operations Center utilizes wizards to simply connect to IBM Bluemix IBM Cloud Object Storage via Swift or S3. In addition you can now sort and filter activity log entries when you are troubleshooting server tasks. On the details page for a server, you can view server messages for tasks on the Active Tasks and Completed Tasks tabs. The activity log pane shows the server messages that are associated with the selected task. The activity log contains messages that are normally sent to the server console during server operation. In previous releases, the activity log entries for server tasks were displayed in a list. You could review the list to diagnose problems, and you could search the activity log by using the browser’s search function. To export the activity log information, you could use the browser’s copy function and paste the information into a file. Now, the activity log for server tasks displays the server messages in the same table format that is used throughout the Operations Center. You can now sort and filer the activity log entries in the same way you sort and filter the information for clients, servers, storage pools, and so on. You can now sort messages by date/time or status, and you can filter by date/time, status, or message. Like the other tables in the Operations Center, you can now export the data in the activity log pane as a comma-separated values (CSV) file.

Updates to IBM Spectrum Protect Blueprints
For small systems, use SSD drives to process a larger daily workload. Hardware requirements are updated for small-scale systems, which now use four 400 GB solid-state disk (SSD) drives for the database. The SSD drives replace the Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) database disks that were used in the previous release. With this update, a small system can process a daily workload of up to 10 TB. In the previous release, the maximum daily workload was 6 TB. For large systems, use Storwize® V5030 second-generation hardware with distributed arrays to lower costs and improve efficiency. Hardware requirements are updated for large-scale IBM Storwize systems, which now use Storwize V5030 second-generation hardware with distributed arrays.

This updated hardware configuration provides two main benefits:
1. You can implement a lower-cost solution by using Storwize V5030 second-generation hardware, as compared to using Storwize V7000 hardware, which was supported in the previous blueprint configuration.
2. If you use Storwize V5030 second-generation hardware and nearline SAS (NL-SAS) drives, you can take advantage of faster rebuild times in case of a disk failure. Storwize distributed arrays, which can contain 4 – 128 drives, also contain rebuild areas that are used to maintain redundancy after a drive fails. The distributed configuration can reduce rebuild times and decrease the exposure of volumes to the extra workload of recovering redundancy.

The database size for large systems is increased to 6 TB to better align database size with storage pool size, following the introduction of data compression in storage pools. With data compression, you can protect more data in the same amount of storage pool disk space; the more data you store, the more database capacity you require. To accommodate larger databases, configuration improvements were introduced, including an increased number of concurrent database backup streams. The improvements are designed to optimize backup and restore operations for databases.

Granular privileges for VMware Self Service File Restore
The Data Protection for VMware client includes a self-service file restore feature, which is configured with the Data Protection for VMware Configuration Wizard. It includes a panel for administrator contact information and mount credentials (VM OS permissions) for Windows Restores. It is now documented how users can perform infrastructure mounts as Local Administrator and do not require Domain Administrator privileges. The procedure is supported from IBM Spectrum Protect for Virtual Environments v7.1.3 onwards.  See the technote with further details:

Additional Platform Support
IBM Spectrum Protect for Virtual Environments:
– VMware version 6.5 support
– Link:

IBM Spectrum Protect Server v8.1.1 and Clients v8.1.x:
– IBM Spectrum Protect Server v8.1.1 now on the Microsoft Windows Server 2016
– IBM Spectrum Protect Clients v8.1.x. now on Windows 2016
– Link:

IBM Spectrum Protect for ERP v8.1.1:
– Supports SPS2 for HANA 2.0 on PPC Little Endian and x86
– Cross-platform restores supported, except for PPC Big Endian
– Link:

S3 Object Storage Verification Program for 3rd Party Devices
Spectrum Protect Cloud Container Storage Pools allow server data to be stored on object storage using the Amazon S3 API and the Swift API. The S3 Devices supported are:
– Amazon Web Services Simple Storage Service (AWS S3)
– IBM Cloud Object Storage (On-Premises implementation using S3 API)
– Bluemix Cloud Object Storage S3 API
Vendors can self-validate additional S3 compliant devices for cloud container storage pools as On-premise object storage devices for IBM Spectrum Protect Servers v8.1 or higher. This program is similar to the previous “Ready for Tivoli” program.

The validation process:
– Obtain verification package from IBM
– Review package, which contains documentation, testing instructions, and testing tools.
– Run tests and return output to IBM
– IBM validates testing results
Once validated, your solution will be listed as supported on IBM’s Spectrum Protect support web site.

December 2016: Introducing IBM Spectrum Protect v8.1 and IBM Spectrum Protect Snapshot v8.1

This new release provides advanced capabilities for Cloud and Data Center environments.

IBM Spectrum Protect v8.1 features

Convert existing data on tape and VTL to container pools
Easily migrate your environment from VTLs or tape to cloud-container or directory-container pools using an automated, nondisruptive conversion utility that harvests data from your VTL or tape and moves it to container pools. This enables you to reduces costs immediately by leveraging the scalability and space efficiencies of IBM Spectrum Protect container pools.

Deeper vSphere Web Client integration and day-to-day monitoring
VMware administrators can simplify initial deployments, including centralized configuration of data protection policy and scheduling, directly in the vSphere Web Client. Use VMware tagging to help set policies for retention and schedules, as well as to exclude VMs from backups without leaving the vSphere Web Client interface. They can also perform daily monitoring tasks and redrive failed backups with ease.

Data Protection for Oracle automation features
Automate configuration and operations in Data Protection for Oracle environments, lowering costs for Oracle DBAs.

Support for SAP HANA multitenant database containers and parallel-stream restores
This feature extends data protection for SAP HANA environments to multiple-container mode configurations and increases performance for recovery operations.

Space Management for UNIX/Linux integration with IBM Spectrum Scale and scalability enhancements for IBM Linear Tape File System™ Enterprise Edition environments
Tighter integration between IBM Spectrum Protect for Space Management and IBM Spectrum Scale means increased overall performance, improved recall scalability (especially for IBM Spectrum Archive™ Enterprise Edition workloads), and simplified restore for environments with large numbers of files.

Space Management for Windows enhancements for usability and performance
Space Management on Windows just got easier with GUI enhancements for searching for the filespace, and increased performance during migrations.

New support for IBM Spectrum Clients:
– Data Protection for VMware cooperative application support for Microsoft SQL Server 2016
– Support for Microsoft Windows Server 2016 for the Backup-Archive Client, Hyper-V, Oracle, SQL, Exchange, Workstations, and Space Management for Windows
– Support for Ubuntu 16.04 and 14.04 for the Backup-Archive Client on x86 and Linux on Power® (LE)
– Support for IBM AIX® 7.2 for Data Protection for Oracle

IBM Spectrum Protect Snapshot V8.1 features

Exchange item-level restore from VSS persistent snapshots
Automatically mount persistent snapshots to perform rapid Exchange item-level restores. This removes the need to set aside space for a restore and eliminates the time to restore the database itself.

Enables read and write mounts of copy-type VSS snapshots for Microsoft SQL and Microsoft Exchange databases
Leverage VSS persistent snapshots of your SQL and Exchange databases in read/write mode for DevOps or testing without affecting the snapshot itself.

Dynamic allocation with support for Metro Mirror and Global Mirror in UNIX/Linux environments
Automate and federate snapshot LUN provisioning in IBM Spectrum Virtualize environments configured for Metro Mirror or Global Mirror in UNIX/Linux environments.

New support for:
– Windows Server 2016
– DB2 V11
– Parallel sync mode for non-SAP DB2 DPF
– Partitioned ASM disks
– Cloning for DB2 Storage Groups


September 2016: Introducing IBM Spectrum Protect v7.1.7

Extends IBM Spectrum Protect’s native object storage support to Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) cloud storage can now be defined as a target for IBM Spectrum Protect cloud-container pools. Primary and secondary copies of data can be stored in the IBM  Spectrum Protect Server using Amazon S3 object storage. Previously announced support for IBM Spectrum Protect cloud-container pools include IBM Cloud Object Storage (Cleversafe), IBM Softlayer and IBM Spectrum Scale. IBM Spectrum Protect combines its powerful software-defined inline data deduplication and compression with  Amazon S3 to create a cost effective data protection solution.

Optimizes performance for hybrid Clouds
IBM Spectrum Protect Server introduces a temporary cache to move data to IBM Cloud Object Storage (Cleversafe) and Amazon S3 cloud storage. Backup to local storage data is buffered efficiently into disk containers, which are transferred to the Cloud as larger objects. This feature enables more use cases for leveraging cost effective Cloud storage.

Copies data from directory-container pools to tape
Administrators can create a copy of directory-container pools on tape and repair directory-container pool data from this copy. This features lowers infrastructure costs by enabling copies of deduplicated directory-container pools on tape for repairs, compliance, air gap, and for environments with a single backup server.

Introduces predefined cloud-container pools
Administrators can predefine cloud-container pools with policies, restrictions and access rules. This features adds consistency and control for cloud storage to lower administration costs.

Simplifies LDAP (Lightweight directory access protocol) authentication
Authentication management with centralized LDAP integration has been simplified by allowing users and administrators to authenticate with the same user IDs that they use to log on to an Active Directory server. IBM Security Directory Server and Microsoft Active Directory are supported. This feature lowers administration costs by  simplifying user ID management.


June 2016: IBM releases IBM Spectrum Protect v7.1.6 and IBM Spectrum Protect Snapshot v4.1.6

Accelerates wide area network (WAN) for high speed data transfer using Aspera technology
Administrators can replicate data from one IBM Spectrum Protect Server to another faster, by using High Speed Data Transfer. This capability is particularly beneficial over long distances and impaired networks. Spectrum Protect High Speed Data Transfer helps to achieve disaster recovery goals for rapid off-site replication of business data. IBM Spectrum Protect Servers running Linux on Intel platforms can use this technology to replicate data over long distances at accelerated speeds. High Speed Data Transfer performance varies based on the network infrastructure.

Converts data to a directory-container storage pool
Organizations can take advantage of Spectrum Protect’s deduplication and compression technology to reduce costs, increase performance, and save space even for the data that was already ingested. They can convert existing file and Virtual Tape Library (VTL) type device classes deduplicated storage pools to Spectrum Protect’s directory-container storage pools. This automated conversion function enables organizations to take advantage of the space, management, and database improvements in the new storage pools to increase resource utilization and reduce total cost of ownership. The new function enables administrators to perform the following actions:
– Control and monitor activities from the Operations Center
– Manage when the conversion occurs through schedules
– Efficiently reduce source storage pool utilization for conversions
– Convert multiple legacy pools to a single container pool
– Update policy destinations to reference the new container pool
– Monitor damaged backup data and identify cleanup capabilities

Enhances tape library management in the Operations Center
Organizations can ease device management for Spectrum Protect administrators. Administrators can view and respond to daily tape related management tasks from within the Operations Center with a real-time understanding of tape related actions. This feature lowers administration cost by increasing administrator productivity and by replacing media management spreadsheets with an intuitive visual interface. It includes the following capabilities:
– Tape capacity management
– Tape capacity visibility
– Tape inventory management

Tags virtual machines for VMware data protection
Administrators can manually assign prescribed VMware vSphere tags to VMware virtual machines to control whether a virtual machine is included in a backup operation and furthermore control its retention policy. This feature lowers administration cost by increasing the VMware administrator’s productivity.

IBM Spectrum Protect Blueprint for Linux on Power
IBM Spectrum Protect Blueprints consist of documents, or “cookbooks”, that describe detailed reference architectures to optimize performance as well as include scripts to speed up installation and configuration. This new Blueprint describes a reference architecture for IBM Spectrum Protect running Linux on Power by accelerating time-to-value for Linux on Power systems to reduce Total Cost of Administration.

Instant snapshot restore for non-IBM storage arrays on Microsoft Windows
Spectrum Protect Snapshot has added support for hardware-based volume snapshot instant restore operations for non-IBM storage arrays which have a VSS hardware provider that implements the Microsoft VSS LUN resynchronization Application Programming Interface (API) IVssHardwareSnapshotProviderEx::ResyncLuns. This function, previously only available for IBM storage arrays, provides faster recovery speeds leading to increased system availability.


May 2016: IBM offers discount for IBM Spectrum Protect running SAP HANA workloads on IBM Power Systems

IBM offers a discount for IBM Spectrum Protect running SAP HANA workloads on IBM Power Systems. The program is running for a limited time. Please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner for details.

April 2016: IBM Spectrum Protect for ERP supports SAP HANA SPS 10 and 11

IBM Spectrum Protect for ERP v7.1.3 or later is supporting  SAP HANA SPS 10 and 11, which include true incremental and differential backups and recoveries of SAP HANA. These new capabilities are introduced in addition to previously supported Full plus Log backups and recoveries. Customers can take advantage of faster backups and less storage space consumption to reduce operating costs.