IBM Makes Local Secure Storage Based on Object System More Accessible

Mike Vizard

IBM today unveiled an instance of an object-based storage system that enables IT organizations that need to store as little as 72TB of data take advantage of a dispersal storage technique that securely stores slices of data across three nodes.

In addition, IBM announced Compliance-Enabled Vaults, which enforce a Rule 17a-4 from the Securities and Exchange Commission that requires exchanges to have only one copy of data that can’t be rewritten or erased.

Rob McCammon, offering leader for IBM Cloud Object Storage, says IBM is adding a Concentrated Dispersal Mode that makes it possible to take advantage of the dispersed storage technology it gained when it acquired Cleversafe in 2015. Now IBM is moving to provide object-based storage systems across a minimum of three nodes that make use of dispersed storage techniques to securely store data across three separate storage arrays. That approach protects data because a cybercriminal would need to be able to access all three storage nodes and then correctly reconstitute data sets to make use of any of the information distributed across the IBM object storage platform.

Interest in object-based storage systems is rising in on-premises environments, says McCammon, because organizations want to take advantage of the same storage platforms that cloud service providers employ to store and manage data at scale. IBM envisions IT organizations will take advantage of object-based storage systems to drive hybrid cloud computing deployments, says McCammon.

“A lot of organizations are telling us they want their data to be cloud ready,” says McCammon.

IBM already makes extensive use of the Cleversafe object-based platform across the IBM Cloud service.

In general, object-based storage systems can only be natively accessed by modern cloud applications. Applications that were built using legacy file systems or block storage architecture still require gateways to access object-based storage systems.

The transition to object-based storage systems outside of public clouds has been slow, but steady. Most new applications are written to run natively using object-based storage that is accessed via a REST application programming interface (API). But as data security continues to become a bigger concern, IBM is also betting that interest in dispersed storage techniques to securely store data will increase. Because of that issue, IBM also sees a bigger requirement for Compliance-Enabled Vaults that enable IT organizations to strictly limit how data gets employed. In fact, as time progresses, it may turn out the first, best and last line of IT security defense is the storage system itself.


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