Understanding the Differences: IBM Storage Protect vs. IBM Storage Protect Suite

When working with customers on data protection solutions, I’m frequently asked about the different offerings in the Storage Protect Family and how they differ. This blog post aims to address these inquiries by exploring two IBM solutions: IBM Storage Protect and IBM Storage Protect Suite. Both offerings are part of the Storage Protect Family and IBM’s broader Data Resilience Portfolio. While sharing some common attributes, these solutions bring distinct features to meet specific data management requirements.

Common Attributes

Both IBM Storage Protect and Storage Protect Suite share several key attributes that highlight their commitment to data protection and resilience.

One fundamental attribute is the recognition that data outlives hardware. Both solutions understand that retained data is expected to surpass the lifespan of servers or storage infrastructure. To accommodate this, they provide seamless mechanisms to automatically move data to new storage or compute resources, ensuring the longevity and accessibility of critical information.

Rapid recovery capabilities are another shared attribute. Organizations utilizing either solution can expect the ability to restore or reuse data in seconds, even at scale. This empowers them to swiftly recover virtual machines (VMs), containers, applications, and files, minimizing downtime and enabling seamless business continuity.

Both solutions also emphasize reporting and analytics. They automatically deliver data to reporting or analytics tools, providing valuable insights into data protection operations. This feature enables organizations to make informed decisions, optimize strategies, and proactively monitor their data management processes.

Cyber resiliency support is a crucial attribute in today’s threat landscape. IBM Storage Protect and Storage Protect Suite offer enhanced security measures to safeguard against cyber threats. This includes alerting on suspicious backup activities, implementing multi-admin command approval for critical actions, integrating with Active Directory (AD) for access control, and protecting deduplicated storage to tape or object storage.

IBM Storage Protect

IBM Storage Protect’s core components are comprised of the server and the backup-archive client. The server and backup-archive client components provide basic functions such as backup and restore operations, and archive and retrieve operations for files, directories, and disk images.
It is a powerful data protection solution with the following attributes:

  1. Storage Efficiency:
    • Incremental forever: Utilizes incremental backup methodology, only capturing changes since the last backup, improving efficiency and reducing backup time.
    • Presumption that data outlives hardware: Focuses on preserving data integrity and availability beyond the lifespan of hardware components.
    • Drives exceptional data efficiency & mobility: Optimizes storage capacity and enables seamless data movement across different environments.
  2. Tremendous Scalability:
    • Handles a significant volume of data changes per day (~100 TB) and supports large-scale backup operations (up to 4 PB of client data per day).
  3. Multi-workload Protection:
    • Lowers operational costs by providing a unified solution for protecting physical, virtual, and application workloads.
    • Streamlines data protection management and reduces complexity.
  4. Cyber Resiliency Support:
    • Air-gap to tape: Provides an additional layer of protection by physically isolating data on tape media, preventing cyber threats from accessing or modifying it.
    • Multi-administrator command approval: Enhances security by requiring multiple administrators to approve critical commands, reducing the risk of unauthorized actions.
  5. Cost-Effective Data Retention:
    • Enables organizations to meet their price/performance objectives by offering a wide range of storage options, including cloud and on-premises solutions (tape, object, block, scale-out).
    • Allows organizations to choose the most suitable storage medium based on their specific requirements.
  6. Leverage Existing Investment:
    • Storage Protect clients can leverage their existing investment in Storage Protect Plus, enabling long-term and highly efficient data storage.
    • Provides a seamless integration between the two solutions, maximizing the value of the organization’s data protection infrastructure.

These attributes highlight the strengths and advantages of Storage Protect, emphasizing its efficiency, scalability, multi-workload support, cyber resiliency, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to leverage existing investments.

IBM Storage Protect Plus

IBM Storage Protect Plus provides a data protection and availability solution for virtual environments that can be deployed in minutes and protect the environment within an hour. Clients can implement Storage Protect Plus as a stand-alone solution or integrate the solution with their Storage Protect environment to create copies for long-term storage and governance with scale and efficiency.

It provides comprehensive data protection and availability for virtual environments. Key attributes include:

  1. Simple to Use:
    • Designed to be user-friendly, enabling not just backup experts but also VM admins, application teams, DevOps, and Line of Business (LoB) users to easily utilize the solution.
    • Simplifies data protection processes and management.
  2. Instant Recovery & Re-use:
    • Offers the ability to recover virtual machines (VMs), containers, applications, and files at scale, supporting multiple use-cases.
    • Enables swift and efficient recovery of data for various purposes.
  3. SLA-Based Protection:
    • Provides an easy-to-use interface to define and apply recovery Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for data protection.
    • Simplifies the process of setting up and maintaining data protection SLAs.
  4. Cyber Resiliency Support:
    • Locks down data using object storage Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) technology, adding an extra layer of protection against data tampering or deletion.
    • Provides air gap support to tape storage, enhancing data security by physically isolating data from potential cyber threats.
    • Offers integration with Storage Protect for a comprehensive cyber resiliency strategy.
  5. Broad Workload Support:
    • Unifies backup, recovery, and replication capabilities for a wide range of workloads, including virtual machines (VMs), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, Windows Filesystems, databases, applications, and containers.
    • Enables centralized management and protection of diverse data sources and environments.
  6. Integrated or Standalone:
    • Can be seamlessly integrated with existing Storage Protect deployments, allowing clients to leverage their investment and extend data protection capabilities.
    • Also provides the flexibility to be deployed as a standalone solution, catering to organizations that don’t have an existing Storage Protect environment.

These attributes highlight the strengths and advantages of Storage Protect Plus, emphasizing its simplicity, instant recovery, SLA-based protection, cyber resiliency support, broad workload compatibility, and the ability to integrate with existing infrastructure or function as a standalone solution.


IBM has been working on converging Storage Protect and Storage Protect Plus into a unified platform. This convergence aims to create a modern data management solution that combines the best capabilities of both platforms. The goal is to manage secondary data stored in multiple repositories based on business needs efficiently.

DataSkill highly recommends IBM as a trusted provider for data resilience solutions. IBM’s simplified user experiences, analytics-driven backup and storage management, and continuous innovation address evolving needs while ensuring reliability and security. By partnering with IBM, organizations unlock their data’s full potential, ensure continuity, and navigate the dynamic landscape of data resilience confidently.

To discuss further or find out more, visit www.DataSkill.com/Spotlight. DataSkill is ready to assist organizations in implementing effective data protection solutions.

We hope this blog post helps you understand the differences between IBM Storage Protect and Storage Protect Suite. By leveraging IBM’s storage solutions, organizations can enhance operational efficiency, reduce downtime, and effectively manage their valuable data assets.