New features for IBM’s Cloud Object Storage System aim to make the service more accessible to customers in regulated industries with strict compliance guidelines, the company announced in a press release Monday.

“The financial services, healthcare and government sectors often have strict regulatory obligations that effectively limit them to a smaller number of choices when it comes to cost effectively storing compliance data in their company data centers,” the release said. “Another key barrier to leveraging on-premises object storage is the lack of lower capacity, lower cost options for companies that want to get started with a smaller object storage system and have the flexibility to scale as needed.”

The first feature that IBM introduced was what the firm calls compliance-enabled vaults. Certain regulatory requirements mandate that data be stored in an immutable fashion, so it cannot be deleted or modified for a certain period of time, the release said. The compliance-enabled vaults feature allows companies to create vaults with these parameters in mind, protecting data from modification or deletion per the regulations.

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“This new capability can help companies that must preserve electronic records in a non-rewritable and non-erasable format,” the release said. IBM’s release also noted that a top US bank had already adopted the feature to meet SEC compliance regulations.

The second feature introduced was concentrated dispersal mode capabilities, which could allow firms to deploy smaller footprint systems that can then be scaled to a larger configuration when needed. This means that companies can get started with IBM Cloud Object Storage with a smaller investment and less commitment. The smallest capacity offered by IBM Cloud Object Storage is 72TB, which is less than previous offerings, the release said.

IBM business partner Panzura is using the concentrated dispersal mode capabilities for use cases such as data consolidation, departmental shares, home directories, application data storage over Network File System, and Windows server modernization, Panzura chief product officer Rich Weber said in the release.

IBM’s new compliance-enabled vaults and concentrated dispersal mode capability will be available on December 1, 2017.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. IBM is introducing new features for its Cloud Object Storage System that could make it easier for companies in regulated industries to maintain compliance.
  2. The compliance-enabled vaults allows firms to create vaults that limit data modification or deletion for a specific period of time, to keep up with SEC compliance standards.
  3. The concentrated dispersal mode capabilities enable customers to start with smaller deployments and scale as needed.