IBM Spectrum Control Review

You can get a much broader spectrum of storage captures for 24 hours or longer

What is our primary use case?

We use Storage Insights to help with the monitoring of our IBM Flash Storage System. 

How has it helped my organization?

One of the benefits is that it has helped us with the base FlashSystem storage GUI. You only get a five minute snapshot of performance, so with the Insights tool you can get a much broader spectrum of storage captures for 24 hours or longer, and this helps.

What is most valuable?

We have been able to take advantage of the new feature offered where we are able to create tickets and send snaps through the Storage Insights tool directly to support. This has really helped us save time. You do not have to call in, and all the questions that they ask, they have already been filled in when you go into the create ticket option. 

Previously, we did not have any visibility into our storage tickets, like we do with our tickets on the Power System side. With this tool, we can see old tickets with a description and PMR number, which is very helpful.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see is more information regarding the copy groups (the replication). We have set up remote replication with change volumes, and I would like see more information about the links between the two sites, so we can know if there are network packet drops that would affect the performance of the replication. These are the things that I am really interested in seeing in future updates.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am very impressed with the stability. Since it is a cloud-based tool, the updates are done without any impact to us. They make changes periodically, then we just login, seeing the new updates and features.

The agents have to be updated from time-to-time. When you log into the tool, it will notify you. There will be a option saying, “Agent needs to updated,” and you just click on the button. Then, it makes the update(s), so it is very simple.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is pay for the amount of storage that you are monitoring. The more that we use the tool and like the tool, we may want to extend it to other storage platforms. This is just a matter of cost.

How are customer service and technical support?

The tool is pretty self-explanatory. It is a cloud-based tool, and I really have not had many issues as far as needing support. When I first installed it, I needed some help with finding different things when I was looking to monitor or do navigation.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were not using any other monitoring tools previously. 

I was introduced to the product at the mini-session in Atlanta almost two years ago. I went back to the office, set it up, liked it, pitched it to management, and they purchased it.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was very easy. You just install an agent on a server, and you give that agent access to your storage device, then it just collects the data. It took five minutes to set up.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There was a freeware tool that I looked at called STOR2RRD, and I still use it a little bit because it has some other things that I do not have with Storage Insights. Also, I can expand it to different storage platforms without having to pay the extra cost. That is the main thing that it provides. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend the product, because as a cloud-based tool, you do not have to do any maintenance. Everything, including updates, are done, you just log in and it is there. It is easy to configure, as it took me five minutes to set up, and you get a lot of value as far as the data and the performance information. These are things that I would definitely recommend to other companies.

Main criteria when selecting a storage vendor: We only had five minute snapshots of performance. We wanted a tool which could give us more visibility into different days, etc.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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