IBM Spectrum Protect Plus Review

Enables us to have longer retention which saves us more money


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is for backup and recovery.

How has it helped my organization?

The first advantage of using this solution is that it saves us money. Because with this product, we basically use this solution for data management or the backup management we are using. It reduces our multiple copies of data. If you do a daily backup on Spectrum Protect, you will get a longer retention feature.

I also like the speed of the duplication copy of the storage pool under IBM TSM libraries that this solution offers. You can make multiple copies of the same storage for and across multiple tape libraries, while in other solutions it's not easy to do.

What is most valuable?

Some of the features we find very valuable and use a lot are retention sets. There is a lot of content validation of the data that we use, and that is very helpful. Apart from this data retention technology, Spectrum Protect duplicates things which is useful.
We have an environment that is not only the raw file system, but the databases also. Different Exchange, SQL and all these kind of different applications are integrated with the Spectrum Protect. So it's a free functional kind of environment. Other features like centralization, data retention technologies, and retention sets are the very useful in our environment.

What needs improvement?

An area that needs improvement is data validation. We currently use another product that gives us immediate validation, information about when the last backup was, and no risk of corruption happening. TSM in IBM Spectrum is not mature so that you can validate on the spot.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for seven or eight years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There is no doubt that the solution is really stable. When I was working for IBM a few years ago, I have been involved in implementing it at a couple of places. Once implemented, you don't need to worry about it. Other solutions have to be updated regularly, but that is not the case here. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus is fully scalable. Whenever I interact with a customer I tell him that this is not only a backup solution, it is a total data management solution where you get protection, data protection, plus archiving and many other things. This is quite a huge portfolio so I do believe it is a scalable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. A customer can just raise a support ticket online and IBM will be available and check in to give support - either by getting in contact or by sending a solution email. When I used their technical support a while back, a technical engineer came back to me within a day. 

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

I worked with a net backup solution (EMC) at the previous organization where I worked. They offered specific benefits in terms of a user interface that was easy to use. They also have a very good graphical interface and users could easily perform tasks, do backups and do data retention. That was easy in those products.

At that time IBM Spectrum Protect was not that easy to use. It was only in 2014 that IBM Spectrum Protect mad their user interface easier and then this product became more popular. Today IBM Spectrum Protect is easier to use than other products. Other products are still at the same level of use as they were 7 or 8 years ago.

IBM Spectrum is also fully integrated with IBM products and that is why we went for the IBM Spectrum Protect. We liked that they were integrated with existing middle-ware and other products they are using. 

How was the initial setup?

Five or six years ago it would have been complex. But now it's no trouble and not that much complex at all. It is user-friendly - from the interface point and from the intelligence point of view. So now it's not that much difficult.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution for others who are looking at buying a data recovery and backup solution. But this product is not just for backup and recovery. This is far bigger than that. Backup and recovery is only one component of this product, as it also offers data to life-cycle management. I rate this a nine out of ten.

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