What is our primary use case?
The primary use case is to provide backup and archive our data, onsite and offsite. It is performing very well.
Our infrastructure is on-premise; nothing is in the cloud. We are utilizing things like spinning disks, flash storage, tape, snapshots, etc. We are still sending tapes outside.
How has it helped my organization?
It has a lot more capabilities and functions than a lot of other products. Even though it is more complex, the reason is because it gives you a lot more features. This is what I prefer, especially for a long retention.
What is most valuable?
I have not implemented the most important feature yet: node replication. I can have a hot Spectrum Protect server under the DR site instead of having to build one up like I would have had to before.
What needs improvement?
I would like to see the operations center be a lot more functional. It was nowhere near as functional as the admin center, and I'm doing a lot of command line with it. I grew up doing command line, so it is fine for me. For people that are younger, they want to do everything on their smart phone, and running hundreds of commands is not the answer. Therefore, more functionality for things like creating tape drives and tape libraries, as the functionality is not at the operations center yet. If the operations center had been fully functional, I would have probably given it a rating of a 10.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
So far, so good. I am looking to find out, in the future, what the stability is going to be and the best way to architect what we are designing to do.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Everything so far has been really good. It is very scalable.
I am managing two instances of Spectrum Protect.
How is customer service and technical support?
The technical support has been really good for both Spectrum Protect and IBM Storage. The support team has very responsive. I want to be talking to somebody who can help me and knows more than me, which is the case with IBM technical support. So, their support has been very good.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was pretty straightforward because it was really old school. Now, with the whole new design of where we are going, I am involved from ground floor up.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The product is more complex and can be pricey, but you are paying for one copy of the data as opposed to other vendors. For example, if I have five copies of the data, I will be spending a lot more money. Switching to one vendor, it will cost over a million dollars to give us less functionality, which is why we did not do it.
Going to IBM Tech University Conference saved me from making a major purchase of the wrong thing, which was very helpful.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated Commvault, NetBackup, and Axiom (until they were purchased by a competitor). We also looked at Rubrik. We prefer Spectrum Protect, and even though we have looked at its competitors, we have never switched.
What other advice do I have?
I would recommend going with Spectrum Protect. That is what I would tell them now, and I have, I have former coworkers using other products that ask me about designing a hot site, because their product does not do it.
Main criteria when selecting a vendor: Something that would allow us to be able to have it onsite. For the other vendors who we looked at, you would still have to build up a new server or new environment, and hopefully have a backup of your database. In this case, I can switch from a primary to a secondary, back and forth, instead of spending weeks, maybe months, producing a tape library. Now, I do not have to do that.