IBM Spectrum Protect Review

Provides a full backup giving safety and peace of mind


What is our primary use case?

We have a lot of happy customers when we sorted our files. We had someone in admissions, and they have a file which everyone shares. There are users who have deleted or trashed files and will need to restore them, sometimes even overwrite it with a new one. They will need the old file from a particular date and the Spectrum Protect system lets you retrieve a specific date file, which leads to a lot of happy campers.

We have an on-premise infrastructure. We use Iron Mountain, then we have a tape library. We have tapes that go off-site, so we can restore for our disaster recovery solution if the premise goes down. Though, we have not had to use it yet.

The VMware/virtual people take more of the snapshots, though not too much with the main AIX boxes.

How has it helped my organization?

Recovering files which have been lost. You can't place a value on it. If someone loses a day's work, or they had this file that they had been keeping for years on end and now all of a sudden the data is gone, they can recover it with Spectrum Protect.

What is most valuable?

The backup feature. Everyone wants a full backup. It gives them safety and peace of mind, like an insurance policy for that rainy day when they may need to restore a system. It is not necessarily as good for migrating to a new release, then putting back a D-drive. However, for daily operations and disaster recovery, it is a big use case.

What needs improvement?

Probably educating the virtual group who are not as used to the product. Most of our expertise is with AIX servers and virtual server backups. I am doing more work these days with Identity and Oracle, why would I use the pump and dump on Oracle or would it be better if I am able to send it off-site using something like Spectrum?

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been very reliable. 

The biggest issue is educating users. The compatibility if you put out a newer server can take backups from old Clients, but you want to keep Clients up-to-date. Some users are more proactive than others, so they won't all come and ask for the Client. It is a job that we should be educating users more about regarding when they should download it. With Spectrum Protect, you can push things from the hubs to the spokes and keep the Clients up-to-date.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not seen any big issues. I sometimes handle the tape library, unloading and loading tapes. and it is very predictable. 

We recently had a situation where we quickly got code, and the number of tapes exceeded the library capacity so we were waiting a while to change. We got a fix for this right away.

We only have a couple servers, but loads of nodes and Clients (hundreds of them). We have some domains, active directories, backups, and shared drives. The shared drives are big. Since driving the recovery scenario, where someone deletes something off of their shared drive, it is not just that person's data but it's a whole department's data.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support has very good turnover for problem solving. They have been spot on as we received a response within a few days.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. 

What other advice do I have?

Spectrum Protect would free up backup space that could be used from files in our databases to grow. It allows for growth of the database, so it is a good use case. However, I might use Oracle pump and dump because I am in test mode (and cheap), but if I were to put it into production, I would really have to use something like Spectrum to do that.

Main criteria for choosing Spectrum Protect: disaster recovery. It is something you seldom use, but it is big if it happens, so it is the security and insurance policy.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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