IBM Spectrum Protect Review

It is low maintenance, though we are having issues with sizing and stability

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is to back up our data to tape to outsource storage to protect us against any sort of cryptoware attack. We are using our DR recovery scenarios, basically for protection we are backing up to tape. We also back up the disk first. 

Our environment consists of two primary data centers with IBM storage in the thousands along with older and newer generations, and we have backed up everything to TS4500 already. We are still trying to move away from TS3500, but we are working on that. We have a mix of all sorts of databases and Exchange.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the recovery methods used to help troubleshoot all of our operations for contractors or the lower tiers, it meets that. Therefore, we are able to run it in an enterprise quite easily with one or two resources. All of the automatic tape deck functions are done well, too. We are able to connect two separate sites relatively easily without any problems. 

What is most valuable?

Once it is completed properly, it is low maintenance. Most of the functions do not require much deliberation. It is all the blueprints and technologies laid out, and it is straight forward.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The version that we had when I first started made it look really bad. We are talking about commands that should have run in two seconds, but instead took four to eight hours. Other components were sluggish. I noticed it as soon as our database improved. 

Because the database was slow, everything was very unresponsive. I did not know if I was doing anything wrong or if the system was not performing. With support, we were able to get up to a working version. 

Now, we are having issues with some of our underlying hardware. We require a lot of support, which has given us more scripts to get data out to the databases. In my 15 years experience of experience with backups, though not with Spectrum Protect, I could not get enough data out of the system to figure out what is going on. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable for my need, especially when you can just buy the hardware attachment. It is very fluid. To increase, as long as all the performance issues are taken into account, you can add as much you want. You can really scale it up in a lot of areas. The only issue I have with scalability is for the small offsite locations. You have about 50 different companies and you would never consider using Spectrum Protect in them. 

Our primary use centers are using Spectrum Protect instances. We run two Spectrum Protect instances.

We have spec'd out our build, and the cost of it can work quite easily today for our future needs.

How is customer service and technical support?

I find the Level 1 and Level 2 support spend 80% of the time communicating the same information that I have already provided. 20% of those leads get a resolution. 

Because of our current case, I have had to open multiple cases and had some stagnant delays when answers did not fit the problem we had. It is normal in the industry to have to reach out to our customer rep to get proper support. 

It is not just for the IBM product, but it is on par at the top tier level. We receive the proper amount of attention once the proper communications are opened up with sales. On the lower tiers, I'm reasonably better off without creating communication with support.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

What about the implementation team?

We used a third-party provider to set up the solution. The only problem is the speed of picking it up. There have been some sizing issues now, and we are dealing with those. Afterwards, we can move it forward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We have been at our size for a few years. We are not really looking to battle the licensing costs, as this is our primary system.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I do not know who they evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

I would not recommend Spectrum Protect at this point.

**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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