IBM Spectrum Protect Review

With data deduplication and compression, we are reducing our overall storage footprint for our disk histories


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is data protection. With the new version, Spectrum Protect 8.1.4 that we are running on, we have had quite a number of issues. IBM has responded well, and after about six weeks of going through a performance tuning with them, we are back on top of our backups and things are running well.

Our old system, which is running Tivoli 7.1.7, uses VTL with tape library behind it. We are actually migrating off of it and going to the new environment, which is Spectrum Protect 8.1.4 on Power s822 AIX server. This is back-ended by a V5030 disk array. We have 12 flash modules for the OS and for a portion of the TSM installation. However, the main bulk of the directory container pool is on two 92F expansion frames off of that V5030 array.

Right now, we have four separate instances that we are monitoring today.

How has it helped my organization?

With data deduplication and compression, we are reducing our overall storage footprint for our disk histories. Therefore, we are reducing the actual cost of the disk for our data protection and data backups.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of the new version are directory container pools with inline data deduplication and compression.

What needs improvement?

It seems like they are a little behind on the integration to Azure Cloud as well as Amazon. Some products are there, but not everything is there, and these seems to be with all products. Even Azure themselves as we are looking to migrate, they do not have the functionality we need. Then all of a sudden, it is there with the next order.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable for us. So far, the only time it has been down is when we actually had to take it down.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This remains to be seen because we are actually going through a cloud migration process. We are looking at options which will allow us to tier out the cost as well as put another Spectrum Protect in the cloud for data protection backup out there.

With our transition and initiative to go to Azure Cloud, Spectrum Protect's functionality is not there yet for native Azure Cloud integration. We have found out that it is definitely in the road map for native integration to Azure. It is just whether or not it will be there on time for us.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support. We had a few performance issues coming up with the new version. IBM jumped on the issues very quickly, got people on the team, and we have been able to work through them.

How was the initial setup?

Everything from the OS installed to provisioning the disk to installing the Spectrum Protect software was neither straightforward nor complex. There were a few bugs and hiccups along the way, but nothing that a seasoned admin could not overcome.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Commvault.

What other advice do I have?

I would have to see what their actual long-term strategic direction is first. If they want to remain on-premise, I would probably recommend Spectrum Protect. If they wanted to go on cloud and a more immediate time frame, it may comedown to Commvault, who already have native books set up as a service within Azure and Amazon Cloud.

Main criteria for selecting Spectrum Protect: We have had IBM Spectrum Protect for a number of years, so vendor stability is one thing that we look for being a government organization. Then obviously, the next one is cost.

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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