IBM Spectrum Protect Review

Faster restores as only one full backup is needed to restore

What is our primary use case?

Protecting infrastructures and applications. We have infrastructures and applications that must be online. Some has archiving requirements that need to store data using longer retention due to legal or other requirements. With Spectrum Protect, you can adjust this to your needs.

We use this to fine tune our business requirements for the data, where we can save shorter data retention data on a storage pool with faster performance and save archiving on a storage pool with tapes to keep cost lower.

How has it helped my organization?

With Spectrum Protect, we were able to lower the TCO thanks to it always being incremental by design (progressive incremental forever).

Why back up data again if the data has not been changed? It has faster backups, as only changed content is sent and has less storage use.

Why restore the same content many times if you can just restore one backup?

  • Faster restores as only one full backup is needed to restore. With other competitors, you have to restore fully with all their incrementals.
  • We successfully lowered data storage due to its progressive incremental-forever by design (always incremental), plus its advanced data reduction techniques using deduplication with compression.
  • Backups are much faster, as only changed content is sent, especially if the journaling is added.
  • Restores are much faster too, as it only restore the objects needed. Other competitors restore objects from full backup, later restoring a more recent version of the object.

What is most valuable?

Progressive incremental-forever (always incremental):

SPFS is a file system for Spectrum Protect. A way to mount a Spectrum Protect storage pool as a mount point on your server for easier usage. With this one can protect any data using the Spectrum Protect storage.
# mount -t spfs /backup
# mysqldump > /backup/mysqldump.bkp

SPIR is Instant Recovery for Spectrum Protect. Take application consistent snapshots locally using, and sends snapshots data using space efficiently and blocking backups to the Spectrum Protect server. It provisions the snapshot from the backup server to the same or new server near instantly, so that applications can be started before all data has been copied back to original place.

What needs improvement?

Replication services would be nice. If these could be enhanced to be always on so multiple storage backup services could be added as a cluster pool. This would provide a better availability service.

It would be great if the API could add functions to check storage pool details using the client-side API.

It would be great if there would be an API to add new licenses using the client-side API so the licenses can be reviewed using QUERY LICENSE. Then, new licenses could be added using the REGISTER LICENSE command.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

the solution is stable and all the fixes and patches are well tested before rolled out. workarounds are being published if bugs exists early bug fixes can be shipped earlier for clients has emergent needs (eFix) change list is being published at each release

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

the solution scales frmo small setup to enterprise hosting many thousands of clients. Competitors need more resourses, as it has difficulty to host the inventories, of manage the amount of data If needed, one can add storage agents, which can be used to off load data transfer, so that the data goes over these agents, instead of being sent to a central server

How are customer service and technical support?

support is great

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used Dell EMC NetWorker and switched because:

  • More storage was needed to manage data protection.
  • It was more difficult to manage traffics, as it uses RPC, and more ports needed to be opened in the firewall.
  • The solutions sometimes does not respond on "push/pull requests".

How was the initial setup?

being working with ADSM, TSM, Spectrum Protect for several years, and the setup becomes more easier nowadays

What about the implementation team?

we used an in-house team

What was our ROI?

By changing to this solution, we saved not only a lot of license costs, but also 450% storage cost (without space reduction techniques) + 450% additional using space reduction techniques

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

IBM provides an open license policy, which is more like a gentlemen's agreement.

One can go with either a PVU licensing model or a capacity based licensing model. Either solution does not block the usage, if over used.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?


What other advice do I have?

The perfect solution with a robust, scalable, open architecture.

Many additional plugins are available on the Global Solution Directory.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?


If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
More IBM Spectrum Protect reviews from users
...who work at a Healthcare Company
...who compared it with Veeam Backup & Replication
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