What is our primary use case?
We use it a lot for sharing file systems between several Red Hat and AIX servers. It is mostly for different lines of business. It works pretty well. We have been using it for almost a decade now.
It is actually one of the better products of IBM. We have seen applications come and go, but Spectrum Scale is one of those things where we have had more customers move into the product than other vendors' solutions.
How has it helped my organization?
It makes our file system sharing a lot easier, even across different continents. We have had file systems shared across different continents with no performance degradation. In this sense, it has helped us.
What is most valuable?
The ease of use and the stability of the product. It has been pretty reliable throughout the years. As far as capacity is concerned, it can handle most heavy loads, unlike NFS or even NAS. In this particular case, it is seamless. That is the biggest thing.
What needs improvement?
Maybe it needs integration with HA.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability is one of the main reasons that we are using the product. So far, it has been a very reliable software.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have had it across 15 to 20 Clients. Especially now that we are using it across Red Hat, the Clients do not even know that it is sitting on AIX servers. As far as scalability is concerned, it is only beginning to show its strength in the past few years. We are using it on Red Hat, but still using NSD servers as the main source of storage.
As far as scalability, I would support this product more than anything that I have tried before, such as NFS or even HACMP. This product is more robust in my point of view.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We still use NAS and NFS (mainly NFS), which we used prior to Spectrum Scale.
We added Spectrum Scale because of its scalability. There are just large amounts of data, especially with Ab Initio, NFS would not cut it.
How was the initial setup?
It is not that complex for me since I have been working with it for years.
One thing that is new for me is the implementation across Red Hat Clients. This portion was not as straightforward as I would like it to be. Now that we have it documented, it is about 10 steps, though more steps than I would do if I were to mount it on AIX. They should probably simply the Red Hat implementation portion.
What other advice do I have?
There is nothing else that even compares to Spectrum Scale. We have had customers who switched to AIX just because of it.
It is doing more than it is expected to do as far as file sharing.