IBM Spectrum Scale Review

Good performance and facilitates multi-platform file sharing, but the licensing is complicated

What is our primary use case?

I am a pre-sales engineer in an IT company and we provide a variety of solutions to our clients. IBM Spectrum Scale GPFS is one of the products that we resell and I have experience with.

We provide IBM Spectrum scale as a high-availability storage solution. One of our customers is in the business of making and transforming videos and they use different platforms such as Linux, AIX, and Windows. Using this solution allows access to all of the files on all of these platforms from a single place.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to share files across different platforms. It is platform agnostic and not attached to IBM, AIX, Windows, or Linux.

What needs improvement?

The pricing and licensing model for this solution are complex and it is sometimes difficult to explain it to customers.

It is not always easy to sell this product because certain aspects seem complicated for the customer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have between ten and fifteen years of experience with this product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is very important and it is one of the reasons that we chose to sell and market this product. Our clients vary in range from small companies to big banks that have a lot of servers, so this solution works regardless of the company size.

How are customer service and technical support?

I do not speak with technical support, although I am close to the installation process and I do not recall any problems that required contacting support for help.

How was the initial setup?

I have not personally installed this solution but it is my understanding that it is pretty simple. There have been no problems that I have heard of.

The deployment can take a few days. It depends on different phases because you have to meet with the customer and it may influence what you are going to do. Installing it is very quick and then you move into the testing phase, which takes a little longer.

What about the implementation team?

We provide our customers with assistance during the deployment by way of knowledge transfer. This can last a few days. If they ask questions then we give them support.

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

The licensing model is complex and depends on factors such as the number of processing cores and the amount of storage.

What other advice do I have?

This is a very powerful product. It can be optimized for performance, although our clients do not use it with this aspect in mind. Over the past five or ten years, IBM has developed this solution and it has improved a lot. With the latest release, I think that this is a very complete product.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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