How has it helped my organization?
I think probably one of the biggest benefits of this solution is that it is relatively easy to use and easy to understand. It's intuitive. The front interface is very intuitive. I can have any of my administrators know what to do with it with a very small learning curve. I know that it's going to be static across the board, whether I'm using the store wide systems, or if I'm using Spectrum.
What is most valuable?
Using SBC, a valuable feature is the mirroring, which is the virtualization of the disk between disparate places.
One of the things that we use it for, is that we can bring any storage underneath it. Not only will it recognize it and put it in the pool and add it to the storage, but it also allows me to mirror that storage across the campus, a mile and a half away.
Neither my applications, my servers, nor my hosts even know that the disk is actually split between the two places. It just sees it as the normal disk that it uses. If one side goes away, whether it is disaster recovery or if is normal every day operations, if we're restarting something or there's an issue, we have to do updates, or upgrades, and it doesn't even know it.
What needs improvement?
For improvement considerations, I would probably say multiple sites. Right now, I'm doing two, and I believe we can go to a larger scale than that. But I think that having to go into three or four sites, where I would have more of a grid-type of technology with them, would probably be a bigger benefit for me.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It has been very stable. I haven't had any concern as far as stability is concerned.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Regarding scalability, that's a good question. I haven't had to really scale it to any more than what we've done with it currently. Actually, I'm in that process right now and I probably will have that answer in maybe a day or so. I don't think there's really too much of an issue. We add the pools underneath the storage, and it seems to just accept what we give it and we move on.
How are customer service and technical support?
The technical support has been good. We do use Avar as the value added reseller for the professional services. So if I have to go into that space, it's usually not through IBM. I would give them a rating of 4/5.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were using something very similar previously. It was competitor unit that was a little bit more complex. It did some of the same things, but it was just a lot more complex in its usability and where we were going with our future storage requirements.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was very straightforward.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated all the big names: Hitachi, EMC, NetApp, and HPE.
I think we were looking at cost. We were also looking at the technical aspects of where we had requirements up front that we were looking for from every one of the vendors. We had a list of requirements. They were listed in their priority from highest priority, even to the very lowest. Some of them maybe weren't even requirements, but we added them in there. They had to meet at least the first top seven or eight. IBM seemed to meet those, and exceed them, so that was one of the reasons why we chose them.
What other advice do I have?
It fills the use case quite well. I would recommend it.