IBM Spectrum Virtualize Review

The simplicity of the product makes IBM Spectrum Visualize a pleasure to use

How has it helped my organization?

The simplicity of the product makes IBM Spectrum Virtualize a pleasure to use. With numerous islands of storage arrays, this allowed the company to effectively "pool" all the numerous storage arrays and encouraged a tiered storage approach. The speed at which snapshots can be created are impressive with clones copies taking longer due to the nature of a clone (VM) vs snapshot (copy of VM disk file). Google it. With all flash becoming the new standard, the IBM Spectrum Virtualize nodes boast an array (pardon the pun) of flash technology providing the performance where and when it is needed.

What is most valuable?

Where does one begin? Although the GUI from the XIV was used (in my view), IBM has polished and refined the GUI providing a pleasant and easy to navigate GUI experience. The IBM Spectrum Virtualize has gone from strength to strength but at the same time setting the bar for what's possible in the storage virtualization market. IBM have just recently released the new SV1 nodes which boasts integrated flash and processor power, thus providing far better response times overall.

What needs improvement?

Cheaper pricing and GUI should be developed in HTML5 as opposed to Java.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

IBM Spectrum Virtualize loves scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

IBM service is good with no language challenges when speaking to call center agents from different countries and cultures.

Technical Support:

On a scale of one to five (one: terrible to five: excellent): four.

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

No previous competing products. The challenge was to consolidate islands of storage arrays.

How was the initial setup?

The most challenging parts of the implementation were the initial cabling configuration. With many storage arrays needing cabling and multiple paths needing to be cabled using fibre optic LC cables, zoning also proved to add significant effort but this is to be expected and is a once-off exercise. Although regular commissioning/decommissioning of server/backup infrastructure is part of storage administration duties, the initial setup was far more intensive as an entire storage infrastructure needed to be redesigned. Once the hardware infrastructure was in place and the software configured to best practice (IBM implemented in order to ensure best practice was adhered to).

What about the implementation team?

Combination of onsite and vendor team.

Vendor team was professional and well-skilled.

What was our ROI?

Not applicable.

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

Liaise with both the vendor and their partners. You'd be amazed at how much you can score.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No. Competitor products just did not offer the features we required.

What other advice do I have?

HTML5, please.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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