IBM Spectrum Virtualize Review

It simplifies access and lowers cost

What is our primary use case?

It provides a control plane for the data plane. With Spectrum Virtualize, you can extract the physical storage, then hide it and give it flexibility.

Most of my implementations have been on-premise. We could stand up a software instance someplace else and connect to it. However, most people that I work with get it in an appliance format. They use it to migrate off of existing storage. When lease expiration of something is occurring, they will use it to save value and migrate everything. Then, I will see them in a traditional Fibre Channel, a SAN connected to server architecture, or both in virtualized servers as well as standalone.

I do not personally manage any instances, but I have several dozen customers that I have deployed this solution for, so it is up and running in their production.

How has it helped my organization?

It lowers cost. It does so by getting more efficient use out of the technology behind it. 

It also simplifies access. You set it and forget it for a lot of things.

What is most valuable?

  • Ease of use
  • Scalability 
  • The product comes in hardware, software, and appliance models, so I have a lot of choice on how we deploy it and its interoperability.

What needs improvement?

Tighter integration with cloud storage might be useful as a target for a variety of use cases. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is very good. I have been working with the product for probably 15 years. I have put it in production during critical workloads without a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. It can handle anywhere from very small to large enterprise class.

It can handle our customers' future growth. The hardware behind it may get more commoditized, but the capabilities of Spectrum Virtualize remains the same. It still provides value.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. Most of the support personnel that I have talked to were very knowledgeable, which has always been good.

How was the initial setup?

Originally, it was probably complex. Now, it is straightforward. It is pretty easy to deploy, and with a basic understanding, it comes together easily.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our customers usually evaluate Dell EMC and Hitachi, but also some of the other newer flash environments, like Compellent. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Spectrum Virtualize. Across the industry, nobody matches it.

Do your homework and architect the solution upfront. The technology will stand by itself if you have done it right.

Customers' main criteria when selecting a solution: Most of my customers buy it in the appliance format, whether it is a Storwize product or something else. They are competitively shopping products, so cost is important along with scalability and usability. They typically start to believe once they see the interfaces, and they like the usability side of it. A lot of my customers have been dissatisfied with other vendors, so this is a rallying point for them. I do not have anybody who has been sorry.

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