IBM System Storage DS8000 Series Review

The main benefits are recovery time and being able to replicate data.

What is most valuable?

The disk replication, the high availability, the performance, and the speed are the valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

The main benefit is from the standpoint of recovery; recovery time and being able to quickly replicate data. We've had a lot of success and it's taken us a long way to get to where we've come from. There were a lot longer times that it took us to recover in the past. From a disaster recovery and availability aspect, it's brought us a long way. And we certainly are able to do a lot more in much less time, as far as recovery objectives.

What needs improvement?

I would like it to be easier to use. Some of it is so complex that we've got a lot of scripts and automation and things tied around it. I would like a way to simplify any of that. It will help with debugging too. When you do have a problem, things are pretty complex. Sometimes it takes a long time to pinpoint the actual error.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had some challenges with it hardware-wise. There have been some issues with reliability and part failures. But all in all, we've still been able to recover from them and not have any outage or downtime. There were some single-point-of-failure occurrences and some concerns from a redundancy standpoint. But, as far as actually being able to recover, and for the maintenance guys to be able to actually fix things without outages or downtime, that's been good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is fine. We have not had any issues there. We're a pretty big shop, so we buy everything pretty big in the beginning. Occasionally, we'll upgrade some frames, but normally, that's not a problem either. We've done that to add storage.

How are customer service and technical support?

I use technical support all the time. They're wonderful. The PFE side is really good.

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

Obviously, support is huge. You have to have really good support and reliability overall. All the big vendors normally offer customer service, valued added for what the product provides and supports. Support is huge. Performance is huge. Cost, I'm sure is huge. I don't deal with those aspect too much, but I'm sure that's important to a lot of people who have to pay the bill.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the setup a little bit. I've done a couple different sides of it. I was involved from a storage side, but not so much from the hardware side. It's pretty complex, but that's probably just our environment, as well. It's not necessarily their setup, but it's how we configure it too. It's a combined effort to set up the configuration, but it is pretty complex.

What other advice do I have?

You have to have a lot of testing time and a lot of understanding of the product. Obviously, support from the vendor is huge. It's just a long process. It takes a long time to implement and manage a big tool and a big piece of work like this. You have just got to work with your vendor.

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