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IBM Spectrum Control OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Spectrum Control is #4 ranked solution in top Storage Management tools. IT Central Station users give IBM Spectrum Control an average rating of 8 out of 10. IBM Spectrum Control is most commonly compared to IBM Storage Insights:IBM Spectrum Control vs IBM Storage Insights. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 26% of all views.
What is IBM Spectrum Control?

IBM Spectrum Control is a comprehensive solution that can significantly improve monitoring, automation and analytics capabilities in multi-vendor storage environments. IBM Spectrum Control helps manage storage systems, software-defined storage, storage-area network (SAN) fabrics and devices. Storage can be seen from multiple perspectives, including departmental, application and server views. IBM Spectrum Control helps simplify provisioning, tier optimization, performance management and data replication processes.

IBM Spectrum Control was previously known as Spectrum Control.

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IBM Spectrum Control Reviews

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MD
Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
MSP
Top 5Leaderboard
Very granular with great technical support and good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support is quite responsive and helpful."
  • "The pain points were, and may still continue to be, the fact that there are multiple components of the product which are installed, you might say, somewhat individually."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used to monitor storage systems and Fibre Channel switches and report on their performance, availability, and general health.

What is most valuable?

The ease with which you can drill into whatever individual component, or overall system that you want to look at in terms of performance, that's, to me, the most valuable aspect. 

If there are performance problems you can drill into it and look at every single grueling detail. If you need to, you can export the raw data and look at it in whatever other way you may wish to look at it.

Technical support is quite responsive and helpful.

For the most part, the solution is stable. 

What needs improvement?

The pain points were, and may still continue to be, the fact that there are multiple components of the product which are installed, you might say, somewhat individually. There's an overarching package that says, "Install this. Install that." However, it's got a database which is, of course, Db2 for IBM. It's got other facilities that are used in the product, for example, to generate reports and what have you. Instead of pushing a button and wait and you're done, there's a lot of effort to get it right.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've probably been using the solution for 15 years at this point. It's been well over a decade. I've used it for a while now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I couldn't really gauge it against any others. There is no software that's stable enough for me. Software should just be written well enough so that it doesn't fail, however, that's an impossibility. Today, you have Android or Apple that are just constantly flaky, and it seems like people don't develop code with the same rigorous results as they used to. When you pay a million dollars for a piece of code, you expect it to work.

That said, even if their programs of products break, they will be there to fix it with you. It is somewhat laborious sometimes to get from there from here, however, as far as the stability and what have you for that product, I would say it's stable. Every product has a few bugs here and there. I haven't run into them personally very frequently at all even though I know they do exist.

How are customer service and technical support?

You don't have to wait for some kind of service pack or whatever. You can get a fix for it if they can identify what the problem is, of course.

Their principles are, "If you've got a problem, we will fix it." They are very responsive and helpful.

How was the initial setup?

Both installing and applying maintenance to it can get a bit complex. It's not exactly straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I am capable of installing the solution for my clients.

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

The licensing is expensive. That said, they offer a product that is the same code but it's running in a cloud environment, however, most of my customers are federal customers, and the federal government doesn't want their data to egress their site and go into the cloud uncontrolled. Even though there's no personal information or anything that a cybersecurity issue would be concerned with, still, it's frowned upon.

What other advice do I have?

We're a business partner with IBM. I used to use it as a customer, however, now, I'm not a user of it anymore. I sell it and I install it, or I'm an engineer that works for an IBM business partner at this time.

Originally, it was a lot of IBM products - a number of features and functions and facilities that were brought together under the umbrella of a single product, however, it has matured and grown over the years. When I first started using it, it was not even a product, per se, it was a couple of products, and now it's a single monolithic product that's an umbrella under which a number of other things exist. And then there's also a cloud-based variant of this code, as well, known as Storage Insights and Storage Insights Pro, one of which is freely offered by IBM.

The product suite does support a number of different software and hardware vendors as far as being able to monitor them. However, if you have supported systems and you don't plan to purchase any other systems and you need the functionality, it's great.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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VB
Senior Technical Specialist at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
A monitoring and analytics solution with useful tools for IBM storage devices.

Pros and Cons

  • "In my opinion, it's the best monitoring and report creation tool for IBM storage devices. You can do a lot of performance stats and reports with very nice tools for IBM storage devices."
  • "The initial setup for IBM Spectrum Control is a bit complicated. They should also make it easier to integrate and use the Cosmos Analytics tool, which is very complicated."

What is our primary use case?

We use IBM Spectrum Control for performance analytics and reporting.

What is most valuable?

In my opinion, it's the best monitoring and report creation tool for IBM storage devices. You can do a lot of performance stats and reports with very nice tools for IBM storage devices.

What needs improvement?

The initial setup for IBM Spectrum Control is a bit complicated. They should also make it easier to integrate and use the Cosmos Analytics tool, which is very complicated.

I want IBM to add a feature for microcode operations. We have, for example, plenty of storage devices, and I have to connect directly to every storage device, upload microcode, and start the upgrade procedure. 

I would like IBM to have something similar to Brocade Network Advisor. There is a repository with microcode, and you just download the microcode to the Spectrum Control, and after that, choose what storage devices you would like to upgrade and just start upgrading these devices. It would be very nice if it's simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Spectrum Control for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Spectrum Control is really stable. In most cases, we did not see any real problems with this product during the last two years. It's been really stable, and according to our company's upgrade strategy, we do not upgrade to the latest version. We just upgrade to the previous version if it's stable, and the IBM support website has a lot of information on every version. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's not scalable because of our configuration. You can install several instances of this product. On top of that, you can install one main server or instance and connect all instances to this main system and see all the information, But you can only scale vertically, not horizontally.

It's possible to install Db2 on one server, Spectrum Control on another server, and Cosmos Analytics on a third server and connect to all of these systems. It's very complicated and difficult for me, and it's easier with all these installations on one server.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support could be a little better. I have opened several cases, and in most cases, the answer was that it's was a defect, and a fix will be released in version 5.2 or 5.3. Or if we would like to do a quick fix, they can send some files or some instructions on how to fix it. Or we could just wait for the official update on their support website.

How was the initial setup?

It's a complicated installation if you have not experienced it before. The latest version is 5.4.2, is a little less complicated, but the default version 5.4 or even 5.3 was very complicated to configure and install.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten, I would give IBM Spectrum Control a nine.

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