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IBM Spectrum Control OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Spectrum Control is the #3 ranked solution in our list of top Storage Management tools. It is most often compared to IBM Storage Insights: IBM Spectrum Control vs IBM Storage Insights

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 is also known as Spectrum Control.

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IBM Spectrum Control Customers

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Archived IBM Spectrum Control Reviews (more than two years old)

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WW
Storage Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
A one stop, one shop product helpful for diagnosing performance issues

Pros and Cons

  • "The benefits would be mostly the ability to diagnose a problem."
  • "The most valuable feature is the ease of use. The ability to get into a storage device and look at whatever you are trying to look at as far as performance, then obtain the reports that you need to do your analytical work."
  • "If we were to add VM level performance being able to monitor VMs on a VM level, then that would be good."

What is our primary use case?

We use Spectrum Control mainly for our monitoring and reporting solutions. 

The solution is on-premise. We have just one instance of Control. It is one stop, one shop. We just put everything in Control. We can go into the product and not have to worry about merging multiple services.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefits would be mostly the ability to diagnose a problem. For example, if we have a customer who has increased latency, stating that they are having problems with their storage and they want us to take a look at their storage systems and see if there is anything wrong there. I can easily go to Spectrum Control full performance statistics and provide an answer in less than a couple of minutes, whereas it used to take about an hour for a full analysis. So, it does save a lot of time.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ease of use. The ability to get into a storage device and look at whatever you are trying to look at as far as performance, then obtain the reports that you need to do your analytical work.

What needs improvement?

If we were to add VM level performance being able to monitor VMs on a VM level, then that would be good. Right now, the way Spectrum Control performs VM inventory, it does not really pull VM performance data. I would be nice if we could have this.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Before we used Spectrum Control, it was a product called TPC. Back when it was TPC, it was very slow and sluggish. It was very slow since its installation, therefore my colleagues were not big fans of TPC.

Whenever we implemented Spectrum Control, it was a lot smoother, faster, and more stable. There are some hiccups in the DB2 database, but not as many as there were with TPC.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is pretty scalable as far as what you can add into it. It does support all other IBM storage devices, but it is also starting to support other vendors as well. Therefore, you can put NetApp or Dell in the solution, or whatever other storage solutions that you have. We did have some NetApp in our product and it has proved to be fairly helpful.

The product should be able to meet our expectations for growth. There are a lot of reports that we have which are outdated on other products. As Control moves forward, we will be able to generate and replace those reports. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support before. It was not difficult at all. I put on a support ticket and support came right back to me. I received my solution within a couple of days.

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

We were using another product (TPC) for monitoring and reporting, and making the switch to Spectrum Control has been very helpful when looking at performance issues when it comes to IBM products.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward.

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

The other product that we used for reporting and monitoring, it was very expensive. We were already licensing Spectrum Control. This was one reasons why we went to Control rather than using the other product. It has turned out to be just as good, if not better, than what we were paying thousands of dollars for.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Storage Insights.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend the product.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user868260
Open Systems Architect at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
You can get a much broader spectrum of storage captures for 24 hours or longer

Pros and Cons

  • "The installation was very easy. You just install an agent on a server, and you give that agent access to your storage device, then it just collects the data. It took five minutes to set up."
  • "I would like to see is more information regarding the copy groups (the replication)."

What is our primary use case?

We use Storage Insights to help with the monitoring of our IBM Flash Storage System. 

How has it helped my organization?

One of the benefits is that it has helped us with the base FlashSystem storage GUI. You only get a five minute snapshot of performance, so with the Insights tool you can get a much broader spectrum of storage captures for 24 hours or longer, and this helps.

What is most valuable?

We have been able to take advantage of the new feature offered where we are able to create tickets and send snaps through the Storage Insights tool directly to support. This has really helped us save time. You do not have to call in, and all the questions that they ask, they have already been filled in when you go into the create ticket option. 

Previously, we did not have any visibility into our storage tickets, like we do with our tickets on the Power System side. With this tool, we can see old tickets with a description and PMR number, which is very helpful.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see is more information regarding the copy groups (the replication). We have set up remote replication with change volumes, and I would like see more information about the links between the two sites, so we can know if there are network packet drops that would affect the performance of the replication. These are the things that I am really interested in seeing in future updates.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am very impressed with the stability. Since it is a cloud-based tool, the updates are done without any impact to us. They make changes periodically, then we just login, seeing the new updates and features.

The agents have to be updated from time-to-time. When you log into the tool, it will notify you. There will be a option saying, “Agent needs to updated,” and you just click on the button. Then, it makes the update(s), so it is very simple.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is pay for the amount of storage that you are monitoring. The more that we use the tool and like the tool, we may want to extend it to other storage platforms. This is just a matter of cost.

How are customer service and technical support?

The tool is pretty self-explanatory. It is a cloud-based tool, and I really have not had many issues as far as needing support. When I first installed it, I needed some help with finding different things when I was looking to monitor or do navigation.

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

We were not using any other monitoring tools previously. 

I was introduced to the product at the mini-session in Atlanta almost two years ago. I went back to the office, set it up, liked it, pitched it to management, and they purchased it.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was very easy. You just install an agent on a server, and you give that agent access to your storage device, then it just collects the data. It took five minutes to set up.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There was a freeware tool that I looked at called STOR2RRD, and I still use it a little bit because it has some other things that I do not have with Storage Insights. Also, I can expand it to different storage platforms without having to pay the extra cost. That is the main thing that it provides. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend the product, because as a cloud-based tool, you do not have to do any maintenance. Everything, including updates, are done, you just log in and it is there. It is easy to configure, as it took me five minutes to set up, and you get a lot of value as far as the data and the performance information. These are things that I would definitely recommend to other companies.

Main criteria when selecting a storage vendor: We only had five minute snapshots of performance. We wanted a tool which could give us more visibility into different days, etc.

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