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GB
Manager - Storage & Backup at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good stability and reliability, works as expected, and recommended for large-scale environments

Pros and Cons

  • "We have been using it for several years, and it is quite reliable and predictable. We are quite comfortable with this solution. They're coming up with new features as well. It has good scalability, and it provides good integrations with business-critical applications or databases, such as SAP HANA. It works as expected, and we don't see any issues."
  • "Its management part can be better and simplified. It is kind of a beast as compared to Commvault or Veeam, but they are more user-friendly. They are also easier to learn, whereas Spectrum Protect definitely takes time. They should simplify it. Our teams are pretty comfortable with it because we have been using it for a long time, but from the perspective of a new user who is evaluating or using this solution, it is definitely more complex in terms of manageability. Its monitoring could be improved so that it can even monitor the jobs that are scheduled by external schedulers. There are situations where a database team might decide to use their own schedulers, but currently, Spectrum Protect is not able to catch those jobs in the Operation Manager console."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for our enterprise backups. By enterprise, I mean Oracle, SAP, and all other business-critical applications.

How has it helped my organization?

Initially, we started using Spectrum for backing up our business-critical applications, such as SAP running on AIX, and then we had Oracle RAC clusters. We also had Veeam for VMware, but then IBM Spectrum came up with their version of the virtual environment. IBM was initially not into the virtual environment, but over a period of time, they got into this.

IBM is providing us a good and cost-effective solution. We also get more robustness for daily backup where we can restore a virtual machine, just like Commvault and Veeam. 

What is most valuable?

We have been using it for several years, and it is quite reliable and predictable. We are quite comfortable with this solution. They're coming up with new features as well. 

It has good scalability, and it provides good integrations with business-critical applications or databases, such as SAP HANA. It works as expected, and we don't see any issues.

What needs improvement?

Its management part can be better and simplified. It is kind of a beast as compared to Commvault or Veeam, but they are more user-friendly. They are also easier to learn, whereas Spectrum Protect definitely takes time. They should simplify it. Our teams are pretty comfortable with it because we have been using it for a long time, but from the perspective of a new user who is evaluating or using this solution, it is definitely more complex in terms of manageability.

Its monitoring could be improved so that it can even monitor the jobs that are scheduled by external schedulers. There are situations where a database team might decide to use their own schedulers, but currently, Spectrum Protect is not able to catch those jobs in the Operation Manager console.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have been using it for several years now, and it is very good in terms of stability and reliability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't have any issues with technical support. They're okay, and we're fine with their support.

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

We also use Veeam, which is mainly for the virtual environment. IBM Spectrum covers everything. It covers virtual and physical environments and heavy databases and applications such as SAP HANA. We are using Veeam only for a subset of our environment. 

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup is complex and not very easy. The deployment duration depends on a lot of factors, but generally, one week should be enough.

What about the implementation team?

It is not very intuitive, and you can't do it all by yourself. You need someone for initial deployment. We have a seller who helps us out. This solution has been here with us for years, so our team is now comfortable implementing it, but it is still not that intuitive that you can do it all by yourself.

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

Its licensing is complex, and its price is not really reasonable. It is on the expensive side. IBM, in general, is slightly expensive, but with IBM Spectrum for the virtual environment, they are looking into the aspect of helping customers with the cost and providing a cost-effective solution.

What other advice do I have?

It is a reliable tool. It has been there for so many years. It is a good solution that provides many options. I would recommend this solution for large-scale environments with mission-critical applications running on complex hardware, such as AIX.

I would rate IBM Spectrum Protect an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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ITCS user
IT Analyst at a educational organization with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Review about IBM Spectrum Protect

Pros and Cons

  • "Nothing beats this solution for file backup."
  • "Restoring massive files is a very time-consuming process."

What is our primary use case?

I'm an IT analyst and we are customers of IBM.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the benefits for the company is that if a major error has been made we're able to restore to a backup prior to when the error occurred.

What is most valuable?

The most interesting feature is without a doubt the 'management classes'. A management class allows us to configure the number of previous versions of each file that we want to keep as well as the number of days that we want to keep them. Thanks to the way in which the management classes can be assigned to file, the possibilities are endless.
To my knowledge only SP offers this flexibility.

What needs improvement?

We've noticed that restoring massive number of files is a time-consuming process and should be improved. We found a way to deal with it by using the 'no query restore' where the restore operation is done on more than one thread and is restartable as opposed to the 'query restore' which is a single thread process. The 'no query restore' needs setting a few parameters for the node in order increase the number of resources that will be used by the restore process.
In addition, we've found that this is not the best solution for backup and restore of virtual machines. Even with Spectrum Protect for Virtual Environment which could be improved a lot. I believe they're working on that with the new product Spectrum Protect Plus.

Finally, the licensing is complicated and could be simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 15 years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability becomes somewhat limited with the growth of the database, but we are still able to run with only one instance on one database, although we are reaching the limit. We have thousands of users. We have three network administrators dealing with the solution. I'm an analyst and the others are service administrators. 

How are customer service and support?

We haven't used technical support for quite a while but when we did use them, they were very good. 

How was the initial setup?

Deployment is a difficult question because we've been using the product for so many years that it's simple for us. I think implementation for the server and the node is simple but the configuration is a little complex. Part of the issue is that there are so many features and if you want to use them all, it needs to be via configuration. There are a lot of configuration parameters in Spectrum Protect. To add a new computer to the server takes a minute. To deploy a new server might take a day or two. All our deployments are done in-house. 

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

The cost is high and the license is complicated. You have to figure out which license best suits your needs. It's not as simple as Veeam or the other software products we use. We need an ILMT license with IBM. We have a computer dedicated to compute the license we need for our IBM project. We pay an annual license fee of somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000.

What other advice do I have?

I recomment this solution if the need is to be able to quickly recover one or more files destroyed by mistake a few weeks ago. We must ensure that the configuration meets the needs of the users. The best advice I can give is to read the tutorial provided by the IBM documentation. And for anyone administering the backup, they should perform restore tests regularly.

I rate the solution eight out of 10. 

However if the needs are to be able to quickly restore a cloud infrastructure, there is undoubtedly better solutions.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about IBM Spectrum Protect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
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Stefan Schneider
Lead Engineer Storage at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Scalable with good performance and great technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "We've found the product to be quite stable and the performance is very good."
  • "Generally, the implementation of virtualization could be improved. The workflow service and so on are not working properly."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case for the solution is mainly backing up Oracle databases and critical workload AIX servers, and so on.

What is most valuable?

The Oracle database backup is the solution's most valuable aspect.

The solution is scalable.

We've found the product to be quite stable and the performance is very good.

Technical support has been helpful overall.

What needs improvement?

Generally, the implementation of virtualization could be improved. The workflow service and so on are not working properly. They have another solution, Spectrum Protect Plus, however, for me, that is a new product. They invented a new product for virtual environments as they didn't succeed in integrating it into the former solution. For me, Spectrum Protect Plus, and Spectrum Protect are not the same product. It's not a new feature for Spectrum Protect, it is just a new thing. Therefore, we assessed IBM was not able to provide a good solution for virtual environments. Therefore, we decided to use Veeam for that.

The initial setup is quite complex.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for at least these last 12 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is perfect. It's reliable and offers good performance. It doesn't crash or freeze. There are no bugs or glitches. It's good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale well. If a company needs to expand things, it can do so with ease.

We just count the servers in terms of usage. In terms of the servers, I would assume we have more or less, about 400 servers with 1.5 petabytes of storage.

In terms of scaling, we'll remain the same more or less, however, as the databases grow, we tend to increase the amount. We don't have new features and functions that we want to integrate, however, we have new services. We are growing and likely expanding.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've contacted technical support several times. They are always helpful and responsive. We're satisfied with their level of support.

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

We're using Veeam for virtualization, as that aspect is not covered under IBM Spectrum Protect.

At the moment, we're happy with the features available. I can't recall feeling that there was something lacking. There aren't any new features we desperately need.

What we would like is integration between this solution and Spectrum Protect Plus. They should be one product and not two different solutions. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not straightforward. It is quite complex. It's important to have the right people in place. You need good experts to manage upgrades, et cetera.

For the initial deployment, for running the system, for implementing new servers or new clients, et cetera, that is not a problem, however, the problem is really handling upgrades. That is kind of tricky.

What about the implementation team?

It's a good idea to hire a consultant or integrator to assist your company in the process. It's not easy to do if you don't have the right knowledge base. 

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and end-user.

We're using an older version, called Spectrum Protect. We are not using Spectrum Protect Plus.

Overall, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten. We've largely been happy with it. I'd give it a higher rating if Spectrum Protect and Spectrum Protect Plus could either be the same product or integrated together.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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SL
AIX System Administration at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Review about IBM Spectrum Protect

Pros and Cons

  • "We like IBM Spectrum's versioning capabilities. It lets us specify how many versions of a file we want to keep and for how long. Also, the archive component of the software helps us a lot."
  • "We need better protection from ransomware or the ability to identify ways we can protect ourselves from ransomware. Having backups is one thing, but specifically, we need methods to recover if we have a ransomware attack."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for backup and restoration. We also have agents for Oracle. Unfortunately, we are not using it for virtual restoration, like VMware. That part is controlled or set up inside the Veeam software.

What is most valuable?

We like IBM Spectrum's versioning capabilities. It lets us specify how many versions of a file we want to keep and for how long. Also, the archive component of the software helps us a lot. Let's say we have a department that needs 10 versions of one file that need to be kept for at least six months. So with IBM Spectrum, we can set rules that will respect what has been asked of us. For example, we can set it to save 15 versions, and if the file is deleted, we need to keep the last version for at least six months. 

What needs improvement?

We need better protection from ransomware or the ability to identify ways we can protect ourselves from ransomware. Having backups is one thing, but specifically, we need methods to recover if we have a ransomware attack. That would be a good selling point.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using IBM Spectrum for the past 20 years or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

HAProxy is highly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

HAProxy is scalable. There's nothing that we cannot do with it. The entire IT department has access to it, so that's upwards of 100 users.

How are customer service and support?

IBM support is great. 

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

Twenty years ago, we had the file server, and we were using tapes. It was a local software. At one point, we switched to the Unix machine — the AIX machine — which could not support the same software. We had an IBM system, and IBM had a solution called ADSM, so we used that on the AIX machine. And since the product was good, we deployed it on Windows Server.

How was the initial setup?

We've been using IBM Spectrum Protect for a long time, so we've acquired the experience over time to deploy it. Installing it would be straightforward for us because we know the product. However, it might take a week for someone new to the platform to get it up and running. We have four people responsible for maintenance, and they're mostly system admins. 

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

Price and storage are an issue no matter which software you are using. It depends on what our customers ask for. If they want the sky, they will have to pay for it. It all depends on what they need. How much it does cost. The pricing depends on what products you intend to. For example, it's one price if you are using an agent for Oracle, but the price is different if you are only using basic backup and restore. It could be $15 to $25 for one license. It's very complicated. Licensing is a pain.

What other advice do I have?

I rate IBM Spectrum Protect eight out of 10. The advice I would give to prospective users is to take stock of the value of your data. Spectrum is like insurance. Ask yourself how much it will cost you to restore the whole thing and get it back online. A backup solution isn't just a cut and paste of one file. It's a data recovery setup. I recommend doing your homework. When you decide what you want to do, search for the product that will deliver it. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MS
Business consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Scales well, offers good cloud extensions and has helpful technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is mostly stable."
  • "The initial setup is complex."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is mainly used for backup of data and customers' infrastructure, such as, for example, backup of databases, Oracle, SQL, a backup of the self server, a backup of SharePoint et cetera.

What is most valuable?

It's very hard to say which feature is most valuable. It's a complex product. It's not possible to say what is most valuable.

The solution is mostly stable.

The product scales well.

The solution offers good cloud extensions.

The technical support on offer is pretty good.

What needs improvement?

The user interface could be better. It could be more intuitive or more user-friendly.

The initial setup is complex.

It's not a good option for smaller companies. It can be a bit expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Spectrum Protect for maybe seven or eight years. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are some troubles, however, definitively it's a very stable product. There aren't too many issues with bugs or glitches. It's pretty reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is more suitable for medium and large infrastructures, in my experience.

While it does depend on the environment, for the most part, the solution scales easily. The operating system, hardware, et cetera, make it compatible with all the vendors.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've been in touch with technical support on four to seven occasions. It was very valuable, speaking IT IBM support. It was okay. They helped me. I'd say we are satisfied with the level of service that has been provided to us.

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

We also concurrently use Veeam and HP Data Protector.

If I compared it to, for example, Veeam, Veeam is more valuable for a cloud environment and it's not suitable for the physical environment. Spectrum Protect is a complex product and it's suitable for both the cloud and physical environments. Veeam, however, has a better user interface. There's no perfect product. Basically, some products have more advantages in one area and others in other areas.

How was the initial setup?

The ease of the setup depends on the infrastructure, however, mostly it's a complex process as it's not so easy to deploy Spectrum Protect when you compare it to the other products.

You have to know the customer infrastructure and you have to know what they need, and what they want to do. It's important that their requirements are clear. Even when you deploy according to these requirements, it's very complex. 

The solution does have automatic maintenance services, however, it needs an administrator on the system engineering corrections. It's not required not every day, however, from time to time, you'll have to check the logs and everything.

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

For small customers, it can be a very expensive product. It's much more suited to larger organizations. It's expensive in comparison to other solutions, and it doesn't make sense, cost-wise when you are a small company.

What other advice do I have?

We are a service provider and a business partner with IBM. We have just come out with the latest update and other customers with the specific version. It depends. We have various customers.

It's a good product overall.

I'd are it at a nine out of ten. We've mostly been very pleased with its capabilities.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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HS
Manager at a university with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Has good building, compression, and backup features, along with a tool to save point-in-time backups

Pros and Cons

  • "The backup is very good. In other backup systems, you need a lot of storage to gain the same backup policy."
  • "The software is very complicated. You have to do a lot of configurations to build a server, and you would need to backup and restore."

What is our primary use case?

We use IBM Spectrum Protect for all the organization backups. When there is loss of data, we can restore it from the backup.

What is most valuable?

We have found the building, compression, backup, and the tool to save point-in-time backups to be valuable features.

The backup is very good. In other backup systems, you need a lot of storage to gain the same backup policy.

There aren't too many bugs, and it is good for storage and backup.

What needs improvement?

The high availability of the backup servers can be improved because we can replicate nodes, but the software is very complicated. It's very complicated to do backups in several clusters.

You have to do a lot of configurations to build a server, and you would need to backup and restore.

To go to new hardware, it's a project because you would need to do tests of the backup and restoration of the  DB2 database. A lot of time would need to be spent.

There are lots of configuration issues.

I think it would be good if they could improve the self service of the users.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using this solution for about 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's not a scalable solution. For example, if I need to move to a better host or if I need to move my database that gives them the metadata, then I would need to move the IBM Spectrum Protect database to another storage spot. So, I would need to do a backup and restoration of the database. There is no scalability in the backup server.

I can't move it to another host without downtime. I would need a minimum of one day of downtime to move the database to another storage spot or to move the server to another server. I can't build another host and then switch.

We do plan to increase usage because there are more backup needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is okay. Sometimes, they give the answer but not immediately. At other times, we have to handle a case for a very long time.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for IBM Spectrum Protect was complex. It's not a software that you can install and do a little bit of configuration and be done. You have to know very well what you're doing with it.

It works with DB2, and you have to know what the sizing, the log sizing, and so forth are. This is the difficulty with this software.

What about the implementation team?

I did the deployment myself, but it would be very difficult to do it alone. I did it because I had enough time as a new employee 20 years ago; I took it on as a project.

However, in most organizations there won't be enough time to learn about IBM Spectrum Protect yourself. It would be better to do it with a deployment company that has more experience.

What other advice do I have?

I think that overall it's a good software for backup. There aren't a lot of bugs, and it's very good for storage. However, you have to be a specialist; it's not plug and play.

On a scale from one to ten, I would rate IBM Spectrum Protect at nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PK
Storage Administrator at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Reasonably priced, easy to implement, and quick to restore data

Pros and Cons

  • "You can do restores very quickly. You can mount a drive and restore it right from the drive."
  • "When it comes to virtualization in IBM it's not perfect."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to monitor our backup tasks and to manage our backup. It also does retention on archives.

We use it for all of our backups.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to implement and restores very quickly.

It's very simple.

With the SPVE you can migrate from IBM to a different storage box. For example from IBM, you are going to Dell or NetApp. If you want to carry it over, you can.

You can do restores very quickly. You can mount a drive and restore it right from the drive.

What needs improvement?

Their plans need to be upgraded. It's a 1.0 and needs to be taken to a 1.4. Other solutions have more; Veeam for example, has 2.0, as well as Cohesity, and CommonVault.

When it comes to virtualization in IBM, it's not perfect.

We are going to switch from IBM to Veeam because Veeam is more accommodating to virtual environments. You can restore your Active Directory or your object to your group policy with Veeam.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Spectrum Protect for three years.

We are using version 8.1.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

IBM Spectrum Protect is scalable. There are archives on the flash that goes into a queue, and when it's available, it goes into flash and retains it for seven days then into the normal storage.

How are customer service and technical support?

We may require support or we may do it ourselves.

Technical support is good, they are responsive. Once you submit a ticket and depending on the level of priority from level one to level four, they will respond to the ticket with a day to the same day to resolve the issues.

The response time is normal. If you compare with Dell at the same priority level, it may take a day or two to get back to you.

I would rate technical support an eight out of ten.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. When you log in you can explore further. It will provide you with an explanation and how to do restores on the system. 

It will also let you know if you are backing up a C client or backing up a normal VM.

It's not complex. It's easy.

IMB does all of the updates.

What about the implementation team?

We did no use an integrator or consultant. We completed the installation ourselves.

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

We are paying for support and maintenance on a monthly basis. It is approximately $124.00 USD per month for the entire company.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are currently reviewing Veeam. After we have installed it, we will know more about it and some of the similarities.

What other advice do I have?

TSM is moving to the cloud and will be much easier.

IBM Spectrum is coming out with a new version with the option of using Kubernetes, it's called IBM Spectrum Protect Plus.

It's solid, it helps you protect the IDMS and helps you restore your VMware data and the types of data on your VM.

I would rate IBM Spectrum Protect a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Hugo Badenhorst
Backup Administrator at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good GUI with very good performance and an easy initial setup

Pros and Cons

  • "In general, the solution is quite user-friendly. The GUI is very nice."
  • "There needs to be a bit more automation."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution in order to back up VMware, Hyper V, SQL, and Oracle. We also do Linux, AIX, and solutions that Cisco has as well.

We also do voice logging.

What is most valuable?

The solution has excellent performance overall. 

The product's initial setup is pretty straightforward. They offer good documentation that helps with the process.

The stability of the solution is very good.

In general, the solution is quite user-friendly. The GUI is very nice.

What needs improvement?

The solution requires organizations to purchase an extra license to go to the cloud. I've got a limitation of going to the cloud. I don't want to pay more. It gets expensive.

There needs to be a bit more automation.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for the last five years or so. It's been a while at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. We're actually in the process of doing a POC for a sister company to make sure the stability holds and it's doing very well. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had to look at the scalability as we wanted to expand. You need to purchases extra licenses if you want to expand. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I'd rate the technical support at a nine out of ten. Every time they change some aspect of the product, we need to call them to get clarity and they are always very helpful. We're extremely satisfied with the level of support they provide to our organiztion.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's pretty straightforward overall. They have very helpful documentation and assistance from the engineers. It's a smooth process. A company shouldn't have any issues with the implementation.

What about the implementation team?

The solution does have engineers that can help with the initial setup.

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

The solution can get pretty expensive. They also charge an extra license if you would like to go to the cloud.

The solution charges companies a licensing fee on a yearly basis on the front-end. You pay at the beginning of the year.

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users.

Our contract is coming to an end and the way that the budget is going, we've decided that we going with peer storage at this stage. We're going to change the way we are doing things, both on-premises and in the cloud.

Whether this solution makes sense for a company depends on their environment and their overall goals.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. We were mostly happy with the product, however, there were some limitations around the licensing that's making us rethink our commitment to it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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