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IBM Spectrum Protect OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Spectrum Protect is the #12 ranked solution in our list of best Backup and Recovery Software. It is most often compared to IBM Spectrum Protect Plus: IBM Spectrum Protect vs IBM Spectrum Protect Plus

What is IBM Spectrum Protect?
IBM Spectrum Protect (Tivoli Storage Manager) is a data protection platform that gives enterprises a single point of control and administration for backup and recovery. It is the flagship product in the IBM Spectrum Protect (Tivoli Storage Manager) family. It enables reliable, cost effective backups and fast recovery for virtual, physical and cloud environments of all sizes.

IBM Spectrum Protect is also known as IBM TSM, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager.

IBM Spectrum Protect Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM Spectrum Protect Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

IBM Spectrum Protect Customers
CERN, Einstein Healthcare, Nyherji, Allianz Australia, TZM, ABT Online, NCT, Kindred Healthcare Inc., Cobalt Iron, TransGrid, Baptist Health of Northeast Florida, Cash America, Piedmont Healthcare, RWGV, Arkansas Tech University, British Columbia Institute of Technology
IBM Spectrum Protect Video

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

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Steffan Rhoads
Sys Admin 4 at UC Davis Health System
Real User
Helpful scripting features, but the deduplication functionality needs improvement

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for this solution is Backup & Recovery. We have worked with old fashioned tape media hierarchies, completely disk-based backup using Data Domain, and now a mixed tape and directory container pool environment.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved our organization through better file and database recovery.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are scripting to control daily processing, scripting to integrate special client backups, and scripting to develop enhanced reporting (primarily using SQL).

What needs improvement?

The deduplication must be perfect, and thus should be improved. It costs us too much when we hit corruption in a backup and cannot recover.  

For how long have I used the

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for this solution is Backup & Recovery.

We have worked with old fashioned tape media hierarchies, completely disk-based backup using Data Domain, and now a mixed tape and directory container pool environment.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved our organization through better file and database recovery.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are scripting to control daily processing, scripting to integrate special client backups, and scripting to develop enhanced reporting (primarily using SQL).

What needs improvement?

The deduplication must be perfect, and thus should be improved. It costs us too much when we hit corruption in a backup and cannot recover.  

For how long have I used the solution?

More than twenty years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RH
Database Specialist at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Has a backup option on the outside that makes it easy to do a restore but the graphical interface could be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "The fact that we can take the backup straight onto tape is the most valuable feature."
  • "We cannot take VMware backups for our banking data center environment."

What is our primary use case?

We use IBM Spectrum Protect for data backup purposes, i.e. for people, administration, and file-level backups.

How has it helped my organization?

We did have a challenge with one of IBM Spectrum Protect's systems. For some funny reason, it was not coming up because of the stability. We were able to restore, but it started us thinking about improved backup services. 

Two weeks ago, we were able to restore services as quickly as possible in a production environment. We were able to kickstart and provide services on that particular server to customers, which saved us a lot of embarrassment.

Otherwise, we would have been down due to power supply issues we had in our production environment. Some of the services were misbehaving. We had to do a majority stop and IBM Spectrum Protect was a big plus for us.

What is most valuable?

The fact that we can take the backup straight onto tape is the most valuable feature. IBM Spectrum Protect is very valuable for me because you don't necessarily need storage on-prem or on a production system. 

IBM Spectrum Protect has its system for taking a backup. It has a backup option on the outside also that makes it easy for you to do a restore.

What needs improvement?

Technically, I've not used the latest version. What can be improved is the graphical interface and user-friendliness of the products. Secondly, they can make it also more available for other sub-regions so that we can pick up some courses on it. We need to improve our knowledge base on their products.

IBM Spectrum Protect needs improvement, but I'm sure they looked at some of these issues in the latest version. There are continuous improvements in the application.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using IBM Spectrum Protect for close to three to four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

IBM Spectrum Protect has been stable. On power issues, they blamed some supplier parts of the company. We had problems almost two or three times a week. It cost some of the companies to malfunction, so we labored for two or three days in repair work. 

For backups, it took us about almost a week or two weeks to fix that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of the scalability, with the latest version of IBM Spectrum Protect, now they have all these cloud features available. It makes it easier for you to plug into.

We have about 10 main users. We have three or four unrestricted users. For deployment and maintenance, about four or five guys on the ground. 

The product is very extensive. We've implemented it about three or four years ago. At the moment, the number of sellers in production increases every day, day in and day out.

We keep on spinning up new services and all we do is onboard the new servers. We've not had any complaints because of capacity. It has been able to serve our clients' purposes.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'll give IBM Spectrum Protect customer support a seven out of 10 because I'm still not able to take the VMware environment backup. 

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

Commvault is very user-friendly. From one point you can do all of your restores. You can even restore a backup that was taken by a CMS. We were using Commvault previously.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of our IBM Spectrum Protect install was not straightforward. We needed some experts to come down and do it. They could have given us the instructions so that we could have done it here ourselves.

We had some folks from outside for the implementation, which was done in three weeks. That includes implementing the backup test. 

What about the implementation team?

IBM was the vendor. They did well. It's working fine.

What was our ROI?

My company is a bank. As part of meeting the auditing requirements for banks, we use IBM Spectrum Protect. It can encrypt the backups as well, which helps us to meet our legal requirements for banking. We are seeing a return on investment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was with a different organization. We were using Symantec products.

What other advice do I have?

I hope that all users go in for the latest version of IBM Spectrum Protect, which is cloud-based. They should equally ensure that everything comes together well. This should help in case they have all of these challenges like ours, i.e. where power is a major issue.

I rate IBM Spectrum Protect with a seven out of 10 because of our inability to pick a backup of a trusted VMware environment. When the VMware environment is collected, we cannot take a backup. We cannot take VMware backups for that environment.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Learn what your peers think about IBM Spectrum Protect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,267 professionals have used our research since 2012.
TM
Sr. Infrastructure Engineer at Unum Group
Real User
Helps to satisfy our data protection needs but cloud support should be added

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are compression and de-duplication."
  • "In the next version of the solution, I would like to see cloud support."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary uses for this solution are Disaster Recovery and operational data protection.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution helps us to meet all of our data protection needs.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are compression and deduplication.

What needs improvement?

In the next version of the solution, I would like to see cloud support.  Specifically, I'd like to see this product leverage the native data protection services in the major cloud providers (AWS, Azure) and not require an agent to be installed.  Since access to the hypervisor is not available in an IaaS environment the native services must be leveraged.  Many competing solutions already do this.

For how long have I used the solution?

Twenty years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AM
Consultant at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
A robust product with vast flexibility in scheduling policies

Pros and Cons

  • "The best part of this solution is that it just works."
  • "The user interface needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for little backups, such as our exchange databases.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps insomuch as that it is a run solution. The issues that I've had with IBM are few and far between. Every time it restores, even though it may use tapes, there are no issues.

What is most valuable?

We really like that it just works and haven't had any problem with it, whatsoever.

It is very flexible in terms of schedules for different types of retentions. We have different policies for images, for audio files, and for user files. We have policies set up for something lasts for 15 years, or five years, or some for only two years. It can put up many, many schedules for different types of retentions. It's awesome.

What needs improvement?

The user interface needs to be improved. It is mostly a command line and you're stuck in a terminal most of the time. They have been moving over to a graphical interface, in part, but it still has a way to go in terms of ease-of-use. The commands are awesome but you can't really remember all of them. If the whole thing goes graphical then you don't have to remember obscure commands to run stuff, or set stuff up.

The configuration section needs some work done, especially with the day-to-day usage of setting up schedules and policy domains, etc.

The licensing needs to be simplified, changing it from "per core" to "per socket". This would make it much better.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is robust, and stability is the best part. It doesn't really fall over unless you want it to, which is the main thing.

As we are currently migrating to Veeam, I can tell you that I had less sleepless nights with the IBM solution. Veeam is very dependent on the health of the cluster, and if it isn't running well them Veeam doesn't perform too well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, it doesn't matter how much you throw at it, it just handles it. The product doesn't require that much in terms of resources. There is no overhead CPU consumption unless you're doing deduplication and stuff like that. It is not heavy, resource-wise.

I am the main backup administrator and the only one who is using this product. I run it for the company. Currently, we are backing up between forty and fifty virtual machines on Tivoli. If I want to leave and let the schedules run then I have a second IT person to monitor it.

The usage will not increase because the solution is being phased out, and all of the backups are moving over to the new product. Before the end of the year, it will not be used anymore.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't really needed any technical support because I haven't had any major issues with the product itself.

I did speak with them about tape issues but that's more hardware than software. The experience was easy and prompt, as they came out the next day and fixed it. It was awesome.

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

We did not use a solution prior to this one.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It's a basic setup and you just need to know what has to be done. Your pools and everything, it just has to point to that directory and it's done.

Our deployment took about a day. We last upgraded in 2015 to V7, and it handles backups of all our file systems, our images, our recordings, etc. The deployment included setting up these policies.

What about the implementation team?

I took care of the implementation and deployment myself.

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

The licensing fees are on a yearly basis, which for us it is about R400,000 (approximately $27,000 USD). The additional costs depend on your backup technology. For example, if you are using tape technology then it depends on the type of tape and how many you purchase every month. It could cost about R10,000 (approximately $650 USD), or so. The pricing is a little expensive for our current employer, so they want to move to a cheaper solution.

Currently, pricing with IBM is based on sockets and the cost depends on the machine or server. Even if you don't have anything hectic running on the host, you are still paying for the whole host. This is something that should be improved.

If it wasn't for the price we would most likely still be using it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

This solution was in place when I arrived. However, we are currently in the process of migrating to Veeam but this is a cost consideration rather than one of functionality or performance.

What other advice do I have?

The best part of this solution is that it just works.

I would rate this product eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ZC
Technical Specialist IT at HCL Technologies
Consultant
Easy deployment in the cloud and has good compression with easy commands

What is our primary use case?

  • Enterprise solution
  • Scripting-automation possibilities
  • Easy commands
  • Very good monitoring tool 
  • Operations center
  • Good compression
  • Deduplication

How has it helped my organization?

We've used it for a very long time and this is impossible to describe. 

What is most valuable?

  • Enterprise solution
  • Easy to build and add new instances: physical and virtual 
  • Easy deployment in the cloud
  • Scripting-automation possibilities necessary to have in a big environment above 5 PB a month
  • Very good monitoring tool 
  • "Operations center" very useful in order to check how instances feel and backup results.
  • We also use it to create tickets in SNOW in order to address issues and assign to the right team.  

What needs improvement?

  • A new adjustment to Azure cloud
  • Possibility to split big file spaces CIFS and NFS into smaller parts (together with storage split) in order to avoid retaking backup from scratch.
  • Possibility to move file-spaces between nodes: These are very needed in very big environments.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JP
Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good solution for backup and recovery

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the backup and recovery features.

How has it helped my organization?

It works well with AIX. 

What needs improvement?

Sometimes we experience trouble with the backup transfer of the control files. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable.

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

The pricing of the solution is high in comparison to other products on the market. For example, Symantec costs less than this solution.

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the backup and recovery features.

How has it helped my organization?

It works well with AIX. 

What needs improvement?

Sometimes we experience trouble with the backup transfer of the control files. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable.

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

The pricing of the solution is high in comparison to other products on the market. For example, Symantec costs less than this solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MN
Research Data Architect Lead at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It is a very mature product. This solution does not have good support for virtualization and a hyper-converged environment.

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for this solution is for large data backup.

How has it helped my organization?

This is a very mature product. It has been around in the large data set. People widely use this product and it helps our organization for backing up the petabytes of data.

What needs improvement?

This solution does not have good support for virtualization and a hyper-converged environment.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for this solution is for large data backup.

How has it helped my organization?

This is a very mature product. It has been around in the large data set. People widely use this product and it helps our organization for backing up the petabytes of data.

What needs improvement?

This solution does not have good support for virtualization and a hyper-converged environment.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Paulo Ricardo de Mello
IT Infrastructure Analyst at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Incremental Forever backup optimizes our costs of media and storage

Pros and Cons

  • "We optimize our costs of media and storage use, thanks to the Incremental Forever backup. The TDP software provides us many ways to protect our data, so we don't need to use monstrous scripts for doing backups now."
  • "I love the TDP for VMware because of the web interface and the possibilities provided by this tool. It's amazing."
  • "The Hyper-V and SQL Server backup could be improved. In the 2016 version there was a significant improvement, but I think IBM has a big challenge with these technologies."

What is our primary use case?

My first use case was a big company with 16 subsidiaries. We implemented the TSM Server, v6.1, with Exchange, VMware, Oracle, File System backup, and DRM. Today, this company uses IBM Spectrum Protect 8.1 with all items mentioned plus cloud backup with cloud containers. It's about seven years of partnership.

How has it helped my organization?

With IBM Spectrum Protect, we optimize our costs of media and storage use, thanks to the Incremental Forever backup. The TDP software provides us many ways to protect our data, so we don't need to use monstrous scripts for doing backups now. My life is easier and the environment administration is simple.

What is most valuable?

All features help me meet my requirements, but I love the TDP for VMware because of the web interface and the possibilities provided by this tool. It's amazing.

What needs improvement?

In my opinion, the Hyper-V and SQL Server backup could be improved. In the 2016 version there was a significant improvement, but I think IBM has a big challenge with these technologies.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

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

In some small clients, we worked with Veritas Backup Exec, but just for small environments as a low cost option.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DH
Solutions Architect at Key Information Systems
MSP
It scales significantly higher than anything else

Pros and Cons

  • "The software-defined ability to do data reduction through deduplication and compression, as well as being able to replicate data to a cloud container."
  • "Data reduction definitely reduces costs, not only software costs, but from the infrastructure needed."
  • "A lot of my customers always ask for legal holds, especially on email."
  • "It could use single store. The ability to mark an archive from my backup for long-term retention."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case for Spectrum Protect is as an enterprise back-end for companies' top database products, email, VMware, etc. We use it internally and promote that to our customers. It performs extremely well.

Our infrastructure is on-premise. 

When I help architect our customer solutions, we are primarily recommending flash for the catalog of the database, then a NL-SAS big storage bowl. We do have some tape, but we recommend going into the container bowl and replicating to a second site, whether that be a cloud container or a customer's on-premise at a second site.

I architect solutions. One of my biggest customers is managing three Spectrum Protect environments, two large footprints, and one medium footprint. Currently, they are doing two-site replication. They are experimenting with cloud containers (just in the early stages).

How has it helped my organization?

Data reduction definitely reduces costs, not only software costs, but from the infrastructure needed. Then, the ability to replicate second copy to cloud helps reduce their infrastructure and management costs (for that infrastructure) by being able to send encrypted, secure information over the internet.

What is most valuable?

The software-defined ability to do data reduction through deduplication and compression, as well as being able to replicate data to a cloud container.

What needs improvement?

Single store: The ability to mark an archive from my backup for long-term retention.

A lot of my customers always ask for legal holds, especially on email.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is definitely a very robust solution. The biggest thing is follow the blueprints. IBM has done a great job documenting what the blueprints are. If you pay attention to those and follow them, you will avoid a lot of pitfalls.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The blueprints are awesome. From everything that I have see out there from competitors' products, Spectrum Protect scales significantly higher than anything else that I have seen.

Spectrum Protect will meet our customers' growth plans.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support will always be a challenge. The biggest thing is you have to be very clear in defining what your needs and urgencies are. Though, they have gotten a lot better over time.

How was the initial setup?

Our team was involved in the initial setup, and it was fairly complex.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The main competitors usually evaluated: EMC and Commvault

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Spectrum Protect.

Most important criteria for my customers when selecting a vendor: An enterprise backup solution which could cover multiple Clients, environments, and databases.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
PP
Sr. Solution Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It saves you storage and improves performance

Pros and Cons

  • "It saves you a lot of storage."
  • "Our performance is better."
  • "They need to do a better job on Windows, because if you are running Windows, the scalability is more limited than AIX and Linux."
  • "I want to see better compression than what it currently does."

What is our primary use case?

Its primary use case is backup and recall for enterprises. 

We were looking for an enterprise solution, and we found Spectrum Protect. It is more enterprise backup and that is what you want.

I am managing two Spectrum Protect system plus one tests.

We are not using cloud storage currently, nor are we planning to in the future.

I am working to implement Spectrum Protect Plus

How has it helped my organization?

  • It saves you a lot of storage.
  • Our performance is better. 
  • Our product is running better than it was previously, which is huge.

My organization loves it, because they say it is one of the best product they have ever used.

What is most valuable?

  • Deduplication
  • Data compression
  • There are a lot more features that we can use versus the previous product.

What needs improvement?

I want to see better compression than what it currently does. I heard that 8.1.5 has better compression. 

There are more features, but I want test earlier, therefore we can do more bugging for the compression feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is good. 

However, depending upon what feature you turn on, you might run into more problems, then it is not stable. For example, when we started with deduplication, it was not working correctly. I spent so many hours with IBM support and development. They were not able to figure out what was going on and why. It was really a nightmare. We spent more hours working this product issue than I spent with my family.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. The product is so scalable and vast. 

They need to do a better job on Windows, because if you are running Windows, the scalability is more limited than AIX and Linux.

We plan to add on more Spectrum Protects in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. I prefer talking to the Level 2 support, because I feel that the Level 1 support sometimes wastes too much of my time.

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

We needed a better enterprise backup because we were backing up OS-specific backup products with OS only. Thus, we had too many backup products for each OS separately. This was a nightmare to backup. Therefore, we decided to get an all-in-one backup.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy, but I did struggle with it with no training as I was new to the product. I did do a good job, though.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated NetBackup.

What other advice do I have?

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

  • OS compatibility
  • Scalability
  • Pricing, etc.
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.
Wira Chinwong
Service Director at scsi co.,ltd
Real User
Top 5
Incremental forever helps us reduce backup time and backup storage space

Pros and Cons

  • "Incremental forever: This feature helps us reduce backup time and backup storage space."
  • "There have been scalability issues. The core product does not support scale out. We needed to create a new system and manage resources separate from the existing one."
  • "The user interface (UI) for the admin is still not good. It is way too complicated to manage the product, as we still need to use command line. IBM launched the Operations Center (OC), but there are still functions lacking, especially since we cannot manage all our scheduled tasks by using the GUI."

What is our primary use case?

It is an enterprise product.  

How has it helped my organization?

We can gain benefit from any advance features (incremental forever, deduplication, compression, etc.).

What is most valuable?

  • Incremental forever: This feature helps us reduce backup time and backup storage space.
  • Deduplication and compression: This feature helps us move away from physical tape by using disk.
  • Replication: This feature help us to offsite backup data without tape. Data replication is incremental and will send only non-duplicate data.

What needs improvement?

The user interface (UI) for the admin is still not good. It is way too complicated to manage the product, as we still need to use command line. IBM launched the Operations Center (OC), but there are still functions lacking, especially since we cannot manage all our scheduled tasks by using the GUI. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been stability issues. The product does not exactly have a high availability (HA) solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been scalability issues. The core product does not support scale out. We needed to create a new system and manage resources separate from the existing one.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support as a seven out of 10.

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

We did not use a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex. The solution needs a designer who knows the product in-depth.

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

The product is low cost. It is very cool when we design it to using licensing based on post capacity.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We compared it to NetBackup. In the end, for design and cost optimization, we chose IBM Spectrum Protect.

What other advice do I have?

The product may look difficult to manage, but if you need enterprise backup software which supports cross platform and you have good design and skills transfer, this product will help reduce costs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user879321
Solutions Architect with 51-200 employees
Real User
Very easy to configure agents or VM backup and restore

Pros and Cons

  • "All other products contain the same features, but when I'm backing up an IBM Power server I feel more comfortable with IBM Spectrum Protect because it's the same vendor."
  • "The solution is not complex, it's very easy to configure agents or VM backup and restore. Upgrades from one version to another are very fast and the product is very stable."
  • "Perhaps if they could add replication to a second site or third site from the same console, that would be helpful. Currently, we have to connect to another console."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for physical and virtual servers, especially when we are talking about IBM Power architecture.

What is most valuable?

  • Deduplication
  • Compression

But really, today, all features are available from all vendors. We can ensure incremental backups, full backups, differential backups. These are not specific to IBM. All other products contain the same features. But when I'm backing up a Power server, I feel more comfortable with IBM Spectrum Protect because it's the same vendor.

The solution is not complex, it's very easy to configure agents or VM backup and restore. Upgrades from one version to another are very fast and the product is very stable.

What needs improvement?

I really haven't noticed that something is missing. There is a central console for all backups and restores. Perhaps if they could add replication to a second site or third site from the same console, that would be helpful. Currently, we have to connect to another console.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I'm very comfortable with it. I see that the product is very stable. It's a good product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. We can start the product with 10 machines and we can manage more than 1000 machines. There are no limitations with respect to adding agents. The only thing we need is the addition of some resources for the backup server. For example, we can start with a backup server with 16 gigabits of memory and when we add many jobs and many agents to the backup, we have to add some resource tools to the backup server.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. When we submit a ticket, it will be resolved in a short timeframe. I believe the technical support is managed today by Watson, although I'm not sure. Watson for IBM Support Center is a machine but today it's the best support of all vendors we interact with. It's better than other vendors because we communicate with the machine and, from the database, it resolves all tickets in a short time.

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

In this case, we received recommendations, a short-list. IBM was on that list. We went with IBM because we have many IBM Power servers. There are some work loads for PowerVM and IBM knows the architecture of PowerVM better.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is very easy. If there are updates, there are recommended actions.

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

There may be an advantage to going with IBM in terms of pricing. They have a pay-as-you-grow policy, so there is no need to take one license for the entire datacenter. You can start with small licenses and then grow, and pay, as you use more.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

EMC and one other.

What other advice do I have?

I rate it a nine out of 10. It's a good product, simple to use, simple to configure, and we get very good technical support.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Line Of Business Manager for Storage and Backup at Compta IS
Real User
Very stable after deployment and will perform in a steady state

Pros and Cons

  • "It is very stable after deployment and will perform in a steady state."
  • "This product should be more user-friendly for newcomers."

How has it helped my organization?

Spectrum Protect provided a steady state in my backup operations and confidence in restores procedures with 99% assurance.

What is most valuable?

It is the only backup software which gives retro-compatibility, resilience, and enterprise agents.

What needs improvement?

This product should be more user-friendly for newcomers.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable after deployment and will perform in a steady state.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability in not an issue for this product. It is a real enterprise class backup software.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer service is a plus, always giving an answer with skillful personnel.

There is really good technical support.

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

I had different backup products. Each one is really good with similar backup needs, but with Spectrum Protect, I could get a holistic product for heterogeneity environments.

How was the initial setup?

In the beginning, the product was sometimes difficult to deploy. Then, there were improvements by IBM, giving more confidence to customers.

Now, setup is really straight forward.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation was made in-house for many clients, which provided me with quite good expertise and autonomy for the future deployments.

What was our ROI?

Regarding retro-compatibility of the product between versions, your data is always available and the ROI is unquestionable. Also, the different license models can give good benefits to the end customer.

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

Licenses have to be studied regarding a client's need. However, with Entry License, Front End Capacity or Back End Capacity, there are many choices.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I tried other products, but some of them were not suitable for enterprise class.

What other advice do I have?

The product is always getting better, and it is still the most reliable backup product in the market.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user799533
Technical manager of the storage area with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Integrates well with Unix/Linux and high-end databases

Pros and Cons

    • "Integration with Windows environments needs improvement. It should be more "assisted", both at the application and database level. It remains a product that fits better in Unix/Linux environments than in Windows environments, given its configuration procedures."
    • "It needs BMR (bare machine recovery) solutions for both Windows and Linux systems."

    What is our primary use case?

    I have been working for more than 14 years in service companies dedicated to implementing and consulting in the area of backup and storage. This has allowed me to work with a multitude of backup environments. I have worked in Unix, Linux, Windows, and VMware environments, with all kinds of databases, applications; environment backup contingency solutions (DR) - formerly through "double copy" and tape management offsite; replicating storage pools via disk systems, and the databases of the backup server itself. Lately, I have been using node replication in on-premise environments and replicating against the server located in the IBM cloud (Softlayer).

    What is most valuable?

    Yields are a key feature. There are also very few incidents related to restores that cannot be performed. The level of product support is very high.

    What needs improvement?

    Integration with Windows environments needs improvement. It should be more "assisted", both at the application and database level. It remains a product that fits better in Unix/Linux environments than in Windows environments, given its configuration procedures. It needs BMR (bare machine recovery) solutions for both Windows and Linux systems.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The deduplication functionality has caused some issues as has the upload of deduplicated/encrypted data to the cloud. These errors have been solved, thanks to the power of its DB2 engine. It enables detection and correction of these problems. To date, I have not found any error that could not be resolved.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is one of the best features of this product. An IBM Spectrum Protect environment (a DB2 instance) can manage up to 4PB. Sometimes it is more practical to define several instances of DB2 (several DB2 databases, several TSM servers) on the same physical server, which drastically reduces the size of the DB2 databases.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The problem in Spain is that level-1 and 2 support, which were very good, has been moved. Now, almost all level-2 incidents are handled in France or the US. In the US there is very good support but its work schedule does not match ours.

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

    For medium/large environments (Unix, Linux, Windows, VMware) we also propose the Commvault solution. For fully virtual environments, such as VMware and Hyper-V, we always use Veeam Backup & Replication. For a small environment with Windows and VMware/Hyper-V, we usually implement Veritas Backup Exec.

    How was the initial setup?

    Setup/implementation requires a high level of knowledge/skill. For those with experience, the setup can be very fast, although it is true that it requires a pre-planning and sizing process.

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

    The licensing is varied. If we have small environments (not many TB being managed) it is best to license by PVUs (depending on the number of cores of the machine). If we manage many TBs we look at licensing by capacity which allows us to use all the agents of the product.

    If the customer has more IBM products, as well as IBM storage, we can resort to global licensing, which can be very economical.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    In principle, and whenever I can implement this product, if a customer is reluctant or has many Windows servers I choose products that are configured/installed almost entirely via a graphic interface, such as Commvault.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a very powerful product that offers great performance and integrates very well in Unix/Linux environments and with powerful databases (Oracle, DB2, SAP, etc.). However, it requires a middle to high-end knowledge of, and skill with, the product.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: IBM Business Partner.
    it_user807867
    Consultant at a legal firm
    Consultant
    Replication processes with container storage pools reduce storage space and bandwidth

    Pros and Cons

    • "Forever incremental - allows TSM to optimize storage needs."
    • "The way it covers backup and archive needs. The flexibility of backup copy group always allows me to cover the customer's requests."
    • "Replication processes with container storage pools allow reduction of storage space and network bandwidth, using deduplication and compression."
    • "The administration interface should implement more functionalities that exist only in the command line and needs improvement in how some reports are created."
    • "It needs agents that take into account more databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL, etc.)."

    What is our primary use case?

    I provide architecture consultation, mission expertise, installation, upgrade, migration and, sometimes, official Spectrum Protect education for IBM.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I have a lot of examples of how it has improved different clients' organizations, but the greatest value is with a dual-site infrastructure and container storage pools.

    What is most valuable?

    • Forever incremental - allows TSM to optimize storage needs.
    • The way it covers backup and archive needs. The flexibility of backup copy group always allows me to cover the customer's requests.
    • Replication processes with container storage pools allow reduction of storage space and network bandwidth, using deduplication and compression.

    What needs improvement?

    The administration interface:

    • should implement more functionalities that exist only in the command line
    • needs improvement in how some reports are created.

    Also, it needs agents that take into account more databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL, etc.).

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What other advice do I have?

    It depends on the infrastructure and the requirements, but from an overall viewpoint, and in light of my experience of 15 years with TSM, I rate Spectrum Protect at eight out of 10.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    EE
    Head of Testing Dpt with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Not only handles backup but restores and saves many services in critical situations

    Pros and Cons

    • "The main feature of this product is a flexible architecture and functionality that allows you to solve problems of any complexity and scale. Most importantly, it is not just a product that simply makes a backup, but it restores and saves a large number of services in critical situations. By the way, it works fine with different types of clouds, supports S3."

      What is our primary use case?

      This product handles backup issues in all areas and tasks, both stand-alone and various cluster options, replication.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Spectrum Protect does not just improve our work, it saves the infrastructure of more than one enterprise in the event of hacker attacks, administrative errors, and a variety of other failures.

      What is most valuable?

      The main feature of this product is a flexible architecture and functionality that allows you to solve problems of any complexity and scale. Most importantly, it is not just a product that simply makes a backup, but it restores and saves a large number of services in critical situations. By the way, it works fine with different types of clouds, supports S3.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      I think it makes sense to think about Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization because Red Hat has better backup.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user868266
      Systems Administrator at a government
      Real User
      With data deduplication and compression, we are reducing our overall storage footprint for our disk histories

      Pros and Cons

      • "With data deduplication and compression, we are reducing our overall storage footprint for our disk histories. Therefore, we are reducing the actual cost of the disk for our data protection and data backups."
      • "It seems like they are a little behind on the integration to Azure Cloud as well as Amazon."

      What is our primary use case?

      Our primary use case is data protection. With the new version, Spectrum Protect 8.1.4 that we are running on, we have had quite a number of issues. IBM has responded well, and after about six weeks of going through a performance tuning with them, we are back on top of our backups and things are running well.

      Our old system, which is running Tivoli 7.1.7, uses VTL with tape library behind it. We are actually migrating off of it and going to the new environment, which is Spectrum Protect 8.1.4 on Power s822 AIX server. This is back-ended by a V5030 disk array. We have 12 flash modules for the OS and for a portion of the TSM installation. However, the main bulk of the directory container pool is on two 92F expansion frames off of that V5030 array.

      Right now, we have four separate instances that we are monitoring today.

      How has it helped my organization?

      With data deduplication and compression, we are reducing our overall storage footprint for our disk histories. Therefore, we are reducing the actual cost of the disk for our data protection and data backups.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable features of the new version are directory container pools with inline data deduplication and compression.

      What needs improvement?

      It seems like they are a little behind on the integration to Azure Cloud as well as Amazon. Some products are there, but not everything is there, and these seems to be with all products. Even Azure themselves as we are looking to migrate, they do not have the functionality we need. Then all of a sudden, it is there with the next order.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is very stable for us. So far, the only time it has been down is when we actually had to take it down.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      This remains to be seen because we are actually going through a cloud migration process. We are looking at options which will allow us to tier out the cost as well as put another Spectrum Protect in the cloud for data protection backup out there.

      With our transition and initiative to go to Azure Cloud, Spectrum Protect's functionality is not there yet for native Azure Cloud integration. We have found out that it is definitely in the road map for native integration to Azure. It is just whether or not it will be there on time for us.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      We have used technical support. We had a few performance issues coming up with the new version. IBM jumped on the issues very quickly, got people on the team, and we have been able to work through them.

      How was the initial setup?

      Everything from the OS installed to provisioning the disk to installing the Spectrum Protect software was neither straightforward nor complex. There were a few bugs and hiccups along the way, but nothing that a seasoned admin could not overcome.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We also evaluated Commvault.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would have to see what their actual long-term strategic direction is first. If they want to remain on-premise, I would probably recommend Spectrum Protect. If they wanted to go on cloud and a more immediate time frame, it may comedown to Commvault, who already have native books set up as a service within Azure and Amazon Cloud.

      Main criteria for selecting Spectrum Protect: We have had IBM Spectrum Protect for a number of years, so vendor stability is one thing that we look for being a government organization. Then obviously, the next one is cost.

      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_user866832
      Technical Advisor at GBM (an IBM alliance Company)
      Real User
      It is a stable product, and its even more reliable when combined with POWERAge

      What is our primary use case?

      Our customers have on-premise infrastructure mostly using tape libraries. We do have a company using a virtual tape library. Though, t customer does not have many benefits from their virtual tape library, as the infrastructure is majority over the AIX file of Spectrum. In my country, we manage 25 solutions. In all countries, we manage 200.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Maintaining recovered data.

      What is most valuable?

      Mainly backups Replication Exporting the data from another data center.

      What needs improvement?

      Any feature that is compliant with virtualizing the application should be improved. Also, the product should be improved to save more space.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is very stable. A plus is to…

      What is our primary use case?

      Our customers have on-premise infrastructure mostly using tape libraries. We do have a company using a virtual tape library. Though, t customer does not have many benefits from their virtual tape library, as the infrastructure is majority over the AIX file of Spectrum.

      In my country, we manage 25 solutions. In all countries, we manage 200.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Maintaining recovered data.

      What is most valuable?

      • Mainly backups
      • Replication
      • Exporting the data from another data center.

      What needs improvement?

      Any feature that is compliant with virtualizing the application should be improved. Also, the product should be improved to save more space.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is very stable. A plus is to use POWERAge for the SNR copy of the Spectrum Protect, then it is more reliable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The product is scalable. However, the customer's infrastructure is usually not scalable. Therefore, the environment (server, tapes, etc.), not the product, limits the scalability of the customer.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Technical support is usually effective onsite. My work is with IBM systems.

      I would rate offsite technical support as average. The PMRs should be faster.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would recommend the product.

      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

      • Price
      • Easy tool management
      • An operating systems which works
      • Capacity of encryption. 
      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      ITCS user
      TSM SME and Storage software Solutions Architect at Software Information Systems, LLC
      Consultant
      Enterprise-wide type of architecture supports a lot of different platforms

      Pros and Cons

      • "They have recently added support tickets specifically engineered around performance. This has been very useful for us when we run into issues where customers are looking to try to squeeze a lot more horsepower out of older system."
      • "Enterprise-wide type of architecture supports a lot of different platforms."
      • "Integration with some applications in the healthcare field could be added, as that is a big part of our business."

      What is our primary use case?

      Primary use case is for data protection and data backup. I work with the following:

      • On-premise solutions for customers.
      • Building solutions for our managed service, which uses Spectrum Protect as a backup data protection for primarily DIAX Power Systems platform.
      • Virtual workloads in our data center.

      It performs great and is working wonderfully.

      Our on-premise infrastructure is mostly spinning disk right now. Tape is on our plans towards the future. I have come to the conclusion that we need to make sure we add tape into the solution, because archive seems to be a big, important piece, especially since Spectrum Protect is moving as a product. Going forward, we will find it being more as a long-term retention repository than it used to be in the past.

      We have two Spectrum Protect instances. We have work redundant ones in our managed solutions center that we offer for our solutions provider. For my on-premise work that I do as a consultant, I take care of instances on and off for various customers.

      How has it helped my organization?

      As managed solutions provider, it has been really useful because it scales bigger than a lot of other products. It allows us to consolidate costs on the back-end, making it somewhat more cost effective for us, while still being able to scale bigger for our larger customers that buy solutions from us.

      What is most valuable?

      The biggest thing is its enterprise-wide type of architecture. It supports a lot of different platforms. This is useful for us.

      What needs improvement?

      There is not much that they do not have already. 

      Integration with some applications in the healthcare field could be added, as that is a big part of our business. I just recently learned that Spectrum Protect Plus has integration with Epic. They are planning on implementing it. It is on their road map, and that seems to be the right direction. 

      IBM has a good direction, making sure they address the things that they discuss with us as a service provider, and looking to provide better products to our customers.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is super stable. This is one of the reasons that we like it as a solutions product.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It is extremely scalable. This is why we like it, because a lot of other products require a more complicated deployment as the environments get bigger. 

      Spectrum Protect keeps things rather simple, because as long as we build the core system, it can scale with the hardware, essentially. We use Power Systems for our servers. Therefore, it can scale massively, as well as the application. Thus, we keep our costs low.

      The solution will definitely meet my customers' growth requirements. However, the challenge I have is that customers are becoming more homogeneous and need diversity less. This has worked more for us as we take on workload for them, but I have a lot of customers who used to need five or six different types of enterprise integration: workload, virtualization of different platforms, etc. However, this all seems to be getting more homogenized. Therefore, the need has been going down from what we have seen previously.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Most commonly, we call technical support for performance related issues, if we run into something which is a weird anomaly, we will call them up. 

      They have recently added support tickets specifically engineered around performance. This has been very useful for us when we run into issues where customers are looking to try to squeeze a lot more horsepower out of older system.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup is a little more complex than some of the other solutions. The younger, backward products out there are much easier to implement. 

      Generally speaking, it works well for me, as a person who sells my services. It is nice to be able to be able to set something up for a customer, and have it work directly the first time, because of the fact that I have the experience. 

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Typically, the competitors have been EMC or Commvault. Those are the most common ones that we have run into. 

      What is probably most interesting, more recently, customers have been having conversations with me around some of these newer backup applications which are more web scale architected, like how Spectrum Protect Plus is designed. This has been a different conversation, because the customers' focus is more about ease of use, and less about flexibility and scalability. Therefore, this has been a little bit of a shift, because they have simplified so much, and what they have is their infrastructure.

      What other advice do I have?

      Customers' most important criteria when selecting a solution:

      • Robustness
      • Durability
      • Flexibility with storage and the Client.
      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      RP
      Regional Platform Services Manager at GBM
      MSP
      A very reliable, consistent, unhackable product

      Pros and Cons

      • "The backup on real-time, especially for the virtual machine, archiving, and retrieving the reader from the backup repository and getting it online, getting it validated, then performing the data consistency check over the backup."
      • "Once setup, you do not need to touch it again. You just need to do a formal check on possibly batch updates."
      • "They should have a proper technical support team serving the customers and get issues resolved earlier."
      • "It needs better connectivity with other non-IBM application hardware and non-IBM platforms."

      What is our primary use case?

      It is performing very well. However, our customer feedback is the product is very complex, and mainly built for the enterprise customer. They will need to do some developments on the Spectrum Protect, especially on the Plus series. Maybe on Spectrum Protect, they can simplify it, so the admin can get more easily access the console, and generate jobs and alerts.

      As a product, it is very nice. People love it, but the only issue is it requires a very unique/rare skill set. 

      80% of the core business is running on-prem, and some of the applications which are add-on, go on the cloud. This is a mixture: 80% is on-premise, which is non-critical.

      The problem with moving to the cloud is the government compliance agreements. The government says the data should not leave the country, or if the data is leaving Iran, it should be encrypted and no one else can read it. This is why Amazon is coming with their data center. Once it is live, all the Ministry's data should be part of Amazon and it should not go out. Those are the compliance issues with the Ministry.

      We manage approximately 20 customers, except Saudi Arabia.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Especially for the banking and ministry sectors, they have core businesses running and they can't have a single bit of data corruption or data loss. This is a very important product for them, because it gives ease of access and the type of data consistency where they can rely on it and its safe on-hand. When there is a need or a disaster, they can get the information back from the archive. So, it is very much required.

      What is most valuable?

      The backup on real-time, especially for the virtual machine, archiving, and retrieving the reader from the backup repository and getting it online, getting it validated, then performing the data consistency check over the backup.

      What needs improvement?

      • I would like the users to have a better experience with the product.
      • Easier recovery
      • It needs better connectivity with other non-IBM application hardware and non-IBM platforms. If it can get connected with other applications, the customer would be happier because they would not need to stick to a single vendor, so they could have a backup on multiple environments.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is very stable. It is meant for the enterprise customer's core business. I have never seen any customer talk about a system crash and not being able to retrieve their backup. 

      It takes a lot of time to configure on the first setup. Once setup, you do not need to touch it again. You just need to do a formal check on possibly batch updates.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      If you are attaching with IBM products, it is all compatible and very easy. Issues arise when you are working with non-IBM products. Then, you need to find all the APIs with the Spectrum Product. There are some issues with HPE and Dell, because these two do not support Spectrum Protect. You have to be on certain versions before they will support integrations.

      Spectrum Protect will meet our customers needs as they grow, because as the data is growing they need to have a backup. We are talking about on-premise backup, we are not talking about cloud backup. We are discussing out of the country backup. There are tapes which are getting shipped out of the country with an encryption key. Spectrum Protect is playing a vital role, because they do the encryption. It is a very reliable, consistent, unhackable product. 

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Technical support is okay, but their skills are limited.

      Example: Our customer was not able to do certain activities. So it went from Level 1 to Level 2, then Level 3. Level 3 takes a longer time to bring up the batch or find a resolution. I think that is a part IBM could fix something. They should have a proper technical support team serving the customers and get issues resolved earlier.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup starts straightforward, but as soon as a customer opens the requirements for the backup because they are happy it, they will want to export their system, virtualized platform, or some applications on the databases. This is when it starts getting complex. Then you need to run multiple jobs, multiple consoles, and bring it all together. Of course, customers want to have a single console to connect all their different environments.

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

      I would recommend IBM, but I am a business partner.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Other market competitors include EMC NetWorker, Veritas (Plus Edition), and Veeam (for virtualization).

      What other advice do I have?

      Customers main criteria when selecting a vendor: presence in the market, and onsite and offsite support.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Business partner.
      Bill Raines
      Technical Specialist at Cherbonnier Mayer & Assoc
      Real User
      Our customers have come to trust IBM and the product has established brand loyalty

      Pros and Cons

      • "Traditional storage works perfectly with it."
      • "Our customers have come to trust IBM."
      • "No one can fix every solution for backup and restore."

      What is our primary use case?

      I have seen my clients use it historically for AIX systems and for applications which are pretty robust, like Domino. I use it there, or for customers who have a lot of systems and are trying to backup everything in a certain time frame. They get this benefit and the benefits of its space efficiency. It keeps the footprint down (the space), so they will not need to continue buying more disk. 

      Mostly, it is a flash database for Spectrum Protect, then as far as the user space for everything else, they are using mostly using NL drives. I do not know of anybody using flash all the way. Our customers are also using tape, too.

      The great thing about Spectrum Protect is I do not have to be concerned with the latest, greatest technologies. I can still use what has been out there for some time. Traditional storage works perfectly with it.

      We do have customers with cloud strategies, who are looking to put their backup in the cloud. A lot of customers talk about moving to cloud, but do not do it because of their size (too large). We are in the works with one customer looking to do this, but their legal people stopped pretty much anybody putting their data in the cloud, so that is on the customer side.

      The average Spectrum Protect customer is going to be somewhere around 150 servers, and about 2,000 user company organizations or larger. They have usually dozens of terabytes to protect. Some companies have five Spectrum instances, and some have 30 or 40.

      What is most valuable?

      Its capability of just being able to handle legacy servers, and new and old platforms. That is one of the things about IBM, they made sure the product will continue to keep customers loyal.

      What needs improvement?

      The Spectrum Protect people know that they have to have the Spectrum Protect Plus product pick up and move faster, meaning getting to those features that Spectrum Protect can't do. 

      I think IBM is great with software, and it will always improve. It is just the speed of getting it out there. Faster development and deployment speed would help us as partners go out there with confidence and sell more product right now.

      Though, no one can fix every solution for backup and restore.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stability is excellent. This is one of IBM's strength.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is excellent. This is one of IBM's strength.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      The technical support is general. If you need more than that, you need to know someone within IBM on the technical in-depth side. We will be the transparency to do that for our customers. That is why we are there to help manage their Spectrum Protect environments.

      However, if something changes at the customer's company, the environment can go into what we call debt. If you don't watch it, it can get out of hand. That is also where we come in to help our customers if they cannot find the time. A good Spectrum Protect administrator should be spending approximately an hour to an hour and a half a day just to the administration of it. If you are spending more time than that, then it is possible that you need more training on it.

      How was the initial setup?

      I work on the initial setup with my teammates and technical team to verify the setup will work. I work with the IBM blueprints that they have online as a basis. I try to follow them as closely as possible, but they do not always fit all customers, because there are just three broad versions: small, medium, and large footprints. 

      If you follow the blueprints, it is pretty straightforward, because it is all scripted out for you. We do run into something complex with each customer setup, but we have the experience to handle it.

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

      You need to put it in a PoC and test it out if you can. A lot of companies have time and resources to do this for every product that they are looking at. They need to scrutinize every one of the competitors. 

      After, you can basically configure it and script it the way you want it to work.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Spectrum Protect is often compared with Commvault and EMC for overall backup solutions, then against Veeam, and Rubrik for virtualization platforms.

      What other advice do I have?

      Our customers have come to trust IBM. If there is ever an issue that has to be solved, IBM will throw the bench at it and make it work. If you know how to design it right the first time and you show proof that you have done it before with the customer, it will make it easier for the next customer when you go out there and try to sell them on the solution.

      Backup is typically last of the things that customers want to tackle, but they have to do it sooner or later, or they will get burnt by it.

      Most important criteria when customers select a solution:

      • Skill and experience in the product
      • Relationships
      • Confidence in product.
      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user866823
      Solutions Architect at Etechservices
      Reseller
      Scalable beyond anything my customers ever aspire to

      Pros and Cons

      • "It is scalable beyond anything my customers ever aspire to."
      • "It is more efficient than most traditional backup solutions."
      • "Getting technical support all the necessary diagnostic information is still very painful."

      What is our primary use case?

      Most of our customers use it for backup. It performs very well.

      Most of my customers are still doing the traditional disk storage backed by primarily tape storage on on-premise infrastructure environments. A few are doing disk only, and that will probably continue to grow, but most of our customers use tape. For their use cases, they find it suits their needs.

      We currently manage dozens of Spectrum Protect instances.

      How has it helped my organization?

      For most of our customers, it is more efficient than most traditional backup solutions. It can also scale from a very small environment to a very large, multiple-tenant environment.

      What is most valuable?

      The incremental forever backup, which makes it more efficient than any other solution that does not use this scheme.

      What needs improvement?

      Continue the incremental improvements that they have been doing all along. There is not any one big thing right now that my customers can think to do. 

      The Spectral Protect Plus addresses the VM inside of things and is a huge improvement. This is the main thing everyone has been seeing.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It has always been very stable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It is scalable beyond anything my customers ever aspire to.

      We expect the product to meet our growth needs.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      For the most part, once you get them the right information, technical support is very effective. Getting them all the necessary diagnostic information is still very painful.

      How was the initial setup?

      I do the initial setups of the solution. The initial setups are complex still. This is maybe the one weak point, getting it setup, but this is where I help.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Most of my customers are coming from old NetBackup type of environments. What I see a lot more now is Commvault, and these two being the other two main competitors.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would recommend Spectrum Protect.

      Pay attention to the backup, because it does matter in terms of the efficiency and scalability of the solution. A lot of other approaches are not as effective.

      Customers main criteria for choosing Spectrum Protect:

      • Efficiency
      • Scalability.
      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Business partner and reseller.
      it_user866817
      Storage Administrator at Comerica Incorporated
      Real User
      We can freeze and start databases for consistent backups. However, it does not do too well in our virtual environment.

      Pros and Cons

      • "We can freeze and start databases for consistent backups."
      • "It allows us to have one interface."
      • "It is pretty scalable. It will scale to anything."
      • "It does not do too well in our virtual environment."
      • "We would like to see bare-metal restorers."

      What is our primary use case?

      Our primary use case is for database backups. It is performing okay. 

      We are probably moving to NetWorker, because we want to use one platform for all of our backups. Right now, we use Avamar for virtualized environments and Spectrum Protect for databases. We want to get to one platform.

      We have two main campuses with three petabytes of storage. We use virtualized tape, IBM product TS7700 Hydra. Those are all replicating, and we also have our Spectrum Connect and Spectrum Protect databases being replicated using Remote Mirror between sites (about 130 kilometers apart). Right now, the database (300 to 400 gigs) is sitting on some flash on a EMC VNX behind an SVC.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It is just a backup. It has not changed anything.

      What is most valuable?

      It allows us to have one interface. Our database administrators can schedule backups themselves. We can freeze and start databases for consistent backups. Also, we can have different schedules for whatever they need, whenever they want.

      What needs improvement?

      We would like to see bare-metal restorers.

      There are some things that it is not doing too well for us. It does not do too well in our virtual environment. We have had to move away from it because of this.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stability is good. We have some trouble with Clients, but I think all backup products have problems. They just have different problems.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It is pretty scalable. It will scale to anything. There have been no problems. 

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Technical support has been good. Except sometimes, there will be some performance problems and no one knows what is happening. We end up spinning our wheels. With a couple of performance problems, we have ended up having to rebuild the database because everyone will eventually give up. 

      Everything is normally good. If we have had a problem with our Client, they respond right away.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      I do not know who else was evaluated when we were looking for a solution.

      Now, we have NetWorker, Avamar, and Spectrum Protect. So, we have two and a half too many backup products.

      What other advice do I have?

      What it does, it does excellent. I would recommend the product.

      We chose Spectrum Protect because everything we had was IBM. At the time, it could do everything; all the environment. Everything that we had could go into Spectrum Connect: There were some P7s, Windows, and that was it.

      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_user866820
      Assistant Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
      MSP
      It protects data with very little storage by doing incremental forever

      What is our primary use case?

      Spectrum Protect is a primary backup product that is used for physical and virtual servers in the open systems world. One of our customers is using a cloud strategy, but it is on-prem cloud. So, it is cloud object storage. Some of our customers are going to VTL (IBM and non-IBM). I have one customer who will be going to a Spectrum Scale environment for their backup. The Spectrum Scale environment is doing spinning disk, and they migrated off of a VTL product onto it. These are major two infrastructure environments that I have seen.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Most of my clients have been running Spectrum Protect for a long time, so they have been running it for years. If they have migrated off of it, they migrated off of it because of its lack…

      What is our primary use case?

      Spectrum Protect is a primary backup product that is used for physical and virtual servers in the open systems world.

      One of our customers is using a cloud strategy, but it is on-prem cloud. So, it is cloud object storage.

      Some of our customers are going to VTL (IBM and non-IBM). I have one customer who will be going to a Spectrum Scale environment for their backup. The Spectrum Scale environment is doing spinning disk, and they migrated off of a VTL product onto it. These are major two infrastructure environments that I have seen.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Most of my clients have been running Spectrum Protect for a long time, so they have been running it for years. If they have migrated off of it, they migrated off of it because of its lack of virtual environment functions.

      What is most valuable?

      • The speed of backup
      • The amount of data that it protects with very little storage by doing incremental forever.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Its availability has been excellent.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is pretty much unlimited.

      One client with a distributing environment has 130 to 140 instances. Another client has probably somewhere between 10 to 15.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      I have not personally used technical support. The feedback from my clients has been pretty positive. 

      I do have one customer who does not tend to stay current, and that causes issues. Anytime you are not very current and call in with an issue, it is hard to get it resolved. It will depend on how far back you go though.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was involved in a migration setup. When one of our customers was moving from a VTL to Spectrum scale for their target storage, we had to go through some migrations because we switched from VTL doing the replication to using Spectrum Protect for node replication, using compression, etc. It was pretty straightforward.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user623352
      Storage Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      For initial setup, we followed everything in the large blueprint, and it was a smooth transition from there

      Pros and Cons

      • "From a tech perspective, utilizing deduplication is one of the most valuable features."
      • "For initial setup, we started with the blueprints, which were great. The blueprints allowed us to be able to decide if we needed to use small, medium,k or large. Because we are a large environment, we used a large blueprint. Once we followed everything in the blueprint, it was a smooth transition from there."
      • "I would love to see something which allows us to do an auto restart of backup jobs."

      What is our primary use case?

      We are currently looking at doing a refresh for the PowerNAS for Spectrum Protect and getting Spectrum Protect Plus in-house for our VE as well as backing up our databases, such as Oracle, DB2, or SQL.

      We use all-flash for all the storage that we use for Spectrum Protect.

      We do not have anything going to the cloud now. The goal is to have anything which requires a long-term retention backed up to either Amazon or Azure.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We currently use Tivoli Data Protection to back up our databases. Spectrum Protect is actually the application which backs up the file system data, then anytime you want to back up the databases you use an agent with Tivoli Data Protection (TDP) to be able to back up your Oracle databases or your SQL databases. 

      Right now, we are getting  good results when we back up Oracle with TDP, but we back it up directly to the VTO. So, the goal is to get rid of the VTO and utilize the native features within Spectrum Protect to be able to do deduplication and no replication as we would do it on the VTO, because all that functionality is on the VTO. However, Spectrum Protect does not know about the VTO. So, it would be nice to be able to move that within the functionality Spectrum Protect. However, in order to do, we have to make sure we are sizing the servers correctly. This is why we are also considering using the PowerNAS, and maybe putting Spectrum Scale ESS behind it as well. 

      We currently are working with our sales rep and some of the IBM techs to see how this solution would play out if we wanted to bring it in-house.

      What is most valuable?

      From a tech perspective:

      • Utilizing deduplication
      • No replication
      • Getting the virtual environment backed up using Spectrum Protect Plus on all of the databases.

      What needs improvement?

      I would love to see something which allows us to do an auto restart of backup jobs. Right now, we have it where we have health checks, and if anything that missed or failed, we monitor those. However, we have to manually go onto the servers to execute a manual backup. It would be nice if there was something that ran behind the scenes on the Spectrum Protect server saying, "If our file spaces have not been backed up in eight hours or 12 hours (depending on the attribute status set by the customer), then an auto backup restart occurs automatically." This would be instead of having to do it manually. 

      This would help us out, and also the operational teams as it would allow them to focus more on maintaining the Spectrum Protect server versus restarting backup jobs.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Performance has not been an issue. If we do move all of our Oracle and SQL databases off of the VTO on to Spectrum Protect, performance will be a huge factor because we will now a LAN-free backup to a LAN backup. This means we will be going over the network. Therefore, we need to be able to know that Spectrum Protect and our internal network will be able to handle the workload.

      We do have a test environment. Currently we just upgraded our test environment to 8.1.5. We are currently testing some of the issues that we have had related to the GS Kits that were resolved in 8.1.5, as well as some issues where the nodes were not communicating back to the Spectrum Protect server providing you information on the last time it established communication with Spectrum Protect.

      These issues were resolved by reading. We did a lot of googling and found some information which was on the IBM website. It gave us information in regards to the issues that we found. However, when we upgraded our production servers to 8.1.3, we actually ran into the GS Kit issues, and we had a lot of clients who still run 7.x. Therefore, we had a lot of issues from the first time it started to authenticate to the Spectrum Protect servers and the servers stopped backing up. 

      One of the things we did was open up a ticket with IBM and say, 'This is what is going on." The IBM technician helped us out and ensured that we had everything in place. He made sure that we did not have that issue again when we were using it. When the Clients started communicating back with the Spectrum Protect servers, it was back on level. So the issue was resolved.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We have been impressed with the scalability.

      Our environment is huge. We have a large AIX Windows environment, and it is growing every day.

      If we build our servers correctly when we refresh our environment using a PowerNAS, Spectrum Protect will definitely be able to handle our growth.

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

      We came from version 7.1.3. Based on some of the features which were offered in version 8, this was the focal point for us to say, "We need to upgrade if we want to take advantage of using container pools, start using deduplication, and no replication." 

      We wanted to go ahead and start upgrading the Spectrum Protect servers to the latest code, as well as the Client, so we could take advantage of these new features.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was involved in the initial setup. It was not complex; it was pretty much straightforward. Besides the security issues, we experiences no other issues.

      We started with the blueprints, which were great. The blueprints allowed us to be able to decide if we needed to use small, medium,k or large. Because we are a large environment, we used a large blueprint. Once we followed everything in the blueprint, it was a smooth transition from there.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We looked at Veeam and Rubrik, but right now, we have the two best products. We have Commvault and Spectrum Protect. Each one of them are the best at different things and each have their weaknesses. During the last two years, IBM has put out a lot of different features which have impressed us. We may be able to reevaluate some product comparisons now. As long as IBM continues to roll out new features and adjusts a lot of other customer issues out there in the industry, they will continue to stay one of the top products.

      What other advice do I have?

      Look at all the products in the industry, then base your decision on the size of your environment. A lot of times products say that have cool things, but at the end of the day, scalability and performance are what you should be looking at. Spectrum Protect has been able to meet these particular needs for us. 

      Do not let companies use you as their guinea pig.

      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.
      Harold Morales
      Technical Manager at Optimize It
      Real User
      Top 20
      A mature product, which scales and is very stable

      Pros and Cons

      • "One of the features which is most interesting in Spectrum Protect is the ability to scale out to great environments. This is something that not many vendors have on the market."
      • "It is also a product that has been maturing for a long time. This is good because customers need reliability in their enterprise initiatives."
      • "The solution is very stable. It is one of the most important features that we look for in a product before putting it into the market and when establishing a strategy with our customers."
      • "The technical support for Spectrum Protect is very mature. It is very committed to giving a top-notch support experience."
      • "I would like to see monitoring within the platform: monitoring for storage pools and monitoring for the server's health (e.g., CPU and memory)."
      • "I would like to advance reporting and analytics for the platform to see how much data is coming into the platform. how much data is expiring everyday, and what tape savings we are getting through reclamation."

      What is our primary use case?

      As an IBM business partner, we are interested in helping our clients get the most out of their technology. 

      For our clients using on-premise infrastructure, they usually have a mixture of workloads and a lot of databases with a lot of different operating systems. Therefore, they need a backup platform which helps them to get the most out of every piece of software that they have, not different pieces of software to back up different technologies. Spectrum Protect enables us to do that for them.

      A mixture of technologies comprise their backup, as they are using incremental technology. They are using snapshot for backups, and also using CBT Tracking, which is one of the technologies that VMware has in its APIs and that Spectrum Protect leverages to do virtual machine backups. Therefore, there is a mixture of things. 

      Many customers that we have are in the banking system of Columbia. For example. I estimate that 70% to 80% of the banks in Columbia, including eBanks, are using Spectrum Protect.

      We now have 20 Clients with Spectrum Protect. We have a very special one with four instances of Spectrum Protect on the same Client. This is a very big bank in Columbia. They have instances in production, instances for developing environments, and instances for coverage throughout all their infrastructure. This is the biggest environment that we have, and it takes approximately 30,000 backups a month. So, it is a large environment.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We see that solution is now getting a new breath. The solution is helping new customers with sending workloads to the cloud, which helps us a lot, because they are uploading their internal and on-premise systems.

      About 20 to 30% of my clients are now using cloud to upload their backups. This is very important to us, because Spectrum Protect now helps them to achieve this result.

      What is most valuable?

      One of the features which is most interesting in Spectrum Protect is the ability to scale out to great environments. This is something that not many vendors have on the market. 

      It is also a product that has been maturing for a long time. This is good because customers need reliability in their enterprise initiatives. 

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see monitoring within the platform: monitoring for storage pools and monitoring for the server's health (e.g., CPU and memory). This has been somewhat lost from previous releases because we had IBM Tivoli Monitoring for these purposes, but now we do not have anything, and it is important to cover this. 

      Also, I would like to advance reporting and analytics for the platform to see how much data is coming into the platform. how much data is expiring everyday, and what tape savings we are getting through reclamation. These are important things to know, as we are lacking a bit in this area.

      We have a very long road to walk. We can make a lot of improvements taking into account all the participants in the ecosystem: The developers with the business partners and the clients who help us to improve the product.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The solution is very stable. It is one of the most important features that we look for in a product before putting it into the market and when establishing a strategy with our customers. 

      There are a lot of clients who are using the product for 10 years or more. We began working with them long time ago. We have been seeing the product progress and the evolution of it through time. They clients have seen that this special feature, which is stability, has not being lost with the product's evolution. We are maintaining the quality of the product, and at the same time, advancing new features. This is very important for us.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      The technical support for Spectrum Protect is very mature. It is very committed to giving a top-notch support experience. I have no complaints about them. We are working mainly with the Argentina team, which is a Level 2 team who helps us in Latin America. They are very considerate and help us to get our issues resolved or questions resolved.

      How was the initial setup?

      In recent years, there has been improvement regarding the product's setup. Now, we have an installation manager, which helps us a lot. There is no customized research. It is the same installation manager that all other IBM products use. This is great for us, as it is very simple to install patches. That was difficult previously, but now we have a streamline method to install the product. 

      With initiatives like Spectrum Protect Plus, which is new, we are advancing even more with our technology initiatives.

      What about the implementation team?

      I am involved in the whole lifecycle. I am involved in design, setup, and also the post-sales report.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Our customers always evaluate other vendors. Customers are sometimes using Veeam Backup for their virtual workloads. They may also be using some other tools from EMC. However, Spectrum Protect is the only tool that can work throughout all their technology and platforms. Therefore, they do not need separate tools for separate technologies. Spectrum Protect is the only tool which helps them do this.

      IBM is most compared to Veeam Backup because there are a lot of virtualized workloads in our Clients. It is also compared with HPE Data Protector and Veritas. These are the solutions that our customers evaluate. 

      What other advice do I have?

      The powerful reason IBM technology is good for to our customers is they already have IBM technology present. For example, they have IBM Power in their infrastructure for core business. They also have IBM applications, like IBM cloud applications and IBM monitoring applications. They want to form a stack of applications and solutions from the same vendor. It is much easier to take another solution and incorporate it into their existing solutions that they already have.

      We try to help our customers, not only to be the seller, but also be an adviser to them and help them chose the best technology around

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
      it_user866154
      Technical Analyst at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      It is low maintenance, though we are having issues with sizing and stability

      Pros and Cons

      • "Once it is completed properly, it is low maintenance. Most of the functions do not require much deliberation. It is all the blueprints and technologies laid out, and it is straight forward."
      • "We are able to run it in an enterprise quite easily with one or two resources."
      • "There have been some sizing issues now, and we are dealing with those."
      • "The version that we had when I first started made it look really bad. We are talking about commands that should have run in two seconds, but instead took four to eight hours. Other components were sluggish."
      • "I find the Level 1 and Level 2 support spend 80% of the time communicating the same information that I have already provided."

      What is our primary use case?

      My primary use case is to back up our data to tape to outsource storage to protect us against any sort of cryptoware attack. We are using our DR recovery scenarios, basically for protection we are backing up to tape. We also back up the disk first. 

      Our environment consists of two primary data centers with IBM storage in the thousands along with older and newer generations, and we have backed up everything to TS4500 already. We are still trying to move away from TS3500, but we are working on that. We have a mix of all sorts of databases and Exchange.

      How has it helped my organization?

      One of the recovery methods used to help troubleshoot all of our operations for contractors or the lower tiers, it meets that. Therefore, we are able to run it in an enterprise quite easily with one or two resources. All of the automatic tape deck functions are done well, too. We are able to connect two separate sites relatively easily without any problems. 

      What is most valuable?

      Once it is completed properly, it is low maintenance. Most of the functions do not require much deliberation. It is all the blueprints and technologies laid out, and it is straight forward.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      Less than one year.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The version that we had when I first started made it look really bad. We are talking about commands that should have run in two seconds, but instead took four to eight hours. Other components were sluggish. I noticed it as soon as our database improved. 

      Because the database was slow, everything was very unresponsive. I did not know if I was doing anything wrong or if the system was not performing. With support, we were able to get up to a working version. 

      Now, we are having issues with some of our underlying hardware. We require a lot of support, which has given us more scripts to get data out to the databases. In my 15 years experience of experience with backups, though not with Spectrum Protect, I could not get enough data out of the system to figure out what is going on. 

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It is very scalable for my need, especially when you can just buy the hardware attachment. It is very fluid. To increase, as long as all the performance issues are taken into account, you can add as much you want. You can really scale it up in a lot of areas. The only issue I have with scalability is for the small offsite locations. You have about 50 different companies and you would never consider using Spectrum Protect in them. 

      Our primary use centers are using Spectrum Protect instances. We run two Spectrum Protect instances.

      We have spec'd out our build, and the cost of it can work quite easily today for our future needs.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      I find the Level 1 and Level 2 support spend 80% of the time communicating the same information that I have already provided. 20% of those leads get a resolution. 

      Because of our current case, I have had to open multiple cases and had some stagnant delays when answers did not fit the problem we had. It is normal in the industry to have to reach out to our customer rep to get proper support. 

      It is not just for the IBM product, but it is on par at the top tier level. We receive the proper amount of attention once the proper communications are opened up with sales. On the lower tiers, I'm reasonably better off without creating communication with support.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was not involved in the initial setup.

      What about the implementation team?

      We used a third-party provider to set up the solution. The only problem is the speed of picking it up. There have been some sizing issues now, and we are dealing with those. Afterwards, we can move it forward.

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

      We have been at our size for a few years. We are not really looking to battle the licensing costs, as this is our primary system.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      I do not know who they evaluated.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would not recommend Spectrum Protect at this point.

      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_user866148
      Senior Systems Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      Provides a full backup giving safety and peace of mind

      Pros and Cons

      • "Everyone wants a full backup. It gives them safety and peace of mind, like an insurance policy for that rainy day when they may need to restore a system."
      • "We recently had a situation where we quickly got code, and the number of tapes exceeded the library capacity so we were waiting a while to change. We got a fix for this right away."
      • "Probably educating the virtual group who are not as used to the product. Most of our expertise is with AIX servers and virtual server backups."

      What is our primary use case?

      We have a lot of happy customers when we sorted our files. We had someone in admissions, and they have a file which everyone shares. There are users who have deleted or trashed files and will need to restore them, sometimes even overwrite it with a new one. They will need the old file from a particular date and the Spectrum Protect system lets you retrieve a specific date file, which leads to a lot of happy campers.

      We have an on-premise infrastructure. We use Iron Mountain, then we have a tape library. We have tapes that go off-site, so we can restore for our disaster recovery solution if the premise goes down. Though, we have not had to use it yet.

      The VMware/virtual people take more of the snapshots, though not too much with the main AIX boxes.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Recovering files which have been lost. You can't place a value on it. If someone loses a day's work, or they had this file that they had been keeping for years on end and now all of a sudden the data is gone, they can recover it with Spectrum Protect.

      What is most valuable?

      The backup feature. Everyone wants a full backup. It gives them safety and peace of mind, like an insurance policy for that rainy day when they may need to restore a system. It is not necessarily as good for migrating to a new release, then putting back a D-drive. However, for daily operations and disaster recovery, it is a big use case.

      What needs improvement?

      Probably educating the virtual group who are not as used to the product. Most of our expertise is with AIX servers and virtual server backups. I am doing more work these days with Identity and Oracle, why would I use the pump and dump on Oracle or would it be better if I am able to send it off-site using something like Spectrum?

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It has been very reliable. 

      The biggest issue is educating users. The compatibility if you put out a newer server can take backups from old Clients, but you want to keep Clients up-to-date. Some users are more proactive than others, so they won't all come and ask for the Client. It is a job that we should be educating users more about regarding when they should download it. With Spectrum Protect, you can push things from the hubs to the spokes and keep the Clients up-to-date.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      I have not seen any big issues. I sometimes handle the tape library, unloading and loading tapes. and it is very predictable. 

      We recently had a situation where we quickly got code, and the number of tapes exceeded the library capacity so we were waiting a while to change. We got a fix for this right away.

      We only have a couple servers, but loads of nodes and Clients (hundreds of them). We have some domains, active directories, backups, and shared drives. The shared drives are big. Since driving the recovery scenario, where someone deletes something off of their shared drive, it is not just that person's data but it's a whole department's data.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      The technical support has very good turnover for problem solving. They have been spot on as we received a response within a few days.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was straightforward. 

      What other advice do I have?

      Spectrum Protect would free up backup space that could be used from files in our databases to grow. It allows for growth of the database, so it is a good use case. However, I might use Oracle pump and dump because I am in test mode (and cheap), but if I were to put it into production, I would really have to use something like Spectrum to do that.

      Main criteria for choosing Spectrum Protect: disaster recovery. It is something you seldom use, but it is big if it happens, so it is the security and insurance policy.

      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_user866142
      Lead Storage Administrator at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
      Real User
      It has a lot more capabilities and functions than competing products

      Pros and Cons

      • "It has a lot more capabilities and functions than a lot of other products. Even though it is more complex, the reason is because it gives you a lot more features. This is what I prefer, especially for a long retention."
      • "I would like to see the operations center be a lot more functional. It was nowhere near as functional as the admin center, and I'm doing a lot of command line with it."

      What is our primary use case?

      The primary use case is to provide backup and archive our data, onsite and offsite. It is performing very well. 

      Our infrastructure is on-premise; nothing is in the cloud. We are utilizing things like spinning disks, flash storage, tape, snapshots, etc. We are still sending tapes outside. 

      How has it helped my organization?

      It has a lot more capabilities and functions than a lot of other products. Even though it is more complex, the reason is because it gives you a lot more features. This is what I  prefer, especially for a long retention.

      What is most valuable?

      I have not implemented the most important feature yet: node replication. I can have a hot Spectrum Protect server under the DR site instead of having to build one up like I would have had to before.

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see the operations center be a lot more functional. It was nowhere near as functional as the admin center, and I'm doing a lot of command line with it. I grew up doing command line, so it is fine for me. For people that are younger, they want to do everything on their smart phone, and running hundreds of commands is not the answer. Therefore, more functionality for things like creating tape drives and tape libraries, as the functionality is not at the operations center yet. If the operations center had been fully functional, I would have probably given it a rating of a 10.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      So far, so good. I am looking to find out, in the future, what the stability is going to be and the best way to architect what we are designing to do.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Everything so far has been really good. It is very scalable.

      I am managing two instances of Spectrum Protect.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      The technical support has been really good for both Spectrum Protect and IBM Storage. The support team has very responsive. I want to be talking to somebody who can help me and knows more than me, which is the case with IBM technical support. So, their support has been very good.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was pretty straightforward because it was really old school. Now, with the whole new design of where we are going, I am involved from ground floor up.

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

      The product is more complex and can be pricey, but you are paying for one copy of the data as opposed to other vendors. For example, if I have five copies of the data, I will be spending a lot more money. Switching to one vendor, it will cost over a million dollars to give us less functionality, which is why we did not do it.

      Going to IBM Tech University Conference saved me from making a major purchase of the wrong thing, which was very helpful.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We evaluated Commvault, NetBackup, and Axiom (until they were purchased by a competitor). We also looked at Rubrik. We prefer Spectrum Protect, and even though we have looked at its competitors, we have never switched.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would recommend going with Spectrum Protect. That is what I would tell them now, and I have, I have former coworkers using other products that ask me about designing a hot site, because their product does not do it.

      Main criteria when selecting a vendor: Something that would allow us to be able to have it onsite. For the other vendors who we looked at, you would still have to build up a new server or new environment, and hopefully have a backup of your database. In this case, I can switch from a primary to a secondary, back and forth, instead of spending weeks, maybe months, producing a tape library. Now, I do not have to do that.

      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_user866139
      Systems Administrator at Grenfell Campus
      Real User
      The backup solution is our fail safe. When we are required to recover data, it is there.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Reliability: It has never had a problem with backups or restores. If you store something, it is there."
      • "It seems very scalable and robust. It can do what we require it to do."
      • "The only thing that I would like to have a little more of is insight in reporting. I find that Spectrum Protect needs a lot of monitoring, and I have to actually log into the servers."
      • "I would like to see more technical training online. Sometimes, it is a little bit difficult to find, or that I do not really know what I am looking for as somebody who is starting off finding their learning curve."

      What is our primary use case?

      My primary use case would be that I use Spectrum Protect for Exchange at the moment. It is working really well. These is a little bit of a learning curve with it, but I am finding it to be good, as Exchange now is migrated into SIP versions. IBM needs to catch up somewhat, but from what I have seen, it is acting the exact way that I would want it to act.

      We have an on-premise infrastructure comprised of flash storage, disk, and tape, working well together. We are not looking to move to a cloud strategy in the immediate future.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It is reliable. The backup solution is our fail safe. When we are required to recover data, it is there.

      What is most valuable?

      Reliability: It has never had a problem with backups or restores. If you store something, it is there.

      What needs improvement?

      The only thing that I would like to have a little more of is insight in reporting. I find that Spectrum Protect needs a lot of monitoring, and I have to actually log into the servers. I would rather be more proactive and send the information when things do not work the way we want.

      I am hoping that the Spectrum Protect Plus supports Exchange. That is my primary wish, since Spectrum Protect Plus should be a single pane of glass where I will be able to monitor all my instances from.

      I would like to see more technical training online. Sometimes, it is a little bit difficult to find, or that I do not really know what I am looking for as somebody who is starting off finding their learning curve. The first part of it was very long, but once I found the terms and where to look, it became a lot easier. Then. I found another gap when troubleshooting information that I needed to have. I needed to contact support to actually find that information.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      So far, from my limited experience, it is working flawlessly. 

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It seems very scalable and robust. It can do what we require it to do.

      I currently have eight instances of Spectrum Protect installed on the servers that I manage.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Technical support is above standard in regards to the Exchange part. In our organization, we have backup administrators taking care of the exchange, and my primary function is to monitor and setup the schedules and backup. 

      When it comes down to when it actually moved to the TSM part (now Spectrum Protect), we were having problems with the backup. It seemed to go well when we contacted technical support and they seemed to be fluent. They had a good response time and solved the issue.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was not involved in the initial setup.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would recommend Spectrum Protect. It does what we require. It is robust. The support is good. 

      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_user866133
      Senior Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
      Real User
      We apply its new dedupe and compression technology to give more time for the backup window

      Pros and Cons

      • "We apply the new dedupe and compression technology, using maintenance and time to give more time for the backup window and less time for the overhead related to the daily housekeeping."
      • "My customers are not always happy with the Level 1 support. Sometimes, it just takes too long for the response to come, which is probably something that needs to be addressed."
      • "Most customers still struggle with the reporting piece, especially generating reports. I think it needs some improvements in this area."

      What is our primary use case?

      Our customers have a more traditional infrastructure, less related to snapshot technology. We have a couple customers trending towards cloud, but they are not there yet.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Most of the customers that I work with today tend to use more disk-based solutions. Therefore, we apply the new dedupe and compression technology, using maintenance and time to give more time for the backup window and less time for the overhead related to the daily housekeeping.

      What is most valuable?

      • Performance
      • Scalability
      • Backing up virtual environments

      What needs improvement?

      Most customers still struggle with the reporting piece, especially trending and generating reports. I think it needs some improvements in this area.

      It is famous for its complexity, which is a big challenge for the customers to accept. Customers are still scared about some of the history related to Command One. These are some of the challenges that customer usually complain about.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stability depends on how well it was implemented. In most cases, we depend on the movement reference models, so we rely on the recommendations coming from the IBM development team. That is our way to success.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      This depends on size and how big the environment is. If this size good, there are no issues to scale out.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      I have positive opinion about support, but my customers are not always happy with the Level 1 support. Sometimes, it just takes too long for the response to come, which is probably something that needs to be addressed.

      How was the initial setup?

      With the initial setup, if you follow the blueprint rules, there are no issues.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Our customers also look at Commvault and Veeam.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would recommend using Spectrum Protect.

      Main criteria when selecting a vendor: loyalty.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user866127
      Team Leader For Back Up at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      Keeps the data safe, working perfectly with our hardware

      Pros and Cons

      • "The main thing is to keep the data safe and in files, keep it on tape ready for a request from a bank, and it is working perfectly with all our hardware."
      • "We have had some problems about using storage agents on the X6 environment. It is not quite stable, but it is also not supported in a virtualized environment."

      What is our primary use case?

      We completely back up our environment with Spectrum Protect: all databases in our environment, the files in the environment, and all the services. Performance is quite good. We do not worry about it.

      We have an on-premise infrastructure. We have many hypervisors in use. We are using ESX, Hyper-V, KVM, and Power hardware. We using the SVC in combination with SSD storage. In addition, we use real and virtual tape libraries. It works well together. 

      We will be closing the gap on moving to a cloud environment within the year.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The main thing is to keep the data safe and in files, keep it on tape ready for a request from a bank, and it is working perfectly with all our hardware. 

      It is keeping the banking license alive, thus it is perfect for the business.

      What is most valuable?

      The wide variety that we have for using the software with each database and your own adapter. You can configure it, and it is quite good. Other backup software, you can be stuck to one environment and have to keep that environment.

      What needs improvement?

      Sometimes they have already erased information in our operational center and we need some of it for reporting to our subsidiaries if the backup was successful within the last months and which amount of data was backed up, archived, and stored. This is what the customer has interest in and we have to deliver. If the operational center could assist us, that would be fine. 

      Spectrum Protect and Spectrum Protect Plus, if they move together, that would be good. I heard already that we can get rid of data removal from virtual environments in the next version. The idea that Spectrum Protect Plus was dealing with appliances on ESX or Hyper-V seems good to me.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The service pack is very stable. We have had some problems about using storage agents on the X6 environment. It is not quite stable, but it is also not supported in a virtualized environment.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It is working great. Our database moves on 2.5TB and is still performing well. There are no worries about it.

      We have roughly 30 instances for different purposes and different subsidiaries. We are using some Spectrum Protect servers only for library manager purposes to cover all these multiple parts, which have for storage agents and this is sometimes gets to its limit. It is not a well-known limit, but if you have more than 28,000 passes on one server, the performance decreases. That is what we found out and we try to keep it under this limit.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      We are using the Technical Support, and sometimes it's a little bit annoying to come to the Level 3 support. Sometimes, it seems to me that if the Level 1 could not assist you and they did not find anyone in the Level 3, then you are stuck.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup is straightforward. The documentation is fine. There are some issues though. If you create a server, not all testings regarding fire systems are done in advance. Therefore, sometimes we have to go three rounds to fill all the gaps. This could be done a little bit better. 

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      I do not know who else was evaluated.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would recommend Spectrum Protect.

      Spectrum Protect Plus is covering the topic of industrial environments, e.g., X6 and Hyper-V, and this has been an open issue for years with us.

      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.
      DE
      IT Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
      Consultant
      Our customers have benefited from being able to move between tiers within the product

      Pros and Cons

      • "Every time customers make a change or we have made a change, then they use the product to do a cloning and refreshing. They are happy that they get good performance something changes."
      • "The ability to migrate between media over a long period of time. My customers are long-time users, and they have benefited from being able to move between tiers. They have been able to do this within the product."
      • "Needs more support for non-mainstream databases, in particular PostgreSQL, SQL, and MySQL."

      What is our primary use case?

      Spectrum Protect is performing well, and the primary use case is just for backups to provide recovery. It is not the first point of recovery for the customer. However, it definitely prevents our customers from going out of business, because they need to have a backup.

      On the backup side, we use ProtecTIER Virtual Tape recoveries. On the customer side, the front-end side of it, they recently moved to all-flash storage, not IBM storage. They have got a mix of old servers, which are physical. There are a mix of Sun, AIX, VMware, and Hyper-V, so there is pretty much everything across the board at the customers.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Generally, the happiest users are Oracle users. What they like about the platform is that they have received organic benefits in performance from the backup system and also as their platforms have upgraded over the time. Therefore, every time customers make a change or we have made a change, then they use the product to do a cloning and refreshing. They are happy that they get good performance something changes.

      What is most valuable?

      The ability to migrate between media over a long period of time. My customers are long-time users, and they have benefited from being able to move between tiers, e.g., L Tier 5 from L Tier 6 and/or L Tier 7. They have been able to do this within the product.

      What needs improvement?

      More support for non-mainstream databases, in particular PostgreSQL, SQL, and MySQL. I would also like support for snapshots of non-IBM hardware. I have read some future statements, and it seems that this is coming, though.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Sometimes, there is a perception that it is a legacy product, and some customers are less keen to take on the more innovative features. Therefore, we have some customers who are running on the current version of Spectrum Protect and use all of the current features, and some customers who consider it a legacy product. However, they are a bit stuck in the way that they use the product, only using the old style features.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      I have worked with it for 15 years. I have found it to be very scalable. Where I work now as a business partner, our customers use it. I have some small customers and some large customers, and it works well. Where I used to work before, we ran backup as a service, and we had about 21 instances of Spectrum Protect running. It was just reliable. That is my experience.

      The customers who are doing workloads in the cloud are choosing to have cloud-based backup strategies. It is an area in the product where our competitors may have better offerings right now, but the people who are moving to the cloud, if they are doing it well, are choosing not to have their data in the cloud be static. They are using the cloud to spin up a workload and spin it down. Thus, the workloads are being provisioned as opposed to needing to have static data in them. Therefore, the real value is the code which generates the machine running in the cloud, and we backup that.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      I have used technical support a lot over a long time. There are two sides to it. I find quite often with the Level 1 and Level 2 support that I struggle with time zones. Sometimes depending on where the support is coming from, there can be barriers in understanding the problem. 

      Usually when I get up to Level 2 or Level 3 support the technical capabilities are really good, and I also find that if I need a point solution to a point problem, they will find code and build code for my problem. This has been very good. They won't just say, "We are looking at fixing that, you may need to wait a year." They will come out and help you fix a problem. However, the first day of interaction at Level 1 is not really very good.

      How was the initial setup?

      I have been involved in the initial setup a few times. I have also migrated from one hardware platform to a different one, Solaris to AIX along with TSM (before it was Spectrum Protect). I have found it more complex then some of its competitor products, but because I have worked on the product for a while, I find it fairly simple. Now, I understand how to install it well, but it would still be complex for a novice. 

      I am quite keen on getting more experience with Spectrum Protect Plus, because it seems like it is a lot easier, and that is where we will go in the future.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      I have used a couple of different backup products. As a business partner, our customers do choose other backup products. Generally, I find I have less trouble with Spectrum Protect than I have had with the other backup products.

      Mainly, the competition is Commvault, if they are looking at the functionality that Spectrum Protect is offering. There are some customers who go with Veeam. The reason that they go with Veem is because they have a desire to go there. When they already want to go that way, it is difficult to position Spectrum Protect as an alternative. I am really keen to see how Spectrum Protect Plus might compete with Veem in the marketplace.

      What other advice do I have?

      As a business partner, the customer is choosing the product, and we are recommending Spectrum Protect. Certainly our bigger customers have a lot of legacy data, so they already had Spectrum Protect. Therefore, it is a fairly simple decision to maintain it. However, some of our customers go through reviews and look at options. 

      We have, in our long history, lost some customers to competitors, but the reasons why did not have to do with the product. I do not think we have lost anyone because the product was not delivering.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user866130
      Global Backup Engineer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
      Real User
      With newly added features, it has made a difference as far as faster recovery and speed

      Pros and Cons

      • "With the new features that we have added, it has made a difference as far as faster recovery and speed."
      • "I am not really impressed with the Level 1 support, but once I get past that and go to Level 2, then we will usually get some type of resolution."
      • "I would like a little more ease with the virtual platforms, because it is a huge thing that is coming up."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it for our backup and recovery services.

      Our environment is on-premise. We also do tape. However, we do not have any cloud infrastructure at this point. We have a cloud strategy in the works.

      We have six Spectrum Protect instances: Three of them are disaster recovery (DR) and three of them are in production. We have grown out the three in production and are looking to add two more in the future. Spectrum Protect should have no issues accommodating this growth.

      How has it helped my organization?

      With the new features that we have added, it has made a difference as far as faster recovery and speed.

      What is most valuable?

      • The server application - the features in it.
      • The replication part of it.
      • The dedupe piece of it, which is a huge help, especially in our environment.

      What needs improvement?

      I would like a little more ease with the virtual platforms, because it is a huge thing that is coming up. We have a huge virtual environment, but it seems like it is convoluted as far as the process of planning it, then integrating Spectrum Protect. There are a lot of moving pieces, so I am looking forward to Spectrum Protect Plus. There seems to be less moving parts to it, so hopefully it will be quicker.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is a very solid product.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The scalability is solid, provided we setup the infrastructure as needed.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      If I have an issue, I will call support. I am not really impressed with the Level 1 support, but once I get past that and go to Level 2, then we will usually get some type of resolution. 

      We do have really good support through our IBM rep, who will jump on it as soon as something is out there.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was not part of the initial setup.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      I have seen a lot of other backup products out there, and they are good. However, Spectrum Protect seems to encompass a broad range of things, and you can pretty much put it anywhere. You can tie it into your backup network or backup needs.

      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_user866124
      Principal Backup Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      It is scalable and stable. I expect it to scale with any future growth that we have.

      Pros and Cons

      • "We have a very good team of administrators who know the product perfectly and are able to manage it on a day-to-day basis."
      • "I need to have more than two instances working together. I need a worldwide grid able to have replication between three, four, or five instances."
      • "We are not so happy with the technical support because dealing with them is not easy. We have a very complicated environment, therefore I understand for a support person that it is not easy to troubleshoot it."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it in the retail banking environment because of regulations. For our databases, we have to back up the catalogs every 20 minutes.

      We have a very complex environment, meaning from VM to PC arrays, with all the types of databases which are available on the market. In terms of volume, we have stored around five petabytes of data. We use tape on both cloud and on-premise environments, though we are going to discontinue tape because of its limitations.

      We just started to backup cloud environments, so we are looking for solutions in order to backup the VM at the ESX level. On the other hand, because of our constraints, we have to have an agent in our VM for our database backup in order to meet regulation requirements.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Historically, we have a very good team of administrators who know the product perfectly and are able to manage it on a day-to-day basis.

      What needs improvement?

      I need to have more than two instances working together. I need a worldwide grid able to have replication between three, four, or five instances.

      The problem with Spectrum Protect is you can do anything with it, so you can also do bad things. While it is a very good solution, you have to provide a good quality of care to your administrators. One other challenge of the bank is examination, meaning that most of our administrators now are not located in France, but in India or Bangalore. This causes a lot training time, but it is not useless time.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is perhaps one of the best products on the market. It does a good job.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      I have never had any scalability problems with it.

      In retail and management, I manage around 30 Spectrum Protect instances at this time. The company is planning to grow and I expect the product to handle it.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Because we have experts inside our company, we have only contacted technical support a few times. We requested high-level support, because each time we have a problem, it is a real problem, like sometimes a feature problem of a product.

      We are not so happy with the technical support because dealing with them is not easy. We have a very complicated environment, therefore I understand for a support person that it is not easy to troubleshoot it. Generally, our problems are with the product's designs and we cannot Google the answers/solutions.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was not involved in the initial setup since it happened before I joined the company.

      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.
      Henry
      Team Lead at Tata Consultancy Services
      Real User
      Top 5
      Improves the D2D2T archive of my PACS data

      Pros and Cons

      • "The D2D2T archive of my PACS data improved after I put Spectrum Protect 8.1.4 into production."
      • "Disk-based implementation of a data protection solution for multiple sites is a better fit for my complex data protection needs."
      • "They need to reduce the complexity and make the learning curve easier."

      How has it helped my organization?

      The D2D2T archive of my PACS data improved after I put Spectrum Protect 8.1.4 into production.

      What is most valuable?

      Disk-based implementation of a data protection solution for multiple sites, which is a better fit for my complex data protection needs.

      What needs improvement?

      They need to reduce the complexity and make the learning curve easier.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      One to three years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      So far, version 8.1.4 is stable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The scalability is better than my legacy TSM 7.2.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I would rate tech support at seven out of 10.

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

      I don't see moving from TSM to Spectrum Protect as a solution swap, I see it as just re-branding.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup is better than TSM, buts still has room to improve.

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

      If you do not have deep pockets, don't come to IBM.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      EMC Avamar and Cohesity were also in the PoC.

      What other advice do I have?

      Be careful what you wish for, and make sure the new solution will fit into your current IT environment.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      ITCS user
      SSE at Value Point Systems
      Consultant
      Simplifies and streamlines data archiving, reduces our backup infrastructure

      Pros and Cons

      • "Data archiving is easier and less time-consuming."
      • "It lacks reporting and an efficient alert mechanism. The GUI could also be improved."

      How has it helped my organization?

      It is a single point of control and administration for backup and recovery. My team and I are more comfortable with this solution. With this product, we are able to save a lot in costs and on expensive storage. It has reduced backup infrastructure costs for us.

      What is most valuable?

      The data archiving functionality. It is easier and less time-consuming.

      What needs improvement?

      It lacks reporting and an efficient alert mechanism. The GUI could also be improved.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      Less than one year.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We have not encountered any stability issues.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      No issues with scalability.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      Technical support is a 10 out of 10.

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

      TSM. I liked its command-line interface. But now Spectrum is even easier for my team.

      How was the initial setup?

      Setup was pretty good with the Blueprint design. We are trying to get more generic with these services.

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

      We worked our licensing into a capacity model, which is nice. Now, everything is much simpler to manage from a licensing perspective.

      What other advice do I have?

      We can move straight to a disk-based solution with the container pools, which is working well. And we are looking into cloud.

      It is a well-rounded solution. It provides everything any enterprise would need.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user865551
      Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
      Real User
      Provides our customers with the comfort of having reliable enterprise data protection

      Pros and Cons

      • "It provides our customers with the comfort of having reliable enterprise data protection."
      • "Scalability: Our customers are able to grow the product without having to buy additional hardware, so it is very scalable."
      • "It scales from very small to very large. It is easily the most scalable product out there."
      • "For Spectrum Protect Plus, I would like to see more enhanced reporting features and integration with Spectrum Protect."

      What is our primary use case?

      It is for enterprise backup and recovery. I support customers who use this product for their enterprise backup and recovery.

      I have small customers with about 40 cartridge libraries, then I have others who have petabytes of data and using everything under the sun. This is another good feature of Spectrum Protect; it does it all.

      I support a customer base of about 25 customers. So, I support probably 50 instances.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It provides our customers with the comfort of having reliable enterprise data protection. 

      Some of the new advanced features are definitely more into cost savings, e.g., dedupe compression, so doing more with less.

      What is most valuable?

      Scalability: Our customers are able to grow the product without having to buy additional hardware, so it is very scalable.

      What needs improvement?

      For Spectrum Protect Plus, I would like to see more enhanced reporting features and integration with Spectrum Protect. 

      In terms of Spectrum Protect, usually the IBM features are ahead of where the customers' demand is, so I generally do not even install the latest version for at least a year. Therefore, I think they are doing good with this product.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It really depends on the hardware that you are running it on. If you run it with the right resources, it can be up for years on end.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It scales from very small to very large. It is easily the most scalable product out there.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      I use technical support quite often, calling in PMRs for customers. Support is really good, as I have never had to close a PMR with them having fixed the problem. Also, they are very responsive.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup is pretty straightforward and easy to implement.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Customers will look at other vendors in the enterprise backup space: Commvault, NetBackup, Veeam, and other similar solutions.

      Most of my customers have already been Spectrum Protect customers. Therefore they are happy with the product. The new implementations that I have done, they have generally chosen Spectrum Protect for its scalability and reliability.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would absolutely recommend Spectrum Protect.

      It has a tried and true tested ability. It has been around for approximately 30 years. The roadmap is definitely aligned with where businesses are going, e.g., cloud support, virtual backup support, etc. In the eight years that I have been a business partner, I have lost one customer that switched off of the platform. This was not because they were unhappy with the product, but from an acquisition,

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user865548
      Head Of Storage at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
      Real User
      It is reliable and we don't lose data

      Pros and Cons

      • "We do not lose data. That is why we are using this product and have a backup in place."
      • "We can scale. Today, we have an average backup volume of 100TB a day."
      • "If you take Spectrum Protect into account, and you have it along with restrictions to Spectrum Archive by means of LTFS, this is also something which should be made better within the overall product's program."
      • "The features should be a little bit closer together."

      What is our primary use case?

      Primary use case is backing up data in order to restore our customers, if needed. The performance right now is okay.

      Our on-premise infrastructure is comprised of two tape libraries (3500), each staffed with about 55 TS1150 drives, and approximately 5000 cartridges. The snapshots are taken on NAS filers, as they are EMC VNXs, and Spectrum Scale. It is there that we take the snapshots. For buffering, we have some V7000s in place, but all in HPE Blade enclosures. We previously had virtual tape, but not anymore.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We do not lose data. That is why we are using this product and have a backup in place.

      What is most valuable?

      • We can scale. Today, we have an average backup volume of 100TB a day. 
      • It is reliable; it works. 
      • We have a good cooperation with IBM. 

      What needs improvement?

      The features should be a little bit closer together. 

      If you take Spectrum Protect into account, and you have it along with restrictions to Spectrum Archive by means of LTFS, this is also something which should be made better within the overall product's program.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The stability is very nice. The only thing that IBM should improve with the program is the licensing. We have a little engine in place. However, if you use Power PC and you have big engine in place. then you have some restrictions to the versions. This should be remedied. 

      This would be a real improvement: The product to gather storage on the one hand, and storage for backup on the other hand.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It scales until the next frame must be purchased.

      The growth plans are given by the user. In science, you never know what the next step is. We are struggling against newer experimental setups. This is great for the scientists, but if you double the resolution size for microscopy, it ends up with a lot of more data on our side. However, we serve our scientists, so we just purchase new.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      The support levels at IBM are very good.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup and infrastructure were done within days. It was an okay process. There was nothing negative about it.

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

      The license model that they have at IBM, which is due to volume, from a certain volume onward is not the right license model. Right now, we have a better license model. This is the model that we had at the end of last year.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      There was a call for tender for an overall storage renewal, and IBM easily won out versus its competition. 

      What other advice do I have?

      If you are looking for a reliable solution, it is okay. If you are looking for just backing up some smaller clients in a small business unit, so there are probably other competitors around. 

      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_user741711
      Chief Technical Officer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
      Reseller
      Protects data, keeps it long-terms, and helps our customers sleep well at night

      Pros and Cons

      • "It helps our customers protect their data, especially with stuff like ransomware, compliance, and regulatory requirements."
      • "It helps our customers protect their data, keep it long-term, and feel pretty secure about it, basically sleeping well at night."
      • "Our customers would like to see metadata replication, tearing to tape, and more cloud capabilities."

      What is our primary use case?

      We sell and implement it for customers. It performs very well, though every product has room for improvement.

      Our customer's on-premise infrastructure is comprised of flash storage, spinning disks, tape, virtual tape, virtual servers, and snapshots. For storage, we see SAN, iSCSI, NAS, flash, slower disk, SATA, and Near Line (NL) SAS. Some customers use virtual libraries.

      How has it helped my organization?

      • It helps our customers protect their data, especially with stuff like ransomware, compliance, and regulatory requirements. 
      • It helps them protect their data, keep it long-term, and feel pretty secure about it, basically sleeping well at night.

      What is most valuable?

      It is a proven product. It has a lot of features and capabilities. That is its pro and its con. It makes it a very capable product, but somewhat difficult to use.

      What needs improvement?

      Our customers would like to see metadata replication, tearing to tape, and more cloud capabilities.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stability is great.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is excellent. It is a solution which needs to be designed. For example, when you design something, you usually have a more scalable solution, because you are building it into the initial plan. Therefore, it is very scalable, but the downside is that it costs money.

      The product can scale. I have seen 20 to 40 percent growth per year for my customers for the next three to five years.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      My customers do use the technical support, and it's getting less effective, because it is not coming from North America anymore as it used to. Now, it comes from Egypt. The English is not as good, and the support is definitely getting worse.

      How was the initial setup?

      We live and breathe the initial setup, so the process is good.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Vendors who tend to appear on customers shortlists are Veeam, NetBackup, and Commvault.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would definitely recommend this product, unless it is pure VMware virtualization backup.

      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor:

      • Reputation
      • Reliability
      • Cost.

      However, cost is probably the biggest factor for most customers.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
      it_user865530
      Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      It is simple to use. Non-technical people can restore themselves.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Some of the people in our group, like our DBAs and non-technical people, can restore some stuff themselves via Spectrum Protect. That is how simple it is."
      • "The previous GUI that they had was slow, and it did not have enough information on it."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it to back up all of our midrange enterprise systems. It performs exactly the way we need it. We don't need anything more, don't need anything less. It has always done the job.

      Our infrastructure is on-premise. We have a bunch of Microsoft servers and VMs, but mostly what Spectrum Protect covers is our Power systems. We have roughly 30 servers that we protect at this point. We do backup a few Linux servers as well, because our group actually covers that area.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It provides upper management peace of mind that we can recover, if needed. We have never had a problem (knock on wood) of recovering anything via Spectrum Protect. Whatever we backup has always been there. It is a good product.

      What is most valuable?

      I like the new GUI. It makes things really nice. The previous GUI that they had was slow, and it did not have enough information on it. Therefore, they have truly improved in what they are offering. It is moving into the main stream, like all the other backup solutions are. 

      I also like what I am seeing with some of the new features which are coming out.

      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.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We have approximately 30 servers right now. It will always be our solution for our midrange Power boxes. As we grow with Power servers, we are going to stay with Spectrum Protect as it is growing with us. We are going to upgrade a bit more aggressively than we previously have, because we are excited about the newer stuff coming out.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      For technical support, you just call the 1-800 number, tell them your customer number, and voila, they are there. They have been pretty responsive.

      How was the initial setup?

      While I was not involved in the initial setup, new releases and implementation have gone smoothly. I have never had problems.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We had another product brought in to take care of the other side of the Microsoft servers and VMs. They thought about dragging us into that as well and getting rid of Spectrum Protect. I said, "We don't need something that complicated. Spectrum Protect is a perfect fit for what we need."

      NetBackup was previously running, but they have moved to Commvault, and I said, "There is no way that I am going to CommVault. It is too expensive and complicated. Spectrum Protect is not expensive, and it is simple to use." 

      Even some of the people in our group, like our DBAs and non-technical people, can restore some stuff themselves via Spectrum Protect. They don't always need me. That is how simple it is. That is what I like about it.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would recommend Spectrum Protect, especially for use with Power servers.

      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_user865527
      Cloud Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      The product helps us do data protection and restoration for DR. it has to be evolved to fit all new types of software requirements.

      Pros and Cons

      • "The product helps us do data protection and restoration for disaster recovery (DR)."
      • "We would like to see cloud integration."
      • "The solution is evolving, so it has to be evolved to fit all new types of software requirements too."

      What is our primary use case?

      We have been using it for quite some time and see the product is developing into something that we have been asking for. Some of the functions the product used to lack have been included and are now useful.

      We use the on-premise version. Our infrastructure consists of an operating system and a mainframe. The Spectrum product is more for the operating system, data productions, and our data center.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The product helps us do data protection and restoration for disaster recovery (DR).

      What is most valuable?

      Product features were previously not great, but they eventually evolved. There have been a lot of good improvement, so now the features are quite impressive.

      What needs improvement?

      We would like to see cloud integration.

      The solution is evolving, so it has to be evolved to fit all new types of software requirements too.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stability is very good.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It use to scale to IBM systems only. Now, it scales to non-IBM systems or other industry servers, like Intel. So now, scalability is quite good.

      We used silo our Spectrum Protect servers, but now we are consolidating them into fewer servers because they can handle more loads.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Technical support is okay. We have IBM direct support, which has a team of resources for us to utilize.

      How was the initial setup?

      In the beginning, it was not an easy setup. Now, the product has developed to be quite flexible and easy in its setup with some lesser ticks.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We evaluated other data protection products like Veritas.

      We chose IBM because we had IBM in-house. This was the main reason, and also because Spectrum Protect would integrate with the IBM products better.

      What other advice do I have?

      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

      • Cost
      • Scalability
      • Product features.
      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_user865521
      Systems And Storage Administrator at Zain Mobile
      Real User
      It has increased our security, scalability, and high availability

      Pros and Cons

      • "High availability (HA): It is one of the best features."
      • "It has increased our security, scalability, and high availability."
      • "It needs some software upgrades to fix some of its current bugs."

      What is our primary use case?

      It is an on-premise infrastructure, not cloud, which is comprised of IBM and Oracle. In the next couple of years, we will probably look to the cloud.

      Right now, we are working on send volume, IBM Controller SVC, and we also have products, like IBM Storwize V7000 and FS900 Storage.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The capacity of the storage is huge. It can be affected with all of our requirements. We also have two copies for each volumes. This makes life easier and safer for us, in cases of disasters happening and for any volume or data corruption as well.

      It has increased our security, scalability, and high availability.

      What is most valuable?

      High availability (HA): It is one of the best features that we have.

      What needs improvement?

      • It needs some software upgrades to fix some of its current bugs. 
      • In SVC, we need a masking view that combines with a storage group. This is collected all in terms of hosts, storage, and volume, both on the storage side and the host side. We need to combine them in one storage group in the SVC.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      Less than one year.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      From a storage perspective, it is very nice. From SVC, we do have some issues with rebooting, nodes, etc. However, we are working on them. As a software-defined storage, we should face some issues like this. From storage level, it is very nice and powerful.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We have not scaled it yet, because we already have enough storage capacity. Since the scalability will be online, I know it will be fine. There should not be any downtime. 

      For time being, we have enough with the storage of IBM and SVC. At least for next three years, we have enough storage with what we have already.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      IBM does not have a Kuwait entity open for calls and support, but we usually work with Dubai support. They are very nice and on the spot. If there are critical issues, they will come on spot. 

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

      I was working with a IBM different product, DS4700. However, right now, we are in different stage of technology, which is SVC and Storwize V7000.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup is very impressive. I am a system admin, but I do love learning a lot. It is a straightforward setup, and the IBM engineers are very helpful and provide me with new information each time that they do an implementation.

      What about the implementation team?

      During the implementation phases, technical people come over from Turkey and Dubai to Kuwait and help on the implementation. This is nice. 

      It has not reached any SLA. Things are good.

      What other advice do I have?

      We manage IBM, SVC, IBM Spectrum Control, and IBM Spectrum Storage.

      I would recommend the product, because the storage is very nice, especially the FS900. It has very nice features.

      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: They are clever. They have committed in their words, implementation, their price, and the capacity (which they already offered).

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user866118
      System Administrator Manager at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      Restores are quick and the data is always there

      Pros and Cons

      • "Every time we go and try to get a file, we can get it. Restores are quick and the data is always there."
      • "We can use it with any storage for the back-end to save data."
      • "We would like to see capabilities of long-term archiving and more support for hardware platforms."

      What is our primary use case?

      We do have primary storage, which is a mix between IBM, EMC and Infinidat. We also use VMware and IBM Power servers. That is our infrastructure setup. We do not have a cloud strategy.

      We have five instances of the Spectrum Protect.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We use it for our backups. That is our main use for it. So far, it has been quick to restore, and we have never had any issues. Every time we go and try to get a file, we can get it. Restores are quick and the data is always there.

      What is most valuable?

      • It is very robust. 
      • It has been in the market for many years. 
      • We can use it with any storage for the back-end to save data. 
      • It supports tape, which is something that we like as a hospital.

      What needs improvement?

      We would like to see capabilities of long-term archiving and more support for hardware platforms.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is very stable. We have had it for over 15 years and never really had an issue.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We are now looking at the new product. Before, it did not have a lot of options for Exchange, SharePoint, etc. With the new Spectrum Protect Plus, it seems like there will be more options and they are catching up with the market, and that is a good thing.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      The technical support seems good. Sometimes you get people who are not knowledgeable, but overall, it is good. You get the issues resolved.

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

      We were not previously using a different solution. We were looking for a solution which was robust, and the company behind it was a good, big company. We had other IBM solutions at the time, so we wanted to make sure that we stuck with the same organization. I had used a Spectrum Protect, which used to be called TSM, in other places before, and it was stable and robust. That is how we decided to go with it.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was not difficult at all; it was very straightforward. Even though Spectrum Protect is not the easiest to use, it was not a big deal to set it up.

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

      We will probably use it in the future since we have already invested in it, even though we are looking at other options. Financially, it makes sense to go with Spectrum Protect rather than changing to another platform.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      A long time ago, we also evaluated Legato NetWorker (now EMC NetWorker).

      What other advice do I have?

      Right now, we are going to have to look at investing in a new solution because of the change that IBM is making to a Spectrum Protect Plus. Otherwise, we probably would not have looked at changing it from the legacy one.

      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_user865515
      System Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      Scheduled backups ensure we meet the requirements for our business. RTO is a huge gap for us.

      What is our primary use case?

      Our primary use case is to have tape back ups of our open system environments. It has performed decently. There are certain gaps with the technology where we have issues, such as with our PO and our TO.  Our infrastructure is on-premise. It is comprised of a tape library (TS3500), tape cartridges, tape drives, and then Spectrum Protect.  We have three Spectrum Protect servers.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The scheduled backups ensure we meet the requirements for our business, and we keep backups of certain environments.

      What is most valuable?

      We have scheduled backups whenever we want.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      I am not the one that manages stability on a day-to-day basis on my team, but from what I have seen,…

      What is our primary use case?

      Our primary use case is to have tape back ups of our open system environments.

      It has performed decently. There are certain gaps with the technology where we have issues, such as with our PO and our TO. 

      Our infrastructure is on-premise. It is comprised of a tape library (TS3500), tape cartridges, tape drives, and then Spectrum Protect. 

      We have three Spectrum Protect servers.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The scheduled backups ensure we meet the requirements for our business, and we keep backups of certain environments.

      What is most valuable?

      We have scheduled backups whenever we want.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      I am not the one that manages stability on a day-to-day basis on my team, but from what I have seen, it is pretty stable overall. We do encounter issues every once and awhile, just with any product. 

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is poor. As you get to bigger environments, this is where our gaps have been introduced. As we have grown over the past couple of years, the gaps have become more apparent. For example, RTO is a huge gap for us. If we had a disaster scenario and had to recover a bunch of stuff from tape, the RTO would be too long for us.

      The more we grow, our gaps will become more apparent. For future needs, as we grow, Spectrum Protect will become a less viable solution for us.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Technical support through IBM whenever we have issues is always pretty good.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was not involved in the initial setup.

      What other advice do I have?

      For similar sized companies, I would probably recommend they look at different solutions. For a smaller company, it is probably a viable solution.

      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: Check to see if it meets certain business requirements.

      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_user865554
      Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
      Consultant
      It gave us the flexibility to use whatever storage we wanted. We have a balance issue between reclamation and the backup function.

      Pros and Cons

      • "The ability to use S3 Data Store as a repository."
      • "With Spectrum Protect, you can use any type of disk to back-end the repositories. It gave us flexibility to use whatever storage we wanted at our secondary site."
      • "I would like to see integration with Copy Data Management, which is an IBM product. Right now, these two products are siloed, so if these two become integrated, the product would become a bit of a powerhouse."
      • "We are having a balance issue between the reclamation and the backup function. It has to take the space back from the tapes before it can record to those tapes, but sometimes those two processes are overlapping."

      What is our primary use case?

      We are actually implementing our own private cloud and using Spectrum Protect to back up and replicate the backups to a secondary site.

      How has it helped my organization?

      With Spectrum Protect, you can use any type of disk to back-end the repositories. It gave us the flexibility to use whatever storage we wanted at our secondary site. On our first site, we have really high performing variable disks, and at our secondary site, we have a lower performing tier. On the cloud, we have an even slower tier.

      What is most valuable?

      Most valuable features are:

      • Good tape integration
      • The node replication to a secondary site.
      • The ability to use S3 Data Store as a repository.

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see integration with Copy Data Management, which is an IBM product. That would be really nice. Right now, these two products are siloed, so if these two become integrated, the product would become a bit of a powerhouse.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      With stability, we have had some challenges. There have been some issues around some of the functionality around reclamation. In the reclamation jobs, there has been fighting over the backup jobs. With Spectrum Protect, you have a reclamation job that takes space back from tapes which are no longer needed, and we' are having a challenge with that right now. 

      We are having a balance issue between the reclamation and the backup function. It has to take the space back from the tapes before it can record to those tapes, but sometimes those two processes are overlapping.

      This is in the process of being resolved. We are currently working with IBM support and the IBM engineering teams to resolve the issues.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We have not really had a chance to properly scale it, but I imagine it should be fairly straightforward in terms of growing it out, e.g., we spec'd out a server that was really powerful.

      In terms of scalability, the next thing should be adding additional storage.

      We currently have one Spectrum Protect instance, but in the future, there will be at least three or more.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      The support is really good. They are very responsive. There is a PMR set up, and we are working directly with the engineering team, who are actually coding the product.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was not complex. It was really straightforward. It has been a lot easier as of late to do these implementations.

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

      We chose IBM Spectrum Protect, because they actually have something called MSP pricing, which means managed services provider pricing. The pricing was attractive, and it seems to be a platform that IBM is totally investing on in terms of new functions and new capabilities. 

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We seriously looked at Commvault. We also looked at Veeam and another third-party.

      What other advice do I have?

      The way it works is customers can host their applications on our cloud, and we basically charge them to backup those products. We wanted something that could do that and we have the skill sets in-house. That is how it came about that we purchased Spectrum Protect. It is pretty much a function of wanting to backup primary workloads running on our cloud.

      Most important criteria when selecting a backup:

      • Resiliency
      • Integration with tape
      • Integration with cloud.
      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user866115
      Director Storage Services at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
      Real User
      We are very happy with the technical support. We have dedicate people working with us.

      Pros and Cons

      • "We work very closely together with IBM using their Support Center, but we have a strong contact in their development teams, and we have dedicated people from IBM working with us."
      • "We need everything cloud. Strong support for cloud services. S3 connectivity, which is mandatory for us in the future along with this integration of Spectrum Copy Data Management or Spectrum Protect services together with these Spectrum Protect Plus functionalities, e.g., hardware, snapshots, and Copy Data Management. They should come together in one solution."

      What is our primary use case?

      Inside my company, we are using Spectrum Protect worldwide to back up all our server systems. We have it in use at our data centers and remote locations.

      We have a cloud strategy. Our strategy now is to develop a solution for our customers to have a middleware also in place; a portal where we provide services independent if the site is internal on an external cloud. Therefore, we plan to give external cloud services to our customers.

      We have a lot of IBM equipment, mainly in our SAP environment. We are using storage solutions: XIV storage solutions, all-flash solutions based on A9000, and using POWER System servers in S/4 HANA. We are now using ESS storage and power servers, and also using equipment from other companies, especially in the Intel world.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We have a long history using Spectrum Protect. We are working close together with IBM development to make solutions happen that we need and solve issues very fast.

      What is most valuable?

      • The product is very stable.
      • Performance is mostly perfect.
      • We have been very satisfied with the product.

      What needs improvement?

      We need everything cloud. Strong support for cloud services. S3 connectivity, which is mandatory for us in the future along with this integration of Spectrum Copy Data Management or Spectrum Protect services together with these Spectrum Protect Plus functionalities, e.g., hardware, snapshots, and Copy Data Management. They should come together in one solution.

      Coming from the last issue we had, the requirement was to have snapshots in place for our fast recovery of our SharePoint environment. With the original Spectrum Protect, this was not possible. After IBM provided the product, Copy Data Management and now spectrum protect provide a solution resolving this issue to have a fast recovery in place. That was the main issue with Spectrum Protect.

      We have been waiting for solutions for approximately one year.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability is a given because we have solutions for our data centers, mainly in the tape area, and tape drive-based solutions. We have disk-based solutions at remote sites. We are using containers and replication for central data centers. Therefore, scalability is given, and we are completely satisfied with it. Our group manages the infrastructure for the company.

      We have maybe 500 remote locations, then we have six data centers with multiple solutions. Therefore, we have maybe 600 to 800 Spectrum Protect instances.

      We always grow by an average of 30-35% per year. It is not always in new server systems. It is an increase in backup storage, but very often we have to add new Spectrum Protect systems, too. We feel the product can grow with us.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      We are very happy with the technical support. We work very closely together with IBM using their Support Center, but we have a strong contact in their development teams, and we have dedicated people from IBM working with us.

      How was the initial setup?

      I think the initial setup with IBM was easier for us because we have a strong relationship with them. We have a history of working together for about 15 to 18 years using Spectrum Protect.

      What other advice do I have?

      At the moment, we are using Spectrum Protect Plus. We already tested CDM for SharePoint though there were some issue with it, and we plan to go live with Spectrum Protect Plus at the end of May this year.

      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_user865545
      Technical Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
      Real User
      It integrates well with Spectrum Scale

      Pros and Cons

      • "It integrates well with Spectrum Scale."
      • "High availability (HA) is a scalability challenge."

      What is our primary use case?

      The primary use case is for pure file backup. We have used it from back in the Tivoli Storage Manager days. Primarily, backing up Spectrum Scale would be our most common use, but we do use it as the main backup client that we use. Therefore, whatever storage that we are supplying, it is generally the backup solution that we put in along with it.

      We are largely HPC focused as a company, so it is still very much focused on hardware. Although, we are starting to see more questions asked about how to utilize the cloud and how to involve it. So, it is coming, but traditionally, we are still sticking with the hardware solutions, such as traditional tape libraries. Larger deployments would be the TS3500s and the TS4500s. Then, there are the smaller products along the same lines where you have got a number of drives and a number of tapes. At whatever scales the client is setting it, we will match the size to their requirements.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It is hard to say because we tend to go in with a specific project and deploy that project. Therefore, we do not always have visibility on what the impact is. Just that it is a positive experience and it integrates well with the solution that we have provided. However, we do not tend to get to see the before and after of the impact for our specific client.

      What is most valuable?

      Integration with Spectrum Scale is a large part of it. 

      We sometimes use different pools of storage (policy engine in it) in terms of retention. 

      What needs improvement?

      There is always a balance between the power of the product and the usability of it. There is learning curve to learn how to use it, but it is a very powerful product.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We have our issues with Fibre Channel. but that is the hardware which underlies it. In terms of Spectrum Protect, it runs very well. We have ran it in certain clients for the best part of 10 years, and it runs very well for us. We do not have stability problems with Spectrum Protect. The issues that we do have, it is with the hardware underneath.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      High availability (HA) is a challenge, but we do deploy it in certain situations. We tend to stick to a more traditional scale up model rather than a scale out model, but we have managed to meet our requirements for this, so scalability has not been a problem other than when people ask for HA solutions. Generally, we have managed to meet our requirements.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      When I used them a number of years ago, the experience was positive. They were always helpful when we had issues and managed to explain what the circumstances were around the issues and how to resolve them. Therefore, the experience then was positive. I have not personally been dealing with the support side for over a year now.

      How was the initial setup?

      The setup is not too bad. Once you know what you are doing, it tends to be fine. The part we always struggle with is the onboarding process, getting people used to how it works, the specific nuances of the product, the fact that it is always incremental, their retention policies, and the commands to use when you're interacting with it. That is more the challenge that we have with it: The onboarding of new people whether they are internal people to us or clients.

      There is quite a steep learning curve to your initial interactions with Protect. Then, once you kind of get into it and get into that intermediate level, the documentation is really good and the resources out there are also good. Thus, once you get over that initial hump, then it is pretty good.

      What about the implementation team?

      Our clients tend to have an in-house team that at least do the daily check side of it, then back off the support to us. If they are having any problems, any errors coming up, or if the backups haven't run, etc., that is when they involve us. From a day-to-day point of view, we do not tend to be hands-on.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      Our clients tend to compare it with NetBackup.

      What other advice do I have?

      Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: It is often around meeting certain requirements. Our business is usually won on other parts of the project than Protect. While Protect is a vital part of it, the difference is usually around Spectrum Scale, the compute cluster, or other products that Protect is looking after.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user865539
      Technical Analyst at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      I can do disaster recoveries with it

      Pros and Cons

      • "It is pretty easy to use and maintain."
      • "When I have to do disaster recoveries, I can do it with this tool."
      • "I should be able to backup Linux. I would like SUSE for Linux on POWER. Right now, we have to use Storex, which is a pain to use."

      What is our primary use case?

      It is our enterprise backup system.

      Our on-premise infrastructure is comprised of Windows VM, AIX, and SUSE Linux for SAP HANA. We currently do not have a cloud strategy.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The product has been there ever since I have been there; the enterprise system along with the hierarchical system. It is pretty easy to use and maintain. I do not run it all the time, but I can get in and do what needs to be done. When I have to do disaster recoveries, I can do it with this tool.

      What is most valuable?

      That it backs up everything, except Linux.

      What needs improvement?

      I should be able to backup Linux. I would like SUSE for Linux on POWER. Right now, we have to use Storex, which is a pain to use.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It seems to be fine. We don't have any problems.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We are well under what the capability of it is. We are a mid-sized shop with hundreds of servers, not thousands. We could do more, it just depends on how much money we want to spend.

      We will probably grow in data, but not in numbers of systems. I am sure it is going to go more towards VMs and SUSE Linux. The servers are getting smaller, holding more data. Also, I am hoping we get off of tapes. 

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Technical support seems pretty good. I have not had any problems with them. They seem to know what they are doing when I get a hold of them, because there are times that our admin is not there and I have to take care of things that I do not know about.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was not involved in the initial setup.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      I have used HPE. 

      I have also used NetBackup. NetBackup seemed a little more intuitive, but it did not do near as much. This will do a lot more.

      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_user865536
      Global Backup Engineer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
      Real User
      It has improved efficiency in the backups with faster backup times

      What is our primary use case?

      The primary use case is backing up Oracle Databases, SQL databases, Exchange, and all documents which are produced by my company. Our on-premise infrastructure is comprised of disks on data domain and tape. We do not have a cloud strategy at the moment, but we are looking into it. Right now, we have six Spectrum Protect instances with three of them in full production.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We have better, faster backup times, and it has improved efficiency in the backups.

      What is most valuable?

      The ease of use Being able to set it up and configure it.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We have had issues, but everybody is going to have them. Overall,…

      What is our primary use case?

      The primary use case is backing up Oracle Databases, SQL databases, Exchange, and all documents which are produced by my company.

      Our on-premise infrastructure is comprised of disks on data domain and tape. We do not have a cloud strategy at the moment, but we are looking into it.

      Right now, we have six Spectrum Protect instances with three of them in full production.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We have better, faster backup times, and it has improved efficiency in the backups.

      What is most valuable?

      • The ease of use
      • Being able to set it up and configure it.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We have had issues, but everybody is going to have them. Overall, it seems to be stable. We have run into some periods where we have found some tape issues which were causing us problems, but we resolved them. For some reason, we had a bunch of drives go offline on our disk storage (our virtual library).

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It scales well. We have grown here in the last year or two, and it has been relatively easy.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      I have used their technical support. It has mostly been good. There has been some times where Level 1 tried to hit at things which I had already looked at, but once we got passed that, then they were able to either send me to the next Level or resolve the issue.

      What other advice do I have?

      The additional features that I am looking to see in the future are already in the roadmap.

      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_user865533
      Senior Manager at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Real User
      Performance and recoveries are better, and customers are happier with performance

      Pros and Cons

      • "Performance and recoveries are better. Our clients and customers are happier with the performance of it."
      • "Our new leadership has pushed us to go more toward the cloud, so we are definitely going to leverage anything we can in that direction."

      What is our primary use case?

      Our primary use case is DR and backup.

      The performance has been pretty good. We have installed three of the TSM large Blueprints in the past couple of years. We are continuing to scale them. It is all disk replication and we are working on eliminating our tape. We have three tape libraries across three data centers and we are continuing to reduce the reliance on tapes, as we move more things into compress, dedupe, and container pool stuff.

      From a Spectrum Protect perspective, AIX has been largely our footprint for a long time with TSM, and those are the large Blueprints that we purchased, the 824s with 256GB of memory. We do F900 for the database, and a V5030 large petabyte back-end on each of those. We have gone into the new Blueprints with a Linux OS. That is a change in direction from our management team which has spun us in a little bit of a different direction than the standard stuff we have done, which is fine. Some of our new Blueprints have been built on Linux, and they are more of a medium scale.

      If we back out and we start floating up to a 10,000-foot view of data centers, we have 4.5 petabytes of SVC Spectrum Virtualize. We have been using it for about 14 years and been very successful with it. We use Easy Tier with a good healthy mix of flash, in the neighborhood of 400 terabytes. Spinners, 10K drives, 15K drives are all but gone in our data center at this point. As far as server OS, we are an AIX pSeries shop for our big iron. VMware for our x86 virtualization, and hypervisor choice across UCS Dell.

      It is used in two data centers in northwest Arkansas, and looked at as a single data center. We own our own dark fiber between the two. We do a stretch cluster topology across a couple of different clusters in that environment, and support everything with VDisk mirroring between the two.

      How has it helped my organization?

      The storage admins: If we are standardizing on a Blueprint spec, and it has been blessed by IBM, it helps the supportability of everything. We are not "cowboying" things. It is, "This is the spec, it will perform to this standard,” and we know what our expectations are going into it.

      We have been fortunate to roll out a few of the Blueprints, and they have been successful, so supportability is one of the benefits.

      What is most valuable?

      Reliability: Our tape library has aged. It is an old 3584. We have had it for many years, probably 10-plus years. It is problematic at times. We have a single robot, so it gives us the ability to get away from that mechanical robot and just do disk-based replication and backup.

      Performance and recoveries are better. Our clients and customers are happier with the performance of it. They can just spin something up, take off, and they don't have to say, “Hey, this tape is busted or this tape is marked write-protected.” Operators kick tapes across the floor in the data center every now and then. Now, I don't have to worry about that.

      What needs improvement?

      Right now, I can't say exactly what the feature would be, but it would be cloud-based. Our new leadership has pushed us to go more toward the cloud, so we are definitely going to leverage anything we can in that direction (public cloud). I imagine that this is a pretty common piece of feedback for this question.

      We're just not sure what the real world results will be when we get there. That is the big question mark. Ideally, I would want to spin up a host on-premise with Spectrum Protect on it and have no storage. I would have my database running locally on flash, and all the pools would be remote. However, I don't think this is realistic from a performance perspective, dumping all my data in the data center over a 40-millisecond hop to the next nearest region of whatever public cloud is available.

      There are definitely some things in that area that we can address and work toward, but I don't know if they are achievable.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We have been happy with the stability. We have been going through a lot of upgrades. There are cycles of upgrades which have been a lot more frequent lately, because we are in a new compression world with the container pools, and we have hit a few APARs working with support.

      Regarding the upgrades, it has been alright, though a little bit of a challenge. However, the guys on the team have been well supported by IBM in this endeavor, so that has been nice.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Out of a large Blueprint, the advertisements are for 80 terabytes of ingest a day, then there are the replication pieces, and the scalability of your database capacity, etc. We have not quite topped out any of those maximums yet, but we have hit our maximum of what the server will do. So we have starting scaling horizontally across a couple of other environments.

      As far as how it scales, it maybe didn't quite meet what we thought, but everybody is different. Everybody's shop is different. Our Oracle Databases, our workloads, Exchange Servers, etc. are going to be different than others'. We understand that, which is why you get the “it depends” answer from everybody when you talk to them about how much it can do.

      I want to see it work, touch it, feel it, and PoC it, then we can know how it works for us. Everybody is different. All shops are different, even though they run a lot of the same gear.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Technical support is getting better. We have given them some good feedback, and they are listening, which is nice. The guys on the team can see that. Overall, there are still areas for them to improve in, as they still have quite a bit of work to do, but they're making steps in the right direction.

      This would be a good question for my team to answer. I just see the PMRs bounce back and forth. We have a local rep who is really good about helping quarterback these things and get attention where it is needed, especially if it is a high-priority deal for us.

      Overall, I am satisfied with the support. There are definitely places where things could be better, but that is the same with everybody. Nobody is perfect.

      How was the initial setup?

      Setup was pretty good. With the Blueprint design that they put out, you do the runbook, and run through it. There are a few "gotchas", but overall it was pretty straightforward. We like having a standard setup. 

      We know with this pool of resources, if you dump it somewhere, it will be protected offsite. That is the mode we want to be in, rather than having to go back and double check. We do not want to say, “This one thing happened, it should have went here, and it didn't.” We are trying to get more generic with these services.

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

      When we did this, migrated to this new disk-based footprint, we did a reclassification. We worked our licensing into a capacity model, which is nice. Now, everything is much simpler to manage from a licensing perspective.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      The evolution off of tape is one that we have looked to do for a long time. We've had BTLs pitched that have never been viable solutions. We took knocks for overlooking those back then, for cost or other reasons, but it has paid off that we didn't invest in one of those platforms that we would now have to get off of. We kept tape around for a long time. 

      Yet, now, we can move straight to a disk-based solution with the container pools, which is working well, and we are looking into cloud.

      What other advice do I have?

      Overall, we are satisfied with it. Our primary table library was running 72 tape drives and that solution was busy 24/7. Now, in the past six months, since we began this journey with Blueprint, we are down to about half that amount. Those amounts average about 36 tapes now on a 24-hour basis, which is good. We are going to continue to hopefully reduce this and, eventually, get rid of the hardware.

      We have taken a lot of knocks over using TSM. Our customers suggesting reasons why it does not work, but it does. It is just not an out-of-the-box solution. Our customers struggle with that, at times. For example, Microsoft SQL. The guys on that team pushed back against TSM and, finally won, over the years, to just do native database dumps and get away from the platform. However, they have come to find out that the new bed that they've made has its own problems. 

      Overall, it is a well-rounded solution. It provides anything any enterprise would need. We use it. I would hang my hat on it. I'll stand on tape, even, for a lot of things. I've done numerous disaster recovery exercises in my career and done it successfully off the tape. 

      When you need the data, it is there. It is reliable. It is a tool which works. I think people expect easy, and it may not be easy. However, that is what we get paid to do as admins.

      This solution is a viable candidate. It depends on your environment. As a platform, we have ridden on it for many years.

      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_user865542
      Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
      Real User
      Provides my clients with scalability, performance, and mass platform coverage

      Pros and Cons

      • "Scalability, performance, mass platform coverage. It's one of the few backup products on the market right now which an organization can bring in and it will serve all of their backup needs. It's a completely centralized solution."
      • "Ease of use. That has got to be the one thing that I routinely hear from clients and customers, that it's a little bit more difficult than it should be. What I'm finding is that IBM has heard that and they're responding with updated interfaces and things like that."

      What is our primary use case?

      The primary use case is backup and disaster recovery.

      It is fantastic. We have a number of clients using the product. Everybody who uses it is very happy with it. It is cross-platform, very flexible, and a great product.

      One of my primary clients has a fairly hybrid solution where they use a TS4500 Tape Library as their offsite and primary data store. They are also using directory-container pools and replicating it to a near-site location which is on the same WAN.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It is something like: How does insurance make people happier? An insurance policy of sorts. You have to spend money to protect your assets. That is what this is. It does that job. That is why people like it. However, much like insurance, I am sure people dislike it for a lot of the same reasons.

      What is most valuable?

      There is a laundry list of valuable features: scalability, performance, mass platform coverage, etc. It is one of the few backup products on the market right now which an organization can bring in and it will serve all of their backup needs. It is a completely centralized solution and one of the three largest, market share wise, in the world (I believe).

      It is a strong, mature product, which a lot of people are using, and there is a ton of support for it.

      What needs improvement?

      This is more something that I would have to go over with the IBM guys. There is probably a small laundry list. 

      Ease of use. This has got to be the one thing that I routinely hear from clients and customers. It is a bit more difficult than it should be. What I find is that IBM has heard this issue, and they are responding with updated interfaces.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Usually, after the initial rollout, there are a few kinks to iron out, and from then on it's almost a self-maintaining system. It's generally very stable. Only when you introduce new features, options, or massive changes in your workload do you really find a major problem with the backup infrastructure. It tends to be very stable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It scales infinitely. I have customers that are protecting less than 100 terabytes of data versus customers that are protecting petabytes of data. Provided you size your hardware solution properly, it will work with any organization.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      IBM support is great. It is world-class support. They have a great system in place and they generally get the problem solved. It can take some time. If a problem requires it, we escalate it. They have to dive a bit deeper than you normally would, reading through logs, but they are always there with the next step to fix a problem.

      How was the initial setup?

      If I'm being completely honest, setup is not easy. It's a more complex setup, but with great flexibility comes great complexity. If you want something to do things which are very complex, you have to be mindful of that in the setup process. It is not trivial, but it is very workable and the documentation is out there to get it done.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      The competitors are Commvault, Veeam, or any of the other major backup players who are out there right now. It is a zero sum market. Everybody is bidding for the same customers.

      What other advice do I have?

      In terms of why my customers go with Spectrum Protect, it is usually cost. The second most common is platform readiness. It can support multiple types of clients. It can back up your Exchange database for your email, at the same time that it can back up your user's file shares, and at the same time you can back up your virtual machines. It meets everybody's needs and that is often why IBM wins out when there is a competitive bid process.

      I recommend a conversation where we sit down and spec out what the requirements are. I will always recommend Spectrum Protect. From my perspective, it is the best one on the market. That is the reason I have gone in this direction. I am fully onboard.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
      it_user865524
      Sr. Production Specialist at a tech vendor with 1-10 employees
      Real User
      It scales well for the amount of clients that we use with it

      Pros and Cons

      • "It is an IBM product. With SAP, you are using IBM software to protect it. DB2 and AIX servers are both IBM. Therefore, it is a total IBM solution, which helps."
      • "It scales well for the amount of clients that we use with it."
      • "Stability is very good now. It used to be rocky years ago."

      What is our primary use case?

      Our primary use case is supporting DB2 environment. We have about a couple hundred servers that we support for our SAP environment. It is one of the most critical applications that we have.

      How has it helped my organization?

      IBM Spectrum Protect has improved my organization with its total support of IBM products.

      What is most valuable?

      It is an IBM product. With SAP, you are using IBM software to protect it. DB2 and AIX servers are both IBM. Therefore, it is a total IBM solution, which helps.

      What needs improvement?

      At the moment, it meets DB2's needs sufficiently.

      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. It used to be rocky years ago. It has been a very good solution, and very rarely do we have problems with it.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      I have worked with it for 20 years now. It scales well for the amount of clients that we use with it. The clients have been very good about keeping up with the technology changes.

      It should meet our future needs. We do not plan to grow it at this time as we just use it for SAP. 

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Their technical support is very good. They are very good about getting back to you and trying to help you work through issues. I generally contact support online versus calling in, but that is just my preference.

      How was the initial setup?

      It was easy to set up/rebuild.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      This was before my time with the company.

      What other advice do I have?

      We have a cloud strategy using Amazon. 

      For leveraging cloud, we are in the beginning stages. Therefore, we are using Avamar.

      Our non-cloud/on-premise infrastructure consists of servers.

      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.
      ITCS user
      Information Technology Technician at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
      Real User
      Space efficient data reduction with deduplication and compression.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Space efficient data reduction, using progressive incremental forever in combination with deduplication and compression."
      • "I would like to see a way to have "always on" implemented."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use Spectrum Protect as our core product for backup and recovery of all our servers, and has started to use this for our office workstations too.


      How has it helped my organization?

      IBM is a partner-friendly company which has open API that one can use. In our case, we have built solutions which have helped many customers who use API to protect databases and applications with Spectrum Protect that IBM doesn't protect today. For example, MongoDB , MariaDB , MySQL , PostgreSQL, Firebird, Progress OpenEdge , SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise , and SAP IQ Server. See www.ligtas.org.

      What is most valuable?

      Space efficient data reduction, using progressive incremental forever in combination with deduplication and compression. IBM philosophy is to not backup data that has not been changed

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see a way to have "always on" implemented. In this way, if an error happened on the primary backup server, there would be a way to continue to protect the data without any disturbance. This is partly implemented today, but only in the purpose of restore.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      There are normal and known limitations with stability.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It can scale from very low to very big using one instance. One can use StorageNodes (a media server) to further extend its capacity by avoiding sending data traffic to the backup server.

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

      I have experience of many different solutions, and some of them do not exist anymore.

      REELbackup was the best at it time, but was based on periodically full backups. The database was local on each server which has fantastic scalability. This product doesn't exist anymore, and would not be the best today because of periodically full backups, etc.

      Networker is great with its many integrations to databases. But requires at the time when I used it periodically full backups. Newer version of the product has a way to overcome this, but requires more resources in the back-end. The database wiz in the system didn't respond sometimes which causes the backup to fail frequently. Networker seams also to not be a product that EMC and DELL see as strategic for the future.

      Netbackup is great with its way to balance the data streams to get a good throughput, but requires periodically full backups at least when I used it. It has integrations to many databases.

      IBM Spectrum Protect is the best of them. This solution is the best way to store backups with its space efficient data reduction technologies. In the past when tape was the main media for backup; it was very difficult to improve restore performance as the data was spread on many tapes, and collocation improves only a bit; but far from its competitors.

      Today when most customers use disk or VTL this is no longer an issue. It is better than the competitors today, as only one restore is needed compared to if you have periodically full backups where you have to restore firstly it's full and all its incremental backups.

      With help from partners ('LIGTAS') to IBM you can also have block level incremental forever for databases. Another great function is incremental restore which restores only the data that has been changed to the point in time selected. This also exists for databases with help from partners to IBM ('LIGTAS')

      How was the initial setup?

      In the past, it was complex to set up the solution. But today, it is easier with its graphical interface.

      What was our ROI?

      We can now be sure that we have a valid insurance, and has used this several time to restore individual objects which help our implementation of new products etc..

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

      Use capacity licensing. It's easier and cheaper.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      What other advice do I have?

      Be sure you follow the blueprint guidelines.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
      PH
      Sr Sys Analyst with 1,001-5,000 employees
      User
      A robust tool which allows us to backup pretty much any environment, virtual or physical

      Pros and Cons

      • "A robust tool which allows us to backup pretty much any environment, virtual or physical."
      • "The ability to do dedupe in the product is nice to have."
      • "Easier configuration of some of the products, e.g., VE comes to mind."
      • "Perhaps some better documentation, which I believe was better in the past."

      What is our primary use case?

      • Backup
      • Archive
      • Restore

      We currently backup about 400 clients using traditional incrementals forever as well as another 350 using VE incremental forever.

      How has it helped my organization?

      IBM Spectrum Protect is a robust tool which allows us to backup pretty much any environment, virtual or physical, and create offsite copies of all our data for security and recovery purposes.

      What is most valuable?

      • Incrementals forever
      • SnapDiff functionality
      • VE

      The ability to do dedupe in the product is nice to have. We currently have a VTL appliance with dedupe functionality. We will be exploring the SP features in this area shortly.

      What needs improvement?

      Easier configuration of some of the products, e.g., VE comes to mind. 

      Perhaps some better documentation, which I believe was better in the past.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.
      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      Marcos Corbani
      Business and marketing manager at MML Systems
      Real User
      Top 20
      It lets your company grow without losing confidence.​

      What is most valuable?

      Scalability, it lets your company grow without losing confidence.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Significantly reduced recovery time.

      What needs improvement?

      All departments.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      19 years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      No.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      No.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      Very good.

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

      Yes, policy of growth and utilization of the structure.

      How was the initial setup?

      The planning and its structure all went smoothly.

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

      Use licensing "FRONT END".

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      No.

      What

      What is most valuable?

      Scalability, it lets your company grow without losing confidence.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Significantly reduced recovery time.

      What needs improvement?

      All departments.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      19 years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      No.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      No.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      Very good.

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

      Yes, policy of growth and utilization of the structure.

      How was the initial setup?

      The planning and its structure all went smoothly.

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

      Use licensing "FRONT END".

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      No.

      What other advice do I have?

      Have the right advice through and get a specialized partner.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I am a business partner with a focus on data protection and management.
      PP
      Data Backup and Recovery Admin at Albert Einstein Healthcare Network
      Real User
      Top 5
      Deduplication and compression are the most valuable features.

      What is most valuable?

      The deduplication and compression are the most valuable features.

      How has it helped my organization?

      We can get lots of storage space. Storage is a big problem. Deduplication gives me a lot more flexibility so I can do more backup in the same storage space.

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see:

      • More flexibility
      • More features
      • More scalability. I would like it to work with different storage solutions.
      • There's a limitation with the cloud container. That is a limitation in terms of what it can do with the cloud.
      • I would like them to increase functionality in cloud containers.
      • Easier to learn: It's too complex. It takes long time to learn.

      I would like more feature on Inline dedupelication.

      1. Move data from one container pool to another container pool
      2. Move cloud storage container to another cloud storage container
      3. Currently, Inline deduplication you can copy to tape but cannot restore any data. I know it is in road map to restore from tape
      4. If the Inline deduplication has a issue, You need to restore whole container pool before repair command is issue.
      5. If your container pool is very large means few 30 to 40 TB. It can days to restore container pool. If you like to restore to another location, You need lots of space. That can be issue.


      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stability is 50/50. They come out with fixes, but then they break some other stuff. I am constantly fighting with them to fix some new stuff. As they put out the new patches, they break something else. It's very complicated product, so they can't cover every possible scenario.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The scalability is extremely good.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I use technical support all the time. I would evaluate them depending upon who is helping me and what kind of problem is being dealt with. Sometimes it's frustrating, because I want to go to Level-2 support. Sometimes they take too long to go to Level-2. It then took them too long before they called me back. They have to improve the process to call back right away.

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

      We knew it was time for a new solution because we were using Backup Exec before and it was not meant to be an enterprise backup solution. We were looking for some kind of enterprise backup system, and we had too many backup solutions.

      We had one for ERX, one for Linux, and one for NetWare. We used NetWare and Windows, so we had to consolidate all the backup solutions into one backup solution.

      We found that TSM was the best, as we can back up any OS.

      How was the initial setup?

      I was involved in the initial setup. It was straightforward.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      NetBackup was on my shortlist. Back then, they were not running on Windows and they ran on Unix. I was not a Unix guy for too long, and I wanted to feel comfortable with the OS. I came from a mainframe background. It's more flexible, and it can back up a cross-platform backup to any platform. That's a good feature, and they have it. You don't need a different backup solution and a different OS for each platform.

      What other advice do I have?

      It depends upon the company and what they're looking for. It's an expensive product, but it works really well. You can install it on any platform. It's not a perfect product. There's always bug and there's always something going on.

      When selecting a vendor, we look for support, how long they have been in business, and how often they do product upgrades.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      John Askew
      Systems Architect at The University of Auckland
      Real User
      Top 5
      apart from restoring data that has been inadvertently deleted or corrupted, we also use Spectrum Protect in conjunction with Spectrum Scale.

      Pros and Cons

      • "by backing up only the changed data, we average around 75TB per night. If we had to do full backups, even occasionally, we would not be able to complete the backup within 12 hours, or we would have to make a large investment to fit a full backup within the 12 hour window."
      • "Ease of use."

      How has it helped my organization?

      Well, apart from restoring data which has been inadvertently deleted or corrupted, we also use Spectrum Protect in conjunction with Spectrum Scale.

      As the tape storage pool for HSM (inactive) data, this leaves a stub file in Spectrum Scale's GPFS file system and moves the file data to the LTO6 tape based storage pools -- so it vastly reduces the cost of the overall services, whilst maintaining Nearline access to the files.

      What is most valuable?

      a. Incremental forever
      b. We have approximately 4.5PB’s of front end data and a 12 hour backup window.

      However, by backing up only the changed data, we average around 75TB per night. If we had to do full backups, even occasionally, we would not be able to complete the backup within 12 hours, or we would have to make a large investment to fit a full backup within the 12 hour window.

      What needs improvement?

      • Reporting
      • Ease of use

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      No, we have found it to be an extremely reliable system.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      No, scalability is one of its key capabilities.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      Local in country L2 is average. Offshore L3 is okay, but not as good as they used to be.

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

      Yes, it wasn't scalable enough, and client support was not as extensive.

      How was the initial setup?

      You do need to know what you are doing to setup the platform, so invest in doing the design work upfront before deploying.

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

      At scale, the consumption license (per TB) is very expensive, so generally, licensing the hosts running the software (both Target and Source), this does mean you will need to work out the PVU for each client, but you can use the License Metric Tool to make this easier.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      That was really too long ago to be of any use. However, I would suggest that at scale today, only Commvault and now Veeam, would be the products to compare it against.

      What other advice do I have?

      Make sure your people have the right skills. You have a design, setup your automation policies so it doesn’t need manual intervention, and have your admins investigating and resolving the exception.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user676356
      IBM Tivoli Certified Instructor, Certified Exam Reviewer & Consultant at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
      Real User
      Keeps our data safe and lets us manage what is important to us.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Because of the flexible parameters, everything can be fine-tuned to the customers’ needs in their environment."
      • "There were scalability issues only in the brand new features which were recently released."

      How has it helped my organization?

      It builds confidence to recover from a variety of disasters. It really keeps our data safe and lets us manage what is important to us and our customers.

      What is most valuable?

      Flexibility and Scalability. Sturdy software for potentially large environments. Because of the flexible parameters, everything can be fine-tuned to the customers’ needs in their environment.

      What needs improvement?

      If customers have problems or requests and they file a PMR/ESF (Problem Management Record/Electronic Service Request) to IBM, they can present a weblist of when this problem/feature will be solved/released depending on the amount of other customers having the same request. (People can vote on how useful/problematic new features/items listed by other customers are and thus create a higher priority.)

      A recent failure with the Spectrum Protect v8.1 client on windows 2016:
      2017-05-25 23:28:30 ANS6718E: The path contains too many nested subdirectories. The maximum number of nested directories is 1400.
      (This was never a problem on other windows versions and seems to be introduced in the client version on Win2k16) Will be fixed in the next client version v8.1.2.) (Will be released in a few weeks.)
      http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg1IT18901

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      There were stability issues only in the brand new features which were recently released.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      There were scalability issues only in the brand new features which were recently released.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I would rate technical support as follows based on these categories:

      • Help in own language (Dutch): 7/10.
      • Speed: 8/10
      • Customer friendliness: 9/10
      • Ability to solve problems: 9/10
      • In-depth knowledge (Level-1 and Level-2): 10/10

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

      Arcserve and Microsoft Backup.

      How was the initial setup?

      The installation was straightforward, although having specific knowledge about the product can be helpful.

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

      That depends on the environment per customer. Since there are different licensing models, it's helpful to check which best fits the customers' needs.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We evaluated Arcserve and CommVault.

      What other advice do I have?

      Follow a basic course before you start using the product. As it is so flexible, it's helpful to cover the basics and know what needs to be done to get the most out of this environment.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are primary partners and a reseller of the solutions.
      it_user601302
      Lead Data Protection Analyst at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Vendor
      Traditional archiving is the most valuable feature.

      Pros and Cons

      • "Traditional archiving. One of our revenue streams involves maintaining archives of our customers' data for very long periods of time."
      • "The GUI has long been a problem for TSM/Spectrum Protect."

      How has it helped my organization?

      The archiving ability of Spectrum Protect is second to none. Our company archives millions of files and Spectrum Protect has been the only product we found that can handle the workload, let alone handle it in the time frame that we require.

      What is most valuable?

      Traditional archiving. One of our revenue streams involves maintaining archives of our customers' data for very long periods of time. Spectrum Protect has proven to be the most effective solution given our requirements.

      What needs improvement?

      The GUI has long been a problem for TSM/Spectrum Protect. IBM has improved it a great deal, but until you can do any administrative task necessary, it will always be its weakest point.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Stability is one of its strongest advantages. It’s not the easiest product to configure, but once it is set up, it rarely has issues.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      Scalability for Spectrum Protect has been another strong point for it. When I took over the team, we had just three instances in production. As we have expanded worldwide, we have grown to more 14 instances. Scalability has not been an issue as we have grown.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I think this has a lot to do with the level of support you purchase as well as the level of expertise of the administrator. If you are new to the product, their support is fair. If you are experienced and are experiencing a serious issue, their support can be very lacking and tends to be quite slow to respond.

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

      We have used Backup Exec and Commvault in our environment in the past. Backup Exec did not scale well as the company grew. Commvault was not scaling as well and could not meet our archiving needs.

      How was the initial setup?

      Installation of the product is much more simplified than in the past. Configuring the server itself is not something I would recommend for an inexperienced administrator to try and do on his own.

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

      Licensing can be either complicated or simple depending on what type of licensing you wish to use and what works best for your environment. Capacity based licensing is pretty straightforward. IBM provides tools to help evaluate how much capacity you are using. PVU licensing is more complex and generally is going to be more expensive unless you have massive amounts of data coming from just a few locations.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      I have evaluated NetBackup, Commvault, Backup Exec, Legato, Avamar, and Rubrik.

      What other advice do I have?

      Have a good understanding of what data you need to back up, how long and under what conditions it need to be retained, and how you can best organize it. This will help greatly when it comes time to configure storage pools, domains, polices, and copy groups.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user672387
      Lead Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
      Vendor
      The most valuable features are compression and deduplication.

      Pros and Cons

      • "The most valuable features of Spectrum Protect would be the compression and the deduplication."
      • "I am looking forward to new features in the next release. One of the main features is the cloud storage integration, which was one of my main required features. I've had more difficult experiences with other platforms than with this one."

      How has it helped my organization?

      Besides the compression, the new feature of data replication has helped us. Based on the feature, we were able to decommission our tape media infrastructure.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable features of Spectrum Protect would be the compression and the deduplication.

      What needs improvement?

      I am looking forward to new features in the next release.

      One of the main features is the cloud storage integration, which was one of my main required features. I've had more difficult experiences with other platforms than with this one.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It's a very stable application. It was challenging at the beginning of the implementation of the replication and deduplication, but once it was completely deployed, it has been very stable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The scalability has been great. We were able to introduce and scale from the storage pools, as well as from all the backup infrastructures.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I have used technical support. I've been fully engaged with IBM support and they've been very, very helpful.

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

      I've been using the same product for the last 15 years. I know it's been very reliable, so I've stayed with it.

      How was the initial setup?

      The setup was challenging in certain areas. For the most part, based on the experience I had, I was able to accomplish it OK.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would highly recommend the proof of concept which is one thing that IBM provides with their lab services and other types of support. Especially with the new features and the cloud integration, that will be a great opportunity to introduce the new platform.

      The most important criteria is scalability and support. Support to me is key, since at the end of the day, we're providing service to the company. So far, the experience has been very good.

      I have been working with it for a few years now and I've touched other types of data protection platforms. So far, Spectrum Protector has been the best.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user672348
      Chief Information Officer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Consultant
      It incorporates data reduction during all stages of the backup process.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable feature is the breadth of what it can do in an environment for backup protection of data. It's very scalable. Customers can adopt a Spectrum Protect solution at an entry level.

      As their environment grows, the solution will grow with it. They don't have to worry about purchasing additional vendor solutions to meet their backup and storage needs.

      How has it helped my organization?

      With a single solution, a customer can manage all their data from a backup protection perspective. I think, single-handedly, the way that it does their backup is quite unique. It incorporates data reduction during all stages of the backup process. Customers can manage more data without incurring additional licensing costs.

      What needs improvement?

      I would like to see IBM take the solution more into enabling customers to work with cloud solutions. While they are making great strides to do that today, I think there are some areas for growth required in that area.

      In addition to the hypervisors, whether it's VMware or Hyper-V, there are still some areas that I would like to see continued. So to sum up: Handling with the cloud and the hypervisor.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It's a very stable solution. It's been around for a very long time. Because of all that length of time it's been in use, it has become a very, very stable product.

      IBM does a great job of innovating and keeping the product current with their new roll-outs and new updates to the solution to meet the ever changing needs that customers are facing today in managing and protecting their data.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It's really scalable. Great scalability.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      I personally have never used support, but we work with customers who do. We find that their support, on the average, is very good.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We look for stability when first considering solutions. IBM, overall, brings the greatest set of solutions that can tackle a customer's storage needs. This is not just from a data protection perspective, but through the whole lifecycle of managing their data. IBM has a full spectrum of solutions they can bring for customers' needs.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would definitely do the research. Part of that research should include the IBM Spectrum Protect solution.

      One of the benefits they should always look at is the total cost of ownership of any solution. I think that's where Spectrum Protect really shines. You need to look past just the software costs.

      There are also going to be hardware costs, training costs, and services involved with it. You'll find that with Spectrum Protect, the total cost of ownership of implementing and maintaining the solution is going to be less than other vendors.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user672336
      Director of Systems and Database Administration at Austin Community College
      Vendor
      It protects my company's data

      Pros and Cons

      • "We cannot live without it, since it gives us the confidence to move forward."
      • "It protects our data. That is what it is there for."
      • "Regarding stability, it's been rock solid."

        What is our primary use case?

        I use it for the disaster recovery backup archive. It is performing very well.

        Spectrum Protect is running under AIX on a Power system. We have a SAN volume controller in front of two generation three XIVs and two IBM tape libraries (all Fibre Channel attached). We have two sites. 

        How has it helped my organization?

        It protects our data. That is what it is there for.

        We cannot live without it, since it gives us the confidence to move forward knowing our data is safe.

        What is most valuable?

        The most valuable features are reliability, capacity, and performance.

        What needs improvement?

        I'm sure there are some areas of improvement, because no product is perfect- but I can't think of any right now.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        More than five years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        Regarding stability, it's been rock solid; very stable. I've never had a problem with it.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        I've never had issues with scalability. It scales very well.

        It has scaled with us over the last 25 years. We are a community college with about 40,000 students and roughly 5000 to 6000 employees. It is growing, though not as much right now. The economy is good, and we grow when the economy is bad. The exact opposite of everybody else!

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Technical support is pretty good. It is doing fine, but you pay for it.

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

        We have been using it for a long time. I don't know what we had before.

        How was the initial setup?

        The setup was straightforward, but it is a complicated product. It was a lot more complex to set up so long ago. There were just a lot of moving parts with a lot of pieces to it.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        For vendors, I want good technical support, but I also want honest sales people. I want somebody who is going to tell me the straight truth, and whether or not it's a product that I should buy. I don't want it similar to selling me a car or something. I want somebody who will be honest with me.

        I would also like a product that scales and is reliable. It should be able to handle the amount of data that we backup every night. I go back to being reliable.

        What other advice do I have?

        I would highly recommend it to anybody that would like to buy something like this.

        If it fits them, I would say "Get it." It is not the right product for everybody. No product is for everybody. However, this is a very good product. If they have a need, like I did, then it is the right solution.

        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_user671427
        SAN Administrator at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
        Vendor
        Gives us the ability to migrate storage sub-systems.

        What is most valuable?

        The ability to seamlessly migrate storage sub-systems underneath IBM Spectrum Virtualize.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Being able to migrate off and release storage without impacting the client at all.

        What needs improvement?

        The ability to migrate seamlessly between clusters, such as between Spectrum Virtualize clusters.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It is very good, very stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability needs some work in some areas. The number of volumes needs to be increased drastically. That's number one.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Technical support on the product is very good.

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

        We were…

        What is most valuable?

        The ability to seamlessly migrate storage sub-systems underneath IBM Spectrum Virtualize.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Being able to migrate off and release storage without impacting the client at all.

        What needs improvement?

        The ability to migrate seamlessly between clusters, such as between Spectrum Virtualize clusters.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It is very good, very stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability needs some work in some areas. The number of volumes needs to be increased drastically. That's number one.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Technical support on the product is very good.

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

        We were using Direct Attached DS8000 before and we switched for scalability.

        How was the initial setup?

        The setup was pretty straightforward.

        What other advice do I have?

        Don't go with EMC. Go with IBM. Go with this product. Absolutely. It's a very good product compared to the competitors.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user671421
        Analyst IT at Bayer
        Consultant
        We can do inline deduplication and compression. I would like to be able to automate modifications if the primary site goes down.

        What is most valuable?

        For me, the fact that we can do inline deduplication and compression with Spectrum Protect itself, where before we had to use other products.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It simplifies our backup environment to one product. Cost is also much, much cheaper because you not only save space, because you're deduplicating and then compressing on the storage end. You are also saving on the licensing, because the license is after deduplication and compression.

        What needs improvement?

        Right now, we are in it for container pools and such. The ability to have an active-active, where you no longer have to go in and do modifications if your primary site goes down and your offsite needs to do the primary backups.

        It takes a lot of manual work to go in and update all the records and run a bunch of scripts. I would like to see that becoming more automated and with more intelligence in Spectrum, so it can then detect what is down.

        When my client comes to you to back it up, he not only comes to you for restores, but it should be able to do a backup without having to modify the state of the node registration.

        There are features that it came out with, such as the directory container pools, which brought it back up to where other products we were using are currently at. Namely we were using EMC Avamar in our remote sites, because they were much more RAM friendly. Now, in the past year and a half with the directory container pools, version 7.1.3, brought TSM up to that level. I'd like to see that performance increased.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        I can't comment on stability. We are only now doing testing. It was stable, but now we're rolling it out into production. We are just starting to get our feet wet in production sites.

        We have it in two to three sites right now, and we're deploying it in about 10 to 15 sites. We should actually be up to almost 30 sites by the end of this year.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        We haven't had any need for support. We've been working directly with our technical sales rep for any problems.

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

        The first criterion is the product. Second, customer service is one of the top of benefits to have, especially the technical support. They need to have knowledgeable people to talk to without having to always keep restating what your problem is. It gets kind of tedious and boring. Having that more streamlined and having more access to developers and the higher-level support when needed is my top requirement.

        How was the initial setup?

        The initial setup was straightforward. Just follow the blueprints. They are very well written and that works pretty well.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        We evaluated EMC Avamar, which we were using. We were using TSM (previously TSM, now Spectrum) in our data center, but not in our remote sites. We actually moved away from them five years ago, because Avamar was better. We evaluated Veeam, CommVault, NetBackup, and others.

        What other advice do I have?

        Do your research. Don't just look at one product. We evaluated three or four different products.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user671415
        Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
        Consultant
        Disaster recovery is the biggest benefit.

        What is most valuable?

        Performs backups on multiple platforms Reliability Speed

        How has it helped my organization?

        For our company, disaster recovery is, of course, the biggest benefit.

        What needs improvement?

        I would like to see more GUI. The command line is fine, but if I had more GUI, that would be good. Also, I would like to see better reporting.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        I've been working with it for the last three years, and I recall maybe once or twice when we had issues. So it is very stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        For the company where I provide support, they are kind of "hold-back". But we could do more with it. They are just not giving us all that we need.

        How are customer service and technical

        What is most valuable?

        • Performs backups on multiple platforms
        • Reliability
        • Speed

        How has it helped my organization?

        For our company, disaster recovery is, of course, the biggest benefit.

        What needs improvement?

        I would like to see more GUI. The command line is fine, but if I had more GUI, that would be good. Also, I would like to see better reporting.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        I've been working with it for the last three years, and I recall maybe once or twice when we had issues. So it is very stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        For the company where I provide support, they are kind of "hold-back". But we could do more with it. They are just not giving us all that we need.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        The technical support is very good.

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

        I wasn't involved in a previous solution at all.

        How was the initial setup?

        I wasn't involved in the setup.

        What other advice do I have?

        Use it.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user672351
        Storage Engineer at a wellness & fitness company with 10,001+ employees
        Vendor
        It allows the DBAs manage their own backups.

        Pros and Cons

        • "It has to ability to backup DV2, Oracle, and Informix."
        • "It doesn't integrate with storage pools, with a normal pool. I'd like to see that."

        How has it helped my organization?

        It allows us to backup and have the DBAs manage their own backups and our retention period. It reduces the work on our part while we get the backups completed.

        What is most valuable?

        It has to ability to backup DV2, Oracle, and Informix.

        What needs improvement?

        I'd like to see some benefits to help manage it. With a big installation, we don't have the performance characteristics that we maybe should have. We've come up with a cookie cutter approach, where you would just spit out the same thing time after time.

        I would like to see something that maybe a beginner, or intermediate professional could do, in order to give me a set of tools to answer questions and spit out what I should have.

        It doesn't integrate with storage pools, with a normal pool. I'd like to see that.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's very stable. We've been having problems with keeping enough storage on the floor, but as far as the product goes, it's really no problem.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability is fine, as long as you bring up the right server. We have some Linux servers that don't scale as well. Our AIX servers work much, much better. We're backing up about a petabyte a night.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Technical support is good, for the most part. It's rather difficult to get through to all the representatives before you hit Level-1 or Level-2. But they are very responsive nowadays, unlike in past years.

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

        We were using TSM for about 30 years. We switched over to NetBackup for a while. We then switched back to TSM, primarily because NetBackup didn't support Linux on Z.

        How was the initial setup?

        The installation is better. It's basically a push button thing. You set it up, start a script, and start answering questions. The graphical interface is a lot better than setting it up manually, because it will do everything for you. Now it does an automatic check to make sure that you have enough space and your authorization is there before actually doing the install. In this way, you don't get through an install, or partway through an install, and then fail.

        What other advice do I have?

        Do your homework. See what you have on the floor, what your road map says you're going to do for databases, systems, and platforms. Get IBM to do some evaluations for you and come up with a better product, whether it ends up being IBM or something else.

        When selecting a vendor, we look for stability of the product and support mostly. Nothing's perfect. They're always coming out with new things. Their container storage pools are better. It's basically a setup and forget it.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user672378
        Senior Storage Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
        Consultant
        One of the most valuable features is the incremental approach.

        What is most valuable?

        Incremental forever philosophy.

        How has it helped my organization?

        The benefits are that it's an efficient, scalable, and reliable product that provides what it is supposed to provide.

        What needs improvement?

        I would like to see better cloud integration. The big thing is the ability to better integrate with the cloud.

        The current cloud integration is good and improving. The conference provided insight to some interesting and useful cloud directions that I was not aware of when we spoke. But in response to your question, I would like to see more (is better - right?) functionality. One notion is to provide self describing backup data which can be picked up by a second Spectrum Protect server in an ad-hoc manner. This could provide a simple means of DR recovery without requiring a DB Restore or existing replication configuration.

        Another, similar notion would be an ability to create cloud based backup sets or client images which could be retrieved directly to a client without a Spectrum Protect server. There would be some serious security considerations for both of these ideas and their use case may be too small to realistically consider. I would like to say that I did meet some sharp folks who work in Spectrum Protect Development and they do like to think outside the box and they seriously consider input from their user community.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        Stability is very good.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability is excellent.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        I've used tech support. Tech support is usually pretty good. Sometimes it takes a while to get past the first level, but once you do, know that they're just doing their job. They are very knowledgeable people who will do everything they can to reach out to you and make sure that they resolve the problem.

        What other advice do I have?

        Understand how the incremental approach can be better than other solutions. It's a very good solution. It has some improvement to go, but compared to anything else out there, it's the top of the pack.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user671436
        Systems Engineer II at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
        Vendor
        I would like to see it simplified. It does not have instant recovery or object level recovery.

        Pros and Cons

        • "It covers all the different operating systems. If you need backup, it can pretty much do everything."
        • "For the database side, it does not have object level recovery."

        How has it helped my organization?

        I guess it keeps everything under one umbrella. So there are fewer products to deal with.

        What is most valuable?

        It covers all the different operating systems. If you need backup, it can pretty much do everything.

        What needs improvement?

        I would like to see it simplified. Depending on what client you're talking about, there are lots of different features. There's instant recovery that it doesn't have. For the database side, it does not have object level recovery. There are just a slew of things that are lacking feature-wise. But the biggest problem is the complexity.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        The stability is lacking. From the client side, which is my focus, it's very complicated.

        It doesn't have the features that a lot of other products have. It seems like they're always three to five years behind what other companies are doing.

        It's very hard to use. It's not user-friendly. It's not designed with the administrator in mind.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        I think from the server side, it scales very well. The client side is much more difficult to deal with. It's a lot of hands-on work with the client.

        How is customer service and technical support?

        I have used tech support, and I would rather chew off my left arm than have to deal with tech support.

        How was the initial setup?

        I was involved in the installation and it was complex in every aspect.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        We are actually looking for different solutions right now.

        What other advice do I have?

        I would do a lot of research on all the vendors before I made a decision. It's expensive, it's hard to use, and takes a long time.

        The most important criteria when looking for a product is simplicity. We have a set of criteria for every client in terms of what it has to do. Being the backup window, the recovery is the most important thing. So make sure it can do the recovery the way you want it done, i.e., fast.


        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user671442
        Storage and Backup Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
        Consultant
        The most valuable features are the diversity and flexibility of the application.

        What is most valuable?

        The diversity and flexibility of the application. No matter what the problem is, I can solve the problem any number of ways based on the customers’ requirements.

        How has it helped my organization?

        It scales.

        What needs improvement?

        In terms of room for improvement, I would like to see better interfaces.

        I'm not allowed to talk about features I want to see in the future. I have an NDA with them. The things that I've asked for are already on record.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It's one of the most stable backup applications I've ever used.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        They continue to make enhancements that allow it to scale even larger and higher. They also added additional capabilities to the software that allow it to grow within the industry.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        We have used technical support and they are excellent.

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

        We used NetWorker.

        How was the initial setup?

        I was involved in the installation. I've set it up hundreds of times. It is a complex setup. You have to do your planning for your environment. Once you have the plan, the setup is easy. But the planning is the hardest piece.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        We looked at NetBackup, Backup Exec, and there were a couple of other ones that we looked at.

        What other advice do I have?

        My advice is to hire me and I’ll install it for you. We knew it was time to invest in a new solution because backups are crucial for our environment.

        When looking for a vendor, we look for service, scalability, and stability.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user671424
        Senior Technical Engineer at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        You can protect your data and keep it for long durations.

        Pros and Cons

        • "You can protect your data and keep it for long durations, without it spending too much time on the local disk."
        • "We should be talking about the capacity of the tape drives. That's the only problem."

        How has it helped my organization?

        The main benefit is the protection.

        What is most valuable?

        You can protect your data and keep it for long durations, without it spending too much time on the local disk. You can send the data to an outside location. I think the main feature is that you can protect your data from disasters.

        What needs improvement?

        We should be talking about the capacity of the tape drives. That's the only problem. We have a system that is in petabytes. We have five frames of the tape drives and we have more than 2,000 slots. If we could compress that space in the data center, that would be good.

        I was looking for what is already in the market. Everyone is getting a cloud. The product has already given us some solutions which we can use in the cloud. I think that's fine for the moment.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        I think we are running the product on AIX at the moment. I think that is the most stable platform for any product.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        In terms of scalability, we have been using it for the last five years and the scalability is very good. I like that.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        In terms of technical support, we had some troubles when we reached out to them, especially with IBM Europe. For the last two years, we had some issues when we were trying to reach out to IBM, even in the US. This is especially the case when the call is for Level 1 technical support.

        We have been working for eight years with the product. I open a call when I have exhausted Google knowledge and my personal knowledge.

        The call goes to IBM and they just ask me some silly questions. That's where you have the problem. You lose maybe two or three days just to get the right person.

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

        I have been using this product since I joined my company.

        How was the initial setup?

        I was involved in the setup. It was straightforward.

        What other advice do I have?

        They should go for it. The most important thing I look for when selecting a vendor is after sales support.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        MG
        Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
        Consultant
        Provides system backup and restore.

        What is most valuable?

        I found the restore operations feature the most valuable.

        What needs improvement?

        • A legacy backup (daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly) would be good, this means a backup plan (native in TSM Server) that would include the following points:

        One incremental daily backup with a retention of 15 days, one full weekly backup (Sunday?) with a 5 week retention, one monthly backup (the last day of each month?) with a 13-month retention), one annual backup with a 10 year retention (every January 1st? or last day of each year?).

        This backup plan would be integrated into TSM Server, and it would then suffice to associate the nodes with the start times.

        • A Hardware Security Module (HSM) --

        Have multiple predefined queries for HSM activity, such as migrate, recall, pre-migrate activity, and performances of these activities.


        For how long have I used the solution?

        In its various forms, I have used it for over twenty years.

        What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

        I did not encounter any deployment issues.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        I did not encounter any stability issues.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        I did not encounter any scalability issues.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Customer Service:

        I would give local customer service a rating of 4/10.

        I would give central customer service a rating of 9/10.

        Technical Support:

        I would give local technical support a rating of 4/10.

        I would give central technical support a rating of 9/10.

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

        We used NetBackup and eVault because of the stability, the possible evolutions, and the available capacities.

        How was the initial setup?

        Setup has always been straightforward. We always start with a simple and solid installation. We then extend the functions when the base is very stable and meets our expectations.

        What about the implementation team?

        Implementation was always performed by an internal team. The team has knowledge of configuration and local operation and is not dependent on external entities.

        What was our ROI?

        We think we are seeing an ROI after 24 months.

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

        The product has always been too expensive and not very easy to negotiate.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        We previously evaluated NetBackup , eVault, and ArcServe.

        What other advice do I have?

        Follow all the documentation and do the simple things initially. Do not define complex processes. During periods of crisis, it will be necessary to be simple and fast.

        Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Supplier of equipment and maintenance.
        AG
        Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
        Consultant
        It provides incremental-forever backup and disaster recovery management features.

        What is most valuable?

        • Incremental-forever backup: one-time full backup; then, incremental forever.
        • Data replication: removes the need for tape off-siting by replicating data from one management server to another (off-site). No need for storage replication as the replication is application-based.
        • Deduplication
        • Disaster recovery management: can provide assistance in managing DR media (tapes); also provides a DR plan based on current configuration.
        • Macros: can automate actions using scripts, native or via OS. Spectrum Protect can be configured/managed via the command line.
        • Library management: works very well with tape libraries.
        • Tape management: Tape management is excellent as well. It can create multiple copies in a single process (e.g., one primary tape, one copy tape at local site, one copy for vaulting). It can also recover damaged tapes.

        How has it helped my organization?

        • Less backup/archive media
        • RPO/RTO

        What needs improvement?

        The GUI needs improvement; it is not the best in the market.

        The default GUI, Operations Center, does not provide much information to a
        Spectrum Protect Administrator.

        Such as:

        • Volume (tape) errors
        • Volume content
        • DR Media Status
        • Volume operations - check-in, checkout, label

        To name a few.

        But all this information can be attained using SP's command line interface, query or select statements.

        And hey, I didn't acquire this product to watch it all day. Configured properly, it can remove backup/archive operations from the admin's daily tasks. Not a big deal for me.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        I have used it for 16 years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        I have not encountered any stability issues.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        I have not encountered any scalability issues.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Technical support is excellent.

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

        I previously used CA Arcserve and Veritas NetBackup.

        How was the initial setup?

        It was easy to set up.

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

        Compare between capacity and PVUs.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        Before choosing this product, I evaluated CA Arcserve, Veritas NetBackup, and HP Data Protector.

        What other advice do I have?

        Forget about traditional backup strategies; focus on recovery.

        Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company has been an IBM business partner for 14 years.
        Lorenzo Pavan
        System Engineer with 10,001+ employees
        Real User
        The best Backup/Restore and Disaster Recovery software.

        What is most valuable?

        Disaster Recovery module Incremental backup Flahcopy manager VTL support IBM Spectrum Protect Operation Center Deduplication Node replication

        How has it helped my organization?

        Using LTO6 technology you can store up to 10TB of compressed data. Very good performance with Virtual Tape Library technology

        What needs improvement?

        Reporting via Operation Center.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        5 years.

        What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

        No problems.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        No problems.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No problems.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Customer Service: Excellent. Technical Support: Very good.

        Which solution did I use

        What is most valuable?

        1. Disaster Recovery module
        2. Incremental backup
        3. Flahcopy manager
        4. VTL support
        5. IBM Spectrum Protect Operation Center
        6. Deduplication
        7. Node replication

        How has it helped my organization?

        Using LTO6 technology you can store up to 10TB of compressed data.

        Very good performance with Virtual Tape Library technology

        What needs improvement?

        Reporting via Operation Center.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        5 years.

        What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

        No problems.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        No problems.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No problems.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Customer Service:

        Excellent.

        Technical Support:

        Very good.

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

        No.

        How was the initial setup?

        A little bit complex.

        What about the implementation team?

        Through a vendor team and the level was not very high.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        No.

        What other advice do I have?

        Go ahead because this solution is very good.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        ITCS user
        CTO with 51-200 employees
        Vendor
        ​Product offers extreme flexibility and scalability. Deployment issues are often caused by a lack of resources.

        What is most valuable?

        Incremental Forever backups, Enterprise management, Journal Based backups, policy based, copy storage pools, deduplication and node replication. Also the extreme flexibility and scalability the product offers – most of it done without interrupting production at all. The smallest entry level sized installation can easily grow to large enterprise usages and be migrated across platforms.The product is very client-oriented which supports a lot of different platforms and products, and only have to be upgraded approx. every five years to maintain support.

        How has it helped my organization?

        The incremental forever, TSM for Virtual Environments, deduplication and node replication, has opened up further advantages and solutions for users and customers.

        What needs improvement?

        There is always room for improvement. In the fast paced time we live in, unfortunately many products are released before they are complete and mature in every corner.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        10 years.

        What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

        Deployment is easy and simple when few rules are followed and respected. If there is difficulties, it is often caused by lack of resources like short of requirements, willingness or insight.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        No, not really - as long as it is designed properly. TSM is very stable and is based on the DB2 database.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        When there’s too many clients connecting at the same time, or the platform does not meet requirements.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Customer Service:

        It is easy to get support from IBM through phone or web-based support portal.

        Technical Support:

        The technical support is great, and they know the product very well.

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

        No, I did not. I have worked other places with other systems. They were all procedure oriented and still are, even though they might have improved since.

        How was the initial setup?

        If you want a high performing flexible solution, you need some skills with the product. Name standards, design of database, policies and storage needs some decision making.

        What about the implementation team?

        I guess I don’t qualify for this; we are consultants ourself and are experts. :)

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        No, none.

        What other advice do I have?

        Consult experts, listen and follow their advices and meet the requirements.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user170520
        Sr. Systems Engineer at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
        Vendor
        Very reliable. If you have SAN on the back end housing TSM’s storage pools, you can achieve blazing fast restore times.

        What is most valuable?

        Client scheduling, deduplication, parallel processing of restores, disaster recovery manager.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Very reliable backup and recovery system. If you have SAN on the back-end housing TSM’s storage pools, you can achieve blazing fast restore times.

        What needs improvement?

        DB2 at the back-end database has some bugs in version 6; however, I have not yet worked with version 7 of TSM, so perhaps IBM has improved this, but don’t know for sure.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        Since 2005.

        What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

        Yes, with deduplication turned on, you need to be careful about how you scale server ratio to clients. Dedup takes more DB space and processing time. We overloaded our first v. 6 server when we moved from 5.3 and this was a major headache.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        For some reason on 6.2, when DB2 does a reorg, dsmserv will hang. Have not been able to troubleshoot deep enough due to lack of time.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No. You just need to have the servers and backend SAN storage with which to scale. $$$

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Customer Service:

        IBM has been pretty good so far and you get people who know the product with great expertise.

        Technical Support:

        5/5.

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

        No, I have used TSM since I started managing backup/recovery.

        How was the initial setup?

        I would say its fairly complex and would be best done with a consultant. It is a product designed to scale to immense proportions and takes a team to put it together right.

        What about the implementation team?

        Implemented through a vendor team. The consultant we had was an expert.

        What was our ROI?

        Not sure. But it has saved us from data loss many times.

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

        Not sure.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        No.

        What other advice do I have?

        Definitely recommend it.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user171978
        Consulting Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
        Consultant
        Easy to use once trained but I'd recommend an expert to install and configure.

        What is most valuable?

        The valuable features for me are Disaster Recovery Manager, Replication and and File Device Class for ease of recovery.

        How has it helped my organization?

        I’m a consultant. I provide installation and technical support and help to customers. TSM provides ease of use for customers to recover from any type of data disaster.

        What needs improvement?

        Once the product is installed and configured correctly, it’s easy to use. But for the average user, the product is extremely difficult when compared to other products.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        15+ years

        What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

        I’ve been doing this for 15 years. Deployment and installation for me is fairly easy.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        Unless run on Windows or an undersized machine, the product is fairly stable.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        This scales quite large.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Customer Service:

        Depends on the type of support the customer purchases. But overall IBM’s first line of support is pretty bad. Not very knowledgeable and take forever to return a call and ask for the same information over and over.

        Technical Support:

        Poor at the first level.

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

        No other products used.

        How was the initial setup?

        The set up is complex unless you know the product.

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

        It usually takes a week of consulting to implement. That can cost 10-15k plus the cost of the product.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        No other options have been considered.

        What other advice do I have?

        Hire an expert to install and configure it and get some training to make it run.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user166608
        Lead Specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
        Consultant
        Very strong product but lacks reporting and efficient alert mechanism.

        Valuable Features

        The archiving functionality of data.

        Improvements to My Organization

        With this product we are able to save a lot on costs and on expensive storage.

        Room for Improvement

        Reporting, alerts when things go wrong.

        Use of Solution

        More than 8 years.

        Deployment Issues

        Integration issues which were resolved immediately.

        Stability Issues

        So far we have not encountered any issues (knock on wood).

        Scalability Issues

        No issues with scalability.

        Customer Service and Technical Support

        Customer Service: We are satisfied with IBM support. Technical Support: We are satisfied with IBM support.

        Initial Setup

        Yes, straightforward.

        Implementation Team

        Vendor team and they were very skilled.

        Valuable Features

        The archiving functionality of data.

        Improvements to My Organization

        With this product we are able to save a lot on costs and on expensive storage.

        Room for Improvement

        Reporting, alerts when things go wrong.

        Use of Solution

        More than 8 years.

        Deployment Issues

        Integration issues which were resolved immediately.

        Stability Issues

        So far we have not encountered any issues (knock on wood).

        Scalability Issues

        No issues with scalability.

        Customer Service and Technical Support

        Customer Service:

        We are satisfied with IBM support.

        Technical Support:

        We are satisfied with IBM support.

        Initial Setup

        Yes, straightforward.

        Implementation Team

        Vendor team and they were very skilled.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user165318
        Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
        Consultant
        ​GUI could be improved. ​This product is only for educated administrators.

        What needs improvement?

        GUI could be improved.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        I'm not an end user but I've been implementing it for 6 years.

        What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

        No issues with deployment.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        No.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No issues with scalability.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Customer Service: Poor. Technical Support: From my perspective, IBM gives almost no support.

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

        I know Networker, Avamar, BackupExec but I like mostly TSM.

        How was the initial setup?

        Complex but that's good for me because then I have more work!

        What about the implementation team?

        I am…

        What needs improvement?

        GUI could be improved.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        I'm not an end user but I've been implementing it for 6 years.

        What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

        No issues with deployment.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        No.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No issues with scalability.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Customer Service:

        Poor.

        Technical Support:

        From my perspective, IBM gives almost no support.

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

        I know Networker, Avamar, BackupExec but I like mostly TSM.

        How was the initial setup?

        Complex but that's good for me because then I have more work!

        What about the implementation team?

        I am implementer.

        What other advice do I have?

        This product is only for good, educated administrators.

        Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are business partners.
        ITCS user
        Sr Systems and Storage Consultant at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
        Vendor
        Tape management could be improved but Increaseed RPO, and reduced RTO.

        What is most valuable?

        Disaster Recovery Manager, TDP Backup Vmware, TDP Oracle, TDP Exchange. Flash Copy Manager.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Easy, relieable, Scalable Backup Solutions to save data and recovery.

        What needs improvement?

        Tape management.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        9 years.

        What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

        No issues.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        No issues.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No issues.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Customer Service: 10/10. Technical Support: 10/10.

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

        No.

        What about the implementation team?

        Vendor team.

        What was our ROI?

        Increase RPO, and…

        What is most valuable?

        Disaster Recovery Manager, TDP Backup Vmware, TDP Oracle, TDP Exchange. Flash Copy Manager.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Easy, relieable, Scalable Backup Solutions to save data and recovery.

        What needs improvement?

        Tape management.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        9 years.

        What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

        No issues.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        No issues.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No issues.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Customer Service:

        10/10.

        Technical Support:

        10/10.

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

        No.

        What about the implementation team?

        Vendor team.

        What was our ROI?

        Increase RPO, and reduce RTO.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        Symantec Backup Exec.

        Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an IBM Premier Partner.
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