Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with IBM Spectrum Protect Plus.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
I don't think the solution is particularly user friendly, it requires expertise. Technical support could also be improved. Now that they're in the cloud I think they'll start enhancing with their backups. They weren't very good in the virtual world but they seem to be making more of an effort in the latest version and trying to align themselves with other backup solutions. IBM's an expensive solution so if you're enterprise you'll go with them, especially if you have other IBM products in the workplace.
One of the places where the product can improve is in the interface. It is a little cumbersome to interact with and not very user-friendly. If the interface could be more simple it would make using the product better. The only other improvement I can think of — and again this has something to do with the GUI interface — is to include other features for configuration and scheduling tasks to make using the product more simple.
The user experience is very bad and the interface needs to be improved. It is not user-friendly. This is not my complaint, alone, but everybody I know who has worked with this solution. In order to perform a backup, professionally, you need to use the command-line interface. By comparison, Veritas has a backup solution with a very nice user interface that is easy to use. This solution is difficult to troubleshoot when an error occurs. It gives you an error number that you can search for in the manual, or on the internet, to find an answer, but details are not given within the user interface. Again, it is just not user-friendly.
The virtual tape library needs to be improved. We have trouble with the administration of this solution. We need to update the volumes in the tape, but it first has to be transferred from tape to disk. The administration needs to be improved and made simpler to use. The time required for backup should be optimized. The verification process needs to be performed daily, so this should be more automated. The volume of the database grows every day. In the next release of this solution, I would like support for replication between the primary and secondary data centers. The duplicate backup date should be automatically eliminated.
The administration is not user-friendly and needs to be improved. It is more suited to a technical person. Instead of using the command prompt for troubleshooting and administering the backup, there should be an easy-to-use graphical user interface. The reporting should be improved. This solution would benefit from reports that included more aggregated data from the databases. We had an incident where we were unable to recover our data, and it was very bad. The solution was already implemented, but for technical reasons and a misunderstanding, we were not able to recover our data. This detracts from their credibility.
The only thing that I would like to see improved is the actual schedule that you get on the policies. It does not allow for being flexible, like for weekly, just day one to five, and leave day six and seven. Especially if we're running multiple policies, like if we want to do a basic weekly incremental and then later do a monthly. In the next release, I want to see updates on the scheduling so that we can have more options on how you schedule stuff, like allowing you to use your everyday requirement.
It's difficult to discuss improvements in Spectrum Protect Plus itself because it has been implemented in Spectrum Protect, and I'm using both. It could possibly use more reporting features. Their first level of support can be improved. Often they are too junior to understand the issues we are having, and it takes too much time to get from them to the next level of support, which is what we actually need.
The new functionality with the retention policy, where you can push it down from H2 Plus down to the Normal Spectrum Protect needs improvement. There is an individual file-level restore. I would like integration into where the VMware guys can do their own restores.
The backup support for IBM Power Virtualization needs to be added. This would be a pretty good plus for this solution because no product at this moment, as I know, offers this feature.
An area that needs improvement is data validation. We currently use another product that gives us immediate validation, information about when the last backup was, and no risk of corruption happening. TSM in IBM Spectrum is not mature so that you can validate on the spot.