IBM Spectrum Protect OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Spectrum Protect is the #11 ranked solution in best Backup and Recovery Software. PeerSpot users give IBM Spectrum Protect an average rating of 7.8 out of 10. IBM Spectrum Protect is most commonly compared to IBM Spectrum Protect Plus: IBM Spectrum Protect vs IBM Spectrum Protect Plus. IBM Spectrum Protect is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 63% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 20% of all views.
IBM Spectrum Protect Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM Spectrum Protect Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2023

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 was previously known as IBM TSM, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager.

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

IBM Spectrum Protect Pricing Advice

What users are saying about IBM Spectrum Protect pricing:
  • "IBM Spectrum Protect, cost-wise, has way higher pricing than Veeam. By switching over to Veeam, my company saved over $600,000 in USD. The IBM Spectrum Protect pricing is a two on a scale of one to ten. My company paid additional fees for maintenance, apart from the standard licensing fees."
  • "That's no longer my department, but I have some past experience with licensing. It is not cheap. I would rate it a three out of five in terms of licensing. In terms of additional costs, there is management overhead. It is a complex solution and a lot of work goes into managing clients. It has gotten better over the years, but compared to its competitor, it is still heavy on management overhead."
  • "I don't have an idea about the pricing. They send that over to someone else, but I know that one of the issues they had was the licensing costs. I don't think they were happy with how they were charged."
  • "Customers need to pay for licensing in order to use IBM Spectrum Protect. The customers that have been using it for a long time are okay and happy with it. From a cost point of view, it's better for them to renew their licenses than to go through the difficult process of changing a backup product in their environment, and migrate from one product to another."
  • IBM Spectrum Protect Reviews

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    Engineer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Provides us with the scalability and growth that we need
    Pros and Cons
    • "It's very robust and has been on the market for a long time."
    • "The reporting could be better."

    What is our primary use case?

    We're working with different versions of this solution. We have different versions deployed for multiple clients. The latest version is 8.1.11. We have a mixture of legacy environments and new environments.

    Our client's use cases are mainly to protect heterogeneous workloads, virtualized workloads, physical workloads, databases, SAP solutions, and ERP solutions. It's great for large, heterogeneous environments. Spectrum Protect has a lot of different agents and components that allow you to completely backup your entire environment.

    I am a technical team leader for this solution. I have an implementation team who work side by side with me. From the customer-side, there is a team of roughly six people working with it. There are administrators, backup operators, and technical managers that work with us and this solution. In total, the organization has roughly 6,000 employees. It's a large organization by Colombian standards. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    IBM Spectrum Protect provides us with the scalability and growth that we need. It is suitable for very large environments. It's very robust and has been on the market for a long time.

    Here's an example of how this solution has improved our client's organization: There is a customer in the banking sector here in Colombia — the private banking sector. They had two terabytes of information backed up daily, in incremental backups from a different number of file servers. Those file servers were being backed up daily. At the end of the month, the customer backed up the data completely. In short, they made a full backup of all the data  on a monthly basis. It was roughly 20 terabytes of data. To cope with this situation we implemented retention sets. Thanks to these retention sets, the customer doesn't need to back up that 20 terabytes of information monthly. They can just resort to the incremental backups that they made before, daily, to have a snapshot and an accurate picture of the end of the month. They only have to do another incremental backup for the last day of the month, and that's it; they have a complete, very robust picture for the monthly data. 

    This has reduced our customers' backup time by a considerable amount. They have also reduced the amount of storage space needed as they are not repeating backups every month. The data is 90% the same, month to month, which has optimized both speed and storage capacity.

    What is most valuable?

    One of the more recent features that we value the most, being an influencer myself, there is feature we call retention sets. These retention sets are snapshots of previously backed-up data. This data no longer needs to be backed up again so there's no need to re-back up that information, to reinject that data. It allows us to offer, improve, and optimize the use of storage resources for our customers. We implemented this solution for a number of clients here in Colombia and throughout Latin America.

    Also, Spectrum Protect has what is one of the greatest ecosystems of experts, users, forums and in general learning resources in the data protection realm.

    What needs improvement?

    The reporting could be better. There's not a complete solution for reporting; however, there is a solution that allows you to write SQL queries. This way, you can explore the databases with metadata and get the reports that you want. Still, that's not an out-of-the-box solution, it's just a tool that allows you to write queries as you need. There is a steep learning curve for that.

    I would also love to see more agents and solutions devoted to backing up other workloads, especially in regard to non-traditional databases.

    The licensing can be a pain to manage. There is a tool that can provide you with automated reports regarding how much licensing you're using, but sometimes it's not accurate. You need to contact an IBM representative in order to get the correct information. 

    Traditionally, there has been a Spectrum Protect for Virtual Environments module that allows you to protect virtualized environments; however, it's not easy to use. It's very complex. In this case, my advice is to leverage Spectrum Protect Plus, which is the newest addition to the portfolio to back up both virtualized and modern workloads and works very well.


    Buyer's Guide
    IBM Spectrum Protect
    January 2023
    Learn what your peers think about IBM Spectrum Protect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2023.
    670,080 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been working with Spectrum Protect for the last 10 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I think that it's the most scalable solution in the market. That's the reason why the largest enterprises in Colombia use it. Speaking as an expert on these types of solutions, there is no other solution that can support the size of workloads, components, and servers required for very large environments. I don't think it's just a matter of scalability, but also performance, too.

    How are customer service and support?

    IBM technical support has been pretty good so far. We were given a technical point of contact for every inquiry that we had during the implementation process. My team has a lot of expertise now, but every now and again, we require some support from IBM. Their support has helped us get this solution working precisely as we need. Overall, regarding IBM Spectrum Protect, IBM support has been great. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup might be complex. There are a lot of different nuances that need to be taken into account; however, with the help from an experienced team, the product can be deployed seamlessly.

    Years ago, it took us roughly three to four months to implement this solution — mainly due to the amount of maintenance and the number of components that also need to be deployed. Security concerns also need to be addressed and resolved from the client-side. All of this made it quite difficult.  Now that we leverage IBM Spectrum Protect blueprints that are available publicly, to reduce implementation time down to a couple of weeks, sometimes even a couple of days. This has allowed us to stay competitive in what is a very competitive market.

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

    Spectrum Protect Plus, a complementary solution to Spectrum Protect, comes bundles in some licensing schemes together with Spectrum Protect. This has allowed us to reach all sorts of customers. It allows our clients to get a hold of virtualization technology, including backup and recovery, and instant restore. These are features are needed in today's rapidly changing environments.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    When Spectrum Protect is not suitable for a customer's environment, we always recommend backup replication solutions. Backup replication solutions are much easier to manage as they don't require a steep learning curve. Backup replication solutions are a great fit for small to medium-sized businesses, but for large corporations, large enterprises, or large companies, my choice is Spectrum Protect.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice to potential users would be to follow the IBM Spectrum Protect blueprints. These documents are very valuable and informative. They'll provide you with a lot of needed advice. They'll also provide you with a forewarning regarding situations that can occur during the implementation process. Sometimes people completely skip over these blueprints and go ahead with the implementation — my take is: don't .

    Make sure to leverage all of the new features that this product offers. For example, many people don't bother using the retention feature; however, this feature is great for reducing storage and also improves the backup speed regarding operations. Don't be intimidated by these features. Contact and experienced team that can help you out to get the most out of the solution.

    Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give his solution a rating of eight — it's a proven solution.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
    PeerSpot user
    Unix and Storage Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    High stability and availability for reliable data backup and retrieval
    Pros and Cons
    • "One way they have improved our organization is through the stability of the solution and the availability of the product."
    • "IBM Spectrum Protect does have a lot of the features that we need, but I think they need to improve their backup virtualization and backup for container."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use cases for IBM Spectrum Protect are for data backup and archive and high performance solutions.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I would not say that IBM Spectrum Protect is a product like any other product. We have selected this product because we want to standardize. One way they have improved our organization is through the stability of the solution and the availability of the product.

    What is most valuable?

    There are a lot of features within these products. One of them is for data backup and protection and the other one, the Spectrum Scale, is for parallel storage as a data storage solution.

    All of these features are very important.

    What needs improvement?

    IBM Spectrum Protect does have a lot of the features that we need, but I think they need to improve their backup virtualization and backup for container. But overall, they meet the requirements and they're okay.

    In terms of what I would like to see in the next release, I think better reporting. Today the reporting lacks some of the features, interface, et cetera. If they increased that reporting and made it user friendly, it will be good.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using IBM Spectrum Protect for over 10 years.

    We have different versions. For the file system, the Spectrum Scale, we are using version 5 and for the Spectrum Protect we are using version 8.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    IBM Spectrum Protect is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    IBM Spectrum Protect is scalable.

    There are about two to three direct users for the backup who are the admins.

    For the Spectrum Scale file system, we have more than 500 users who use the file system with two admins for staff to deploy and maintain. Of course with backend for both from IBM.

    This solution is being used heavily because we are a 24/seven shop, so it's heavily used and we always go and refresh the technology.

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support in the region is average. But overall, when we talk about IBM, when they get the right resource for you, they bring the best resources.

    How was the initial setup?

    We have been with this product for a long time. I know initially it was difficult, but after the team built the experience, things started to be straightforward. So initial setup is complex, but maintenance is average, it is not that complicated.

    It was complex because of the learning curve, for people to know more about the product, how to handle the product and the features. That's where the complexity comes from. But once people get the knowledge of how to handle the solution, it can be very straightforward.

    Because we have done multiple installations, the initial took a couple of months if I recall correctly. The last installation for the backup was done four years ago and I remember it took two weeks to configure and have everything up and ready. For the Spectrum Scale, it took less than two days because we're getting the appliance model that comes as a total solution - hardware and software preconfigured.

    What about the implementation team?

    We deployed it by ourself.

    What was our ROI?

    When it comes to data protection and data retrieval, most of the time, the projects that you protect cost money. So just retrieving and protecting these projects are a key value. It's like the insurance in my opinion.

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

    We have a yearly maintenance license.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We always look at alternatives, but there are certain things you do as a strategy because you want a certain standardization and there are things you do as a temporary setup for a project or two projects. So we have both actually. We have a lot of products and there is always an alternative to them.

    Before choosing IBM Spectrum Protect we evaluated solutions from EMC, from Commvault, and from Veeam. We selected IBM because it meets all our requirements and we have been using it for a long time. Shifting to a new technology comes with the price which includes support, training, development, et cetera. So that's why we continue to use IBM.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice to anyone considering IBM Spectrum Protect is that they need to do a thorough study of the market. They need to look at the company's resources to determine if they have the capacity. If they are new to Spectrum Scale, there is a learning curve that they need to go through, and from my experience, it is more than if you go with Veeam or to Commvault. But if you're already established and you have that and you pass that stage, then it's worth continuing with IBM. But you need to negotiate the license pricing. It takes time to negotiate pricing with IBM.

    The main lesson that I learned from dealing with IBM is that you always need to have alternatives. There is a reason for it. You have to have an exit strategy. Because IBM, once they see you are hooked up to their solution, they will go and unfortunately, they do this, they will try to raise their pricing. So if you are not ready for that with good negotiation skills, you will be paying more.

    On a scale of one to ten, I would give IBM Spectrum Protect an eight.

    The reason for the high score is the availability of the solution. If you have mission critical functions, IBM is one of the companies that you trust. They do not release a product unless it goes through a lot of testing. And when it comes to data protection, you can count on them. If there is a bug, if there is any issue with the product, they always maintain it, which is very important when it comes to critical data backup.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    IBM Spectrum Protect
    January 2023
    Learn what your peers think about IBM Spectrum Protect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2023.
    670,080 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    AIX System Administration at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Flexible with good data versioning and great stability
    Pros and Cons
    • "One of the main things that I like about IBM is the versioning of the data - meaning that we can have multiple versions of a file or directory of a server."
    • "It would be helpful if the solution included some sort of ransomware protection."

    What is our primary use case?

    The solution is primarily used for backup and restore and also for DR, for Data Recovery in case of a disaster. We are using replication from two servers, the Spectrum Servers, so they replicate on each other. We are using it for backing up remote sites also. Basically, all the machines are downloading their backup to the Spectrum Server and from then on we are moving that data to tape units so we can have outside data of the building.

    How has it helped my organization?

    IBM allows for the versioning of the data, allowing us to have multiple versions of a file or directory of a server. 

    What is most valuable?

    One of the main things that I like about IBM is the versioning of the data - meaning that we can have multiple versions of a file or directory of a server. I could have 10 versions of one file and that file I could keep for as long as I want.

    There is the archive for a version of the solution which gave us the opportunity to have, let's say, one full backup every month for a long period of time. Its archiving offers us good flexibility.

    The solution is very stable.

    We've found the scalability to be very good.

    The initial implementation is straightforward for the most part.

    What needs improvement?

    The pricing is a bit high. It would be ideal if it was more affordable.

    Generally, everything is changing so fast within the product, it's hard to pinpoint what needs to be changed or what is missing. The solution is constantly evolving.

    It would be helpful if the solution included some sort of ransomware protection.

    The only thing that I haven't tried yet is using it with VMware. I haven't done any tests on it. Let's say that I want to restore a VM, virtual machine, and I would like to access it in a short period of time. This is something that Veeam, for example, is doing. Veeam will permit you to start a VM and start working with it and restore only what is needed to do a prompt work. If it's possible to have the same functionality on this product, that would be ideal.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution since it was called under a different name. I've used it for about 20 or so years at this point. It's been two decades. It's been a while. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. Its performance is excellent.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability of the solution is very good. A company can expand the solution if it needs to.

    IBM Spectrum is used in the data center and we don't have too many users that would use the backup facilities. Everything is centralized to enter the data center.

    We are not fully using the solution to its full potential at this time. I'm not sure if there are plans to increase usage. We're looking into other options to see if we can get better user-friendly functionality and better pricing.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We've been in touch with technical support. They are very good. We haven't had any issues with them. They are helpful and responsive. Every time I've talked to them, they've solved our problems.

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

    We also currently use Veeam.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation is simple. You just click and follow the instruction. Where the complexity is coming up is when you decide how you want to do your backup and restore. Like any other software you have to decide how you want to do it and understand what's going on behind the scene. 

    The deployment itself, with my experience, doesn't take long due to the fact that I know the product. That said, for someone that does not know the product, I would say, it will take, just to understand how it works about a week.

    We have two or three people on staff that can handle any maintenance required. They are all systems administrators. 

    What about the implementation team?

    In the beginning, we had a consultant as it was a very long time ago and we did not have the knowledge we have now. However, today I would not deal with anybody from IBM. We have the capabilities we need. 

    In general, at the time, we had a good experience working with them.

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

    While it's my understanding that the solution is expensive, I do not directly handle the licensing and therefore cannot speak to how much the company actually pays to use the solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are customers and end-users.

    We have the Enterprise version of IBM Protect. It's not the Plus version.

    My advice is not specifically for IBM Spectrum, but for any product. I would say, sit down and think about it. Think about what you want to do. There are so many options in any software. It's like getting house insurance. What do you want to do, how do you want to insure your data? It's important to understand what you want so you can see if the solutions you are looking at actually have the required capabilities.

    I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten. It's a very good product. It's strong. It's stable. The company's good.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Van Duivenvoorde Winston - PeerSpot reviewer
    Network Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Stable, with a proxy feature for virtual machines, and provides excellent support, but it has a higher licensing cost than its competitors
    Pros and Cons
    • "What I found most valuable in IBM Spectrum Protect is that it allows you to back up physical machines, and its proxy feature lets you back up virtual machines."
    • "Software-wise, IBM Spectrum Protect didn't handle virtual machines that well. The license cost is mainly the area for improvement in IBM Spectrum Protect."

    What is our primary use case?

    My company was using IBM Spectrum Protect to back up the environment. It helped my company implement a backup policy. My company needed different versioning and types of backup, but in the last two years, the license cost for the solution got out of hand.

    What is most valuable?

    What I found most valuable in IBM Spectrum Protect is that it allows you to back up physical machines, and its proxy feature lets you back up virtual machines.

    What needs improvement?

    Software-wise, IBM Spectrum Protect didn't handle virtual machines that well, but I heard that the issue had been resolved on IBM Spectrum Protect Plus, though I didn't get a chance to test that feature.

    The license cost is mainly the area for improvement in IBM Spectrum Protect.

    Another con in the solution is the Microsoft Office 365 backup, which needed to be handled better by IBM Spectrum Protect, and could have some improvements.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    My company switched from IBM Spectrum Protect to Veeam, but I had hands-on experience with IBM Spectrum Protect within the last twelve months.

    My company has been using IBM Spectrum Protect for the last ten years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    IBM Spectrum Protect is a very stable solution, so I'm rating it eight out of ten in terms of stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability-wise, IBM Spectrum Protect is a seven out of ten for me.

    How are customer service and support?

    I'm rating the technical support for IBM Spectrum Protect a nine out of ten.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    We stepped away from IBM Spectrum Protect and have started using Veeam, primarily because of the higher license cost of IBM Spectrum Protect.

    Before using IBM Spectrum Protect, we used Omniback from HP, and we switched to IBM Spectrum Protect because Omniback didn't keep up with the trend, was still working with OTA backup, and didn't support our backup needs, for example, versioning.

    How was the initial setup?

    Regarding the initial setup for IBM Spectrum Protect, it's a four out of ten for me. It's complex.

    Complete deployment of IBM Spectrum Protect took two weeks.

    Initially, the team had some problems with the setup because there was an error in the assessment, and my company ran out of capacity within two months of implementing IBM Spectrum Protect. It was garbage in, garbage out. The evaluation by the administrators was not done correctly, so that IBM couldn't supply an adequate solution.

    What about the implementation team?

    We hired a consultant from IBM to deploy IBM Spectrum Protect ten years ago. The consultant assessed the environment and implemented the solution.

    What was our ROI?

    I don't have the metrics on ROI from IBM Spectrum Protect, but mostly, my company switched over to the product because Omniback was no longer adequate.

    Using IBM Spectrum Protect meant using fewer tapes versus Omniback because IBM Spectrum Protect could handle bigger tape sizes, while Omniback held three or five-millimeter tape sizes. IBM Spectrum Protect required less storage, so it was mostly good enough to support my company's new backup policy through versioning, encryption, and security.

    ROI-wise, I'm scoring IBM Spectrum Protect as seven out of ten.

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

    IBM Spectrum Protect, cost-wise, has way higher pricing than Veeam. By switching over to Veeam, my company saved over $600,000 in USD.

    My company was on a PPU license for IBM Spectrum Protect, which was okay initially. After two or three years, IBM called to switch the license to terabyte licensing, and it seemed OK to change at the time, but in the last three or four years, it became expensive.

    The IBM Spectrum Protect pricing is a two on a scale of one to ten.

    My company paid additional fees for maintenance, apart from the standard licensing fees.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I evaluated a solution from Quantum, though I can't recall its name.

    What other advice do I have?

    I have experience with IBM Spectrum Protect, formerly Tivoli Storage Manager.

    My company was an IBM customer but has stepped away and moved to Veeam.

    The company had three different sites where the solution had on-premise deployments.

    Regarding the implementation, there was an IBM consultant on site and two backup administrations learning the IBM Spectrum Protect installation process along the way. My company also had a team of five or six system and network administrators who helped with client-related concerns because my company had more than one hundred fifty clients for separate sites. The two backup administrators handled the maintenance for IBM Spectrum Protect.

    One thousand two hundred people use the solution.

    I would suggest to others looking into implementing IBM Spectrum Protect to research terabyte licensing and be clear on how much data your company has, including your expected data growth, so you can assess where you'll stand regarding license costs. If you're moving to big data or you'll be storing big data, PPU licensing could be a more suitable option.

    My rating for IBM Spectrum Protect is seven out of ten because it's one of the two best backup software currently available. It also has excellent support if you have a maintenance contract, but I live in a small country, so this could be why IBM provided better support.

    I'm an IBM Spectrum Protect customer.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    PeerSpot user
    Spectrum Protect/TSM Specialist at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
    Reseller
    Top 20
    Extremely stable, highly flexible, and great as a classic backup solution
    Pros and Cons
    • "Its flexibility is valuable. It is a very flexible solution. There are always more ways than one to do something. It is a software solution, which means you can buy your own hardware and expand it whenever you want. You are not boxed in or locked into something you've bought and outgrown. You can always expand it."
    • "They are behind on many things, especially security. They are catching up a little bit now, but the competitors are doing better security-wise. There should be malware detection and prevention and higher security."

    What is our primary use case?

    There are various use cases. We have managed services, and we have customers on-prem or backing up to our TSM servers. There are different ways.

    I work with various versions. I work for a service provider. We manage the service of various customers. So, we have from 8.1.9 to 8.1.14.

    What is most valuable?

    Its flexibility is valuable. It is a very flexible solution. There are always more ways than one to do something. It is a software solution, which means you can buy your own hardware and expand it whenever you want. You are not boxed in or locked into something you've bought and outgrown. You can always expand it.

    What needs improvement?

    They are behind on many things, especially security. They are catching up a little bit now, but the competitors are doing better security-wise. There should be malware detection and prevention and higher security.

    The ease of use also needs improvement. There are many products that are easier to use than Spectrum Protect. It is quite complex to manage, and you need an experienced administrator to manage it, whereas other products are easier to get into. You can have somebody with less experience managing them.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with this solution for about 15 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable. Especially over the last five years or so, it has been extremely stable. I've had very few crashes or very few downtimes. They are almost nonexistent.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable. It scales very high as well. It is an enterprise-class solution. It is one of the most scalable ones.

    We have 10 to 15 customers who have their own TSM server and products, and then we have about 18 customers who back up to our servers.

    How was the initial setup?

    It depends. The TSM server is pretty straightforward. Some other parts are pretty complex. The VMware solution is very complex, especially compared to competitors.

    Deployment depends on the size and the customer requirements. If you want to set up a small company server, it takes one or two hours. If you have to set up a large enterprise with various wishes and custom demands, it can take days or maybe a week. For a basic customer with VMware, it is set up within a day with a few databases and a few things.

    What about the implementation team?

    For deployment, one person is enough. A qualified and certified engineer has to do that because otherwise, we won't give the warranty. So, that person has to be a certified engineer.

    We have customers who manage their own TSM servers, and we just come in to install it, or if there are any serious problems. We resell it as well as sell our managed services. They can back up to our servers. We have customers who have their own TSM servers, but we manage those for them. We manage the clients and servers. For some customers, we only manage servers, and they manage the clients.

    We do A to Z for TSM basically. We are IBM's only business partner in our country. To our customers, we are basically IBM.

    What was our ROI?

    We are a managed service provider. Backup makes us money. So, the ROI is always there.

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

    That's no longer my department, but I have some past experience with licensing. It is not cheap. I would rate it a three out of five in terms of licensing.

    In terms of additional costs, there is management overhead. It is a complex solution and a lot of work goes into managing clients. It has gotten better over the years, but compared to its competitor, it is still heavy on management overhead. That comes with flexibility, and that's the price you pay when you want a solution that can do everything and not just a few things. It is not a simple solution. It is a complex solution, and that requires some management overhead. However, you can automate it pretty easily because it has a SQL interface. If you have a person who can script or knows SQL, you can automate a lot with it. It has a command line interface, and there is also an API. The command line is very much like Linux or Unix. It is really highly automatable.

    What other advice do I have?

    Even though TSM is a great product, it is a great product for a classic backup solution and not for the future. It is a legacy solution. The newest product is IBM Spectrum Protect Plus, but we haven't adopted it. The legacy TSM server is great. It was the best product around, but now, it is not. For a new solution, it is not the best product. If I am looking to buy a new product, I would look elsewhere. I would look to the competition that is more modern and more up-to-date. 

    I would rate it an 8 out of 10. It is still very good. It is good for what it can be used for, but if you need a more modern solution, it is not the perfect solution anymore.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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    PeerSpot user
    Storage administrator at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Makes backing up the GSF as a zero-file system easier and has good stability, but needs to be improved for large file systems with many files
    Pros and Cons
    • "The MN backup for a cluster is most valuable because it has made backing up the GSF as a zero-file system easier. I like its stability a lot. Over the years, I very rarely had a problem with it."
    • "It can be improved for large file systems with many files. Spectrum Protect can restore large files very well, but if you're restoring millions of little files, it is not as great. At one point, we tried to implement the VMware module with it, and it was awful and terrible. I don't know if that has improved. If it hasn't, this would be one big improvement."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have a very small footprint. We only use it to back up a couple of servers that we could not move over at this time. I only use it to back up two servers and very large academic systems and number cruncher systems, which isn't the best way to do that, but we do use MN backup with it. Previously, we used to use Spectrum Protect for disaster recovery (DR), but we don't use it for disaster recovery anymore.

    What is most valuable?

    The MN backup for a cluster is most valuable because it has made backing up the GSF as a zero-file system easier.

    I like its stability a lot. Over the years, I very rarely had a problem with it.

    What needs improvement?

    It can be improved for large file systems with many files. Spectrum Protect can restore large files very well, but if you're restoring millions of little files, it is not as great.

    At one point, we tried to implement the VMware module with it, and it was awful and terrible. I don't know if that has improved. If it hasn't, this would be one big improvement.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    It probably has been 20 years since I have been using it. I started using it when it was ADSM. Now it is Spectrum Protect, which I have been using for a couple of years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I like its stability a lot. Over the years, I very rarely had a problem with it.

    It was very stable when it was on an AIX server. AIX servers are not as common now. It is on a Linux server now, and it is definitely not as stable on a Linux server as it was on an AIX server.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Its scalability is decent. In terms of usage, we used to be exclusively all Spectrum Protect, but now we're not. We just have one department that is using it, and they don't do any restores or anything like that. I do everything. Because it has a small footprint now, I am the main person who works on it, and if needed, I have a couple of other people to help out.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate them as average. It totally depends on who you get. I love getting one of their support staff members named Helen. You lucked out when you get Helen. She is awesome. There is another person with whom I've worked great, but the last couple of times, I've opened a case, and I didn't even get a callback. I ended up fixing it on my own. 

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

    I've always used it. It started as ADSM and then became TSM and then Spectrum Protect. When we were TSM, we migrated from TSM to another product, but there were just a couple of systems that couldn't be migrated. For very large academic systems and number cruncher systems, we use MN backup. We have a very small footprint of Spectrum Protect left.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is complex. We have a complicated environment, and it took a week. We had to use the encryption key manager, which is also an IBM product called SKLM, and that had to be upgraded. It was definitely a full week, and it was not easy.

    What about the implementation team?

    We had a consultant, and our experience was positive.

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

    I don't have an idea about the pricing. They send that over to someone else, but I know that one of the issues they had was the licensing costs. I don't think they were happy with how they were charged.

    What other advice do I have?

    You would really have to implement it. It is very stable, but it is complicated. You really need to get a staff member or a good consultant who knows it fairly well.

    I would rate IBM Spectrum Protect a seven out of ten for functionality. I am biased because I know it so well. Over the years, we did really well with disaster recovery with it, but that was the old way of sending tapes down to Iron Mountain and the Sterling Forest site in New York. I always made it work, but that was stressful.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Engineer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    The retention set feature provides a reduction in storage costs
    Pros and Cons
    • "The addition of the retention set feature provides a reduction in storage costs. It also reduces RTO and RPO so that you can respond quickly to your clients and services in case of data loss."
    • "The usability of IBM Spectrum Protect could be improved, specifically additional features to the product in the operations center. Additional reporting facilities and stronger reporting tools such as build dashboards would be beneficial."

    What is our primary use case?

    I am a consultant and work with different IT technology including data protection solutions. We work with the legacy version of IBM Spectrum Protect from 6.x version all the way to the latest version, 8.1.12.

    I have implemented Spectrum Protect for organizations as big as 1,500 users and others that are small workgroups of 40 or 50 people.

    Spectrum Protect is used for protecting virtualized workloads. It also allows you to protect traditional workloads such as physical machines and physical servers. It is well suited for storing data to tape.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The addition of the retention set feature provides a reduction in storage costs. It also reduces RTO and RPO so that you can respond quickly to your clients and services in case of data loss. 

    What is most valuable?

    Spectrum Protect is a robust solution. A valuable feature of this solution is the retention sets, which is a fairly new addition to the feature portfolio. This allows you to back up information to leverage all their copies of backup and not do new backups of the same information over and over again. 

    What needs improvement?

    The usability of IBM Spectrum Protect could be improved, specifically additional features to the product in the operations center. Additional reporting facilities and stronger reporting tools such as build dashboards would be beneficial. The tool should allow you to write SQL queries to get the information as it is not easy for entry users to retrieve some reports.

    I would also value a comprehensive mass deployment solution for clients that would provide an automated method for deploying agents across a large environment, not only for Windows, but also for AIX and Linux. This would reduce the time required to deploy the tool.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with IBM Spectrum Protect for 10 years and consider myself an expert on this solution.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    IBM Spectrum Protect is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This solution is scalable. It is a very good solution for mid-range and enterprise customers. It is suitable for a broad range of different environments and types of customers, verticals, and other segments that can implement this product. 

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support of IBM Spectrum Protect is superb. They always help us to quickly get to the root cause of the problem. The incidents are well managed so that we can restore service quickly. The product comes with good quality documentation and videos that share best practices and help you get up to speed quickly. This knowledge helps you give a good description to their support team which also helps arrive at a quick solution.

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

    In previous years we used Tivoli Storage Manager. The solution took up to three months to deploy. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup of IBM Spectrum is straightforward. Currently, there are blueprints that have a solution to implement quickly. The blueprints come with automated scripts that can be leveraged to make the deployment simpler. You just have to run a script and then complete a set of policies, storage devices, users. The other configurations are already done for you. The documentation, or blueprints, are being updated all the time so you always have a way to reduce deployment time. Deployment takes as little as three or four days.

    What other advice do I have?

    IBM Spectrum Protect listens to their customers and the feedback about each component and feature. They are always improving quickly based on new trends and software development and agile methodologies.

    You have to be careful or aware of the different solutions and the different agents that the solution comes up with so that you select the right product for the right use case. The solution comes with different products that are intended to protect certain workloads such as databases like SAP HANA products. 

    I also recommend that you get to know the product well, leverage the latest features so that you can get the most value from it. 

    Lastly, I would recommend that you use IBM Spectrum Protect's service and support not only when you have problems but also for recommendations on how to do certain things properly so that you don't have problems in the future. 

    I would rate IBM Spectrum Protect an 8 out of 10. It is a great product, it's stable and has been on the market for a long time. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Systems Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Reseller
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Incremental forever was an advantage, but the product and installation are complex
    Pros and Cons
    • "In the past, one of the most valuable features, and the biggest advantage, was the incremental forever feature. Not many other backup vendors provided that. In the pre-virtualization environment, it was very robust and simple technology, especially writing to tape."
    • "IBM Spectrum Protect could be improved by making the installation easier. Once it's implemented, it's okay. IBM started lagging behind when things started moving to storage and cloud-based solutions. Even though they've recently released updates that give cloud-based protection, personally, I still believe they are not up to par with the likes of Rubrik. The entire product is a little bit clumsy because they have co-joined two different products, so it's complex. Even from a sales/explaining to people what it does point of view, it's complex. Whereas, if you take more current products, it's a single box solution. You reel it in, you fire it up, you do a couple of points and clicks, and off you go, whereas the IBM system is seriously complex. There's a lot of training involved and it's a massively difficult product to sell at this point in time."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have customers and retailers who have been using IBM Spectrum Protect for many, many years, so all our sales over the last five years have been renewable sales. I'm a reseller and partner, so I provide this solution. This solution is deployed on-premises. 

    What is most valuable?

    In the past, one of the most valuable features, and the biggest advantage, was the incremental forever feature. Not many other backup vendors provided that. In the pre-virtualization environment, it was very robust and simple technology, especially writing to tape. 

    What needs improvement?

    IBM Spectrum Protect could be improved by making the installation easier. Once it's implemented, it's okay. 

    IBM started lagging behind when things started moving to storage and cloud-based solutions. Even though they've recently released updates that give cloud-based protection, personally, I still believe they are not up to par with the likes of Rubrik

    The entire product is a little bit clumsy because they have co-joined two different products, so it's complex. Even from a sales/explaining to people what it does point of view, it's complex. Whereas, if you take more current products, it's a single box solution. You reel it in, you fire it up, you do a couple of points and clicks, and off you go, whereas the IBM system is seriously complex. There's a lot of training involved and it's a massively difficult product to sell at this point in time. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with IBM Spectrum Protect for over 20 years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This solution is stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This solution is scalable. 

    How are customer service and support?

    IBM support has always been reasonably good. They've got a worldwide network and they've been doing it for many, many years, so I can't fault them from a support point of view. Whenever there had been a problem, we had various people working on resolving it. 

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


    How was the initial setup?

    IBM Spectrum Protect is very complex to install—it's not a simple installation at all, which is why there's always professional services attached to a Spectrum Protect sale. 

    The amount of technical people you will need depends on the size of the environment, but in an environment with about 800 VMs and a couple of Unix machines, you need at least two administrators. 

    What about the implementation team?

    We implement this solution for customers. 

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

    Customers need to pay for licensing in order to use IBM Spectrum Protect. The customers that have been using it for a long time are okay and happy with it. From a cost point of view, it's better for them to renew their licenses than to go through the difficult process of changing a backup product in their environment, and migrate from one product to another. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Currently, we have moved away from Spectrum Protect, and towards Rubrik. Rubrik has been my product of choice over the last two years, at least. Even with the recently released updates that give cloud-based protection, I still don't believe IBM Spectrum Protect is up to par with the likes of Rubrik. Of the customers who still use IBM Spectrum Protect, we only have three left—there used to be a lot more. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I currently rate IBM Spectrum Protect a six out of ten. 

    The advice I would give to anyone considering starting to use IBM Spectrum Protect is to use Rubrik instead. I've always been a very big proponent of Spectrum Protect—years back, I used to be a trainer for IBM as well, so I really like the product—but at the moment, I just think there are other solutions that work better. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free IBM Spectrum Protect Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: January 2023
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free IBM Spectrum Protect Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.