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Storage administrator at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
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.
Engineer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
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.
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Learn what your peers think about IBM Spectrum Protect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
564,143 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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:
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Manager - Storage & Backup at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good stability and reliability, works as expected, and recommended for large-scale environments
Pros and Cons
  • "We have been using it for several years, and it is quite reliable and predictable. We are quite comfortable with this solution. They're coming up with new features as well. It has good scalability, and it provides good integrations with business-critical applications or databases, such as SAP HANA. It works as expected, and we don't see any issues."
  • "Its management part can be better and simplified. It is kind of a beast as compared to Commvault or Veeam, but they are more user-friendly. They are also easier to learn, whereas Spectrum Protect definitely takes time. They should simplify it. Our teams are pretty comfortable with it because we have been using it for a long time, but from the perspective of a new user who is evaluating or using this solution, it is definitely more complex in terms of manageability. Its monitoring could be improved so that it can even monitor the jobs that are scheduled by external schedulers. There are situations where a database team might decide to use their own schedulers, but currently, Spectrum Protect is not able to catch those jobs in the Operation Manager console."

What is our primary use case?

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

How has it helped my organization?

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

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

What is most valuable?

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

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

What needs improvement?

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

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

For how long have I used the solution?

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

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

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

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

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

How was the initial setup?

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

What about the implementation team?

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

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

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

What other advice do I have?

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

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

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Analyst at a educational organization with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Review about IBM Spectrum Protect
Pros and Cons
  • "Nothing beats this solution for file backup."
  • "Restoring massive files is a very time-consuming process."

What is our primary use case?

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

How has it helped my organization?

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

What is most valuable?

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

What needs improvement?

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

Finally, the licensing is complicated and could be simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 15 years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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

How are customer service and support?

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

How was the initial setup?

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

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

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

What other advice do I have?

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

I rate the solution eight out of 10. 

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

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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AIX System Administration at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Review about IBM Spectrum Protect
Pros and Cons
  • "We like IBM Spectrum's versioning capabilities. It lets us specify how many versions of a file we want to keep and for how long. Also, the archive component of the software helps us a lot."
  • "We need better protection from ransomware or the ability to identify ways we can protect ourselves from ransomware. Having backups is one thing, but specifically, we need methods to recover if we have a ransomware attack."

What is our primary use case?

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

What is most valuable?

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

What needs improvement?

We need better protection from ransomware or the ability to identify ways we can protect ourselves from ransomware. Having backups is one thing, but specifically, we need methods to recover if we have a ransomware attack. If we could find a way to detect and alert us if specific data has been encrypted (except the ones we choose), that would be a good selling point.

For how long have I used the solution?

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

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

HAProxy is highly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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

How are customer service and support?

IBM support is great. 

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

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

How was the initial setup?

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

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

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

What other advice do I have?

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

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Stefan Schneider
Lead Engineer Storage at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Scalable with good performance and great technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "We've found the product to be quite stable and the performance is very good."
  • "Generally, the implementation of virtualization could be improved. The workflow service and so on are not working properly."

What is our primary use case?

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

What is most valuable?

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

The solution is scalable.

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

Technical support has been helpful overall.

What needs improvement?

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

The initial setup is quite complex.

For how long have I used the solution?

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

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

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

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

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

How are customer service and technical support?

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

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

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

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

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

How was the initial setup?

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

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

What about the implementation team?

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

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and end-user.

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

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

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
A stable, but outdated product with problematic scalability, GUI, environment, monitoring and control and technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "IBM Spectrum Protect offers stable software and products."
  • "The most important feature which I wish to be added involves the GUI, the user interface."

What is most valuable?

IBM Spectrum Protect offers stable software and products. It has much third party integration, such as that involving databases, email and virtual machines. 

What needs improvement?

The solution is quite outdated compared with others and I feel IBM to be lagging a step or two behind other vendors. 

We have received user complaints about the user interface. There is a need to manage a monitor and it can sometimes be exceedingly difficult to manage the internal TSM Spectrum Protect database. 

As a general rule, things should be updated. I do not manage too many customers who still utilize IBM, perhaps only one or two. 

While the installation is, overall, pretty straightforward, we must make certain that the requirements are met before we begin the process. 

In respect of stability, while IBM is very good because of the maturity of its products, which function well for the current environment, there are certain features I find lacking. It is stable, but old. 

When it comes to technical support, we must occasionally collect the log and we find the process to be layered. This makes it problematic to get the support we need from level two, since level one support basically consists of a call center, something which is more useful for end users than integrators and which is time consuming, as well. 

The solution tends to be hard to monitor and control and the user interface should be addressed. So too, the environment and the queries are not user-friendly. 

The most important feature which I wish to be added involves the GUI, the user interface. The solution should have more features and a more powerful GUI, equal to the command-line, as we occasionally are unable to configure it through the GUI and must resort to command-line prompting. 

The solution is not geared toward one who lacks a dedicated manager of his backup infrastructure, usually involving the command-line interface. This can make it quite challenging. We occasionally have to configure our minutes or make a mass configuration using the command-line, as opposed to the GUI. 

IBM is pretty challenging when it comes to scalability, since the bigger the environment, the greater the TSM database, especially in respect of long term retention. Sometimes our customers require permanent backup retention and this increasingly enlarges the size of the solution's database, making things hard to manage. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with IBM Spectrum Protect for eight or nine years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Though there are certain features missing when it comes to IBM, I consider it to be good, as we are talking about a mature product with good functioning in the current environment. The solution is stable, just outdated. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

IBM poses a challenge to the scalability, since a bigger environment requires an increased TSM database, primarily when it comes to long term retention. Our customers occasionally require permanent backup retention and this places an increasing burden on the size of the solution's database, which makes things challenging to manage. 

How are customer service and support?

Technical support can be problematic, as we must occasionally collect logs and are required to first go through level one support before proceeding to level two. This process is time consuming and geared more towards the end user than the integrator. 

How was the initial setup?

While the installation is mostly straightforward, there is an initial need to ensure that the requirements are fulfilled before proceeding with it. 

What other advice do I have?

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

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