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IBM Spectrum Scale is #3 ranked solution in top Cloud Software Defined Storage tools and #12 ranked solution in top Software Defined Storage (SDS) tools. PeerSpot users give IBM Spectrum Scale an average rating of 8.0 out of 10. IBM Spectrum Scale is most commonly compared to Red Hat Ceph Storage: IBM Spectrum Scale vs Red Hat Ceph Storage. IBM Spectrum Scale is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 71% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 23% of all views.
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What is IBM Spectrum Scale?
IBM Spectrum Scale is a cluster file system that provides concurrent access to a single file system or set of file systems from multiple nodes. The nodes can be SAN attached, network attached, a mixture of SAN attached and network attached, or in a shared nothing cluster configuration. This enables access to this common set of data to support a scale-out solution or to provide a high availability platform. IBM Spectrum Scale has many features beyond common data access including data replication, policy based storage management, and multi-site operations. You can create a cluster of AIX nodes, Linux nodes, Windows server nodes, or a mix of all three. IBM Spectrum Scale can run on virtualized instances providing common data access in environments, leverage logical partitioning, or other hypervisors. Multiple IBM Spectrum Scale clusters can share data within a location or across wide area network (WAN) connections.
IBM Spectrum Scale Video

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

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PhilippeVAILLANT - PeerSpot reviewer
Infrastructure Architect at Getronics UK Limited
MSP
Good performance and facilitates multi-platform file sharing, but the licensing is complicated
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the ability to share files across different platforms."
  • "The pricing and licensing model for this solution are complex and it is sometimes difficult to explain it to customers."

What is our primary use case?

I am a pre-sales engineer in an IT company and we provide a variety of solutions to our clients. IBM Spectrum Scale GPFS is one of the products that we resell and I have experience with.

We provide IBM Spectrum scale as a high-availability storage solution. One of our customers is in the business of making and transforming videos and they use different platforms such as Linux, AIX, and Windows. Using this solution allows access to all of the files on all of these platforms from a single place.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to share files across different platforms. It is platform agnostic and not attached to IBM, AIX, Windows, or Linux.

What needs improvement?

The pricing and licensing model for this solution are complex and it is sometimes difficult to explain it to customers.

It is not always easy to sell this product because certain aspects seem complicated for the customer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have between ten and fifteen years of experience with this product.

Buyer's Guide
Software Defined Storage (SDS)
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Red Hat, Nutanix and others in Software Defined Storage (SDS). Updated: July 2022.
621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is very important and it is one of the reasons that we chose to sell and market this product. Our clients vary in range from small companies to big banks that have a lot of servers, so this solution works regardless of the company size.

How are customer service and support?

I do not speak with technical support, although I am close to the installation process and I do not recall any problems that required contacting support for help.

How was the initial setup?

I have not personally installed this solution but it is my understanding that it is pretty simple. There have been no problems that I have heard of.

The deployment can take a few days. It depends on different phases because you have to meet with the customer and it may influence what you are going to do. Installing it is very quick and then you move into the testing phase, which takes a little longer.

What about the implementation team?

We provide our customers with assistance during the deployment by way of knowledge transfer. This can last a few days. If they ask questions then we give them support.

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

The licensing model is complex and depends on factors such as the number of processing cores and the amount of storage.

What other advice do I have?

This is a very powerful product. It can be optimized for performance, although our clients do not use it with this aspect in mind. Over the past five or ten years, IBM has developed this solution and it has improved a lot. With the latest release, I think that this is a very complete product.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

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
PeerSpot user
Senior Expert Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Storage system with good performance that has GPFS monitoring and NFS support
Pros and Cons
  • "GPFS monitoring is the best feature."
  • "The biggest problem is that it is not able to provide block storage."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is for virtualization, data restore for VMware, NFS exports for a backup share, and in the future, we are thinking about using this to update based storage for S3 buckets.

At the moment, we mainly use it for NFS topics.

What is most valuable?

GPFS monitoring is the best feature. The performance is very good and so is the scalability. 

The NFS CL solution is impressive because if you have a power loss for any reason from the consumer host, the system switches seamlessly to the next available node in this cluster. This happens without any interruption in the data stream, reading or writing. 

When the system is coming back from the maintenance or the reboot cycle, the system switches automatically back to the initial host. This is very good and very friendly. I have never seen this before when comparing to other solutions such as NetApp, and Dell EMC Unity. NetApp is also very good for NFS solutions.

What needs improvement?

The biggest problem is that it is not able to provide block storage. It can consume block storage, you can put it on from the storage and present the span over the fiber channel or iSCSI. The problem is that they have not been able to provide block storage consumable to the customer host. This is only a side-based solution. We can install the GPFS into the customer environment but I don't think that is the best solution.

The initial setup has room for improvement, it is not straightforward.

Spectrum scale is very good from the performance perspective, but from the application perspective, you have to take care if you want to use a database as a service that you can consume. For example, a database, or being able to read and write it, doesn't have a deployment solution. It is missing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

We started with version 502 and now 503.1.3.2 the lastest and the greatest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable, it's very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable it's very good. With this solution running, you have solved some cosmetic issues. The system is very stable.

The biggest issue we have faced is the complete interruption of the network. We have tested a complete site loss with the initial loss of the complete data center. We tested this and the system was always up. This is very good.

We have 10,000 clients, so there may be 100,000 to 200,000 users. I am not sure.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. 

At this moment we have a problem with technical support but it is not related to Spectrum Scale. It's with another product called Tivoli Suite, Spectrum Control Site.

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

Currently, we are also using Nutanix, Vison, ScaleIO, and Huawei as an STS solution. The problem is that we want to use one solution in the future and not five.

I have to compare all of these and decide which one is the best for the future.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. We had to prepare a lot of the requirements to install the Spectrum Scale. It is not straightforward. We had to ensure that the foundation for the install and that the installation process was proper.

On average for large clusters, the deployment can take one week.

What about the implementation team?

We did not use the help of an integrator, vendor, or reseller. I implemented this solution.

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

The licensing is based on the number of terabytes. 

We have an enterprise license agreement with IBM and it doesn't reflect the moment price list.

I think that it's a good price but it is quite expensive.

What other advice do I have?

We are using this solution in our Opcos and the challenge in my role as an architect is staying informed of what solutions are to be used in the future. What is the best solution to carry that will cover all of the requests that we have and for the multiple cloud solutions regarding STS soft topic?

I am currently making comparisons for this and I need support for this as a strategy for the next five years. I am the lead architect for this solution in our company.

My advice would be to use a consultant or a technical person to implement this solution. It's a better way.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Software Defined Storage (SDS)
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Red Hat, Nutanix and others in Software Defined Storage (SDS). Updated: July 2022.
621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user868248 - PeerSpot reviewer
Technical Assoc at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
As far as capacity is concerned, it can handle most heavy loads
Pros and Cons
  • "It makes our file system sharing a lot easier, even across different continents. We have had file systems shared across different continents with no performance degradation."
  • "It has been pretty reliable throughout the years. As far as capacity is concerned, it can handle most heavy loads."
  • "Maybe it needs integration with HA."
  • "They should probably simply the Red Hat implementation portion. This portion was not as straightforward as I would like it to be."

What is our primary use case?

We use it a lot for sharing file systems between several Red Hat and AIX servers. It is mostly for different lines of business. It works pretty well. We have been using it for almost a decade now.

It is actually one of the better products of IBM. We have seen applications come and go, but Spectrum Scale is one of those things where we have had more customers move into the product than other vendors' solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes our file system sharing a lot easier, even across different continents. We have had file systems shared across different continents with no performance degradation. In this sense, it has helped us. 

What is most valuable?

The ease of use and the stability of the product. It has been pretty reliable throughout the years. As far as capacity is concerned, it can handle most heavy loads, unlike NFS or even NAS. In this particular case, it is seamless. That is the biggest thing.

What needs improvement?

Maybe it needs integration with HA.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is one of the main reasons that we are using the product. So far, it has been a very reliable software.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had it across 15 to 20 Clients. Especially now that we are using it across Red Hat, the Clients do not even know that it is sitting on AIX servers. As far as scalability is concerned, it is only beginning to show its strength in the past few years. We are using it on Red Hat, but still using NSD servers as the main source of storage. 

As far as scalability, I would support this product more than anything that I have tried before, such as NFS or even HACMP. This product is more robust in my point of view.

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

We still use NAS and NFS (mainly NFS), which we used prior to Spectrum Scale.

We added Spectrum Scale because of its scalability. There are just large amounts of data, especially with Ab Initio, NFS would not cut it.

How was the initial setup?

It is not that complex for me since I have been working with it for years. 

One thing that is new for me is the implementation across Red Hat Clients. This portion was not as straightforward as I would like it to be. Now that we have it documented, it is about 10 steps, though more steps than I would do if I were to mount it on AIX. They should probably simply the Red Hat implementation portion.

What other advice do I have?

There is nothing else that even compares to Spectrum Scale. We have had customers who switched to AIX just because of it.

It is doing more than it is expected to do as far as file sharing.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
it_user868272 - PeerSpot reviewer
Client Server Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Can operate multiple systems within the same file system

What is our primary use case?

We use it for distributed file systems.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it primarily in our SAP organization. It allows us to have a centralized location where we can put our files and distribute them among different applications.

What is most valuable?

We can have multiple systems within the same file system. The performance right now on the file system is better than NAS.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Overall, the stability is pretty good. We do have some issues where Spectrum Scale does not work as expected. We have seen our Spectrum Scale servers go down unexpectedly, but because we have a cluster, it does not take out the entire organization.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I do not think it is applicable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been very helpful. They provide us with pretty good solutions that we can implement moving forward.

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

We were not using anything before this solution.

How was the initial setup?

It was implemented before my time at the company.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated a NAS solution.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
it_user868251 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Unix Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Allows us to share files across multiple environments
Pros and Cons
  • "Allows us to share files across multiple environments."
  • "It is incredibly scalable and stable."
  • "Making it a little easier to add bad file sets would help. There is a transition to how you add storage and how you add a file set, so making that a little smoother would probably be my recommendation."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for our SAS work and data areas. It is performing very well for us.

We have data centers onsite and offsite (for whenever we do DR failover). Right now, we manage just one instance of it.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Keeps the SAS people happy.
  • Keeps SAS running.
  • Allows us to share files across multiple environments: Unix and Windows.
  • Managing the environments outside of the high availability cluster has been huge. This pulls one more factor out of the clusters that we do not have to manage.

What is most valuable?

It has less overhead. We do a lot of training on our SAS environment. 

We had JFS2 file systems, and we made things so fast that JFS2 could not keep up with it. It took us down to a crawl. Spectrum Scale reduced the overhead and allowed SAS to perform.

What needs improvement?

It does everything we need it to do. 

Though, making it a little easier to add bad file sets would help. There is a transition to how you add storage and how you add a file set, so making that a little smoother would probably be my recommendation.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is incredibly stable. This is not the first place that I have used it. I have used it on a 16 node SAS cluster before. I never had any problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is incredibly scalable. You can add more storage to it, add more file sets, and add it to more servers. It is a robust product.

The product should be able to expand with us.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not used technical support that much for Spectrum Scale. However, we did have one crash and they helped us quickly apply a patch.

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

We were previously using the JFS2. We switched because it was the recommended solution to our SAS problems, and it worked.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. You had to learn a little bit of new nomenclatures, and what this is called and what that is called. Otherwise, once we got it up and running, it needs very little care.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other solutions were evaluated. Spectrum Scale fixed the problem and we were good with that.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend Spectrum Scale.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
it_user868245 - PeerSpot reviewer
Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
We use it for its great servicing high availability
Pros and Cons
  • "Its great servicing high availability. That is what it is used for."
  • "This is probably the biggest challenge, getting everything upgraded, because it just takes time. We wish it was a faster solution to be able to do everything at once, but you have do each node individually. The more nodes, the longer it takes."
  • "The main issue that we have now is with the encryption. They want to use more metrics in encryption, which is not working very well."

What is our primary use case?

It performs well. We use it for our data over multiple systems. At the same time, it is a shared file system. It works pretty well for the most part.

We have an on-premise infrastructure. It is basically shared disks. They run three of them through the network. So, we set up NSD disks on all the machines. All the nodes can write to them, and we can have as many nodes as we want to put into the environment. That part works well.

We have approximately 500 instances.

How has it helped my organization?

We need the CPU power to do all of our work. You can't do it on just one node. You need multiple nodes. That is what makes it beneficial. It provides more power. We have thousands of users. They need bandwidth to be able to do everything. If they do not have it, they can't run.

What is most valuable?

Its great servicing high availability. That is what it is used for.

What needs improvement?

The main issue that we have now is with the encryption. They want to use more metrics in encryption, which is not working very well. Thus, we need to decide whether we need to actually use an IBM solution. However, that decision is way above my level.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Most of the time, the stability is pretty good. Recently, we have been upgrading. This is probably the biggest challenge, getting everything upgraded, because it just takes time. We wish it was a faster solution to be able to do everything at once, but you have do each node individually. The more nodes, the longer it takes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is pretty good. We have got a 32 node cluster. So, it runs pretty high. 

We do not feel as a company that the product can grow with us anymore, so we are not going to use it anymore. We are done. The decision was made. What we have, we will keep, but we are not going to put anything new in.

How is customer service and technical support?

I usually do not deal with them. The Level 2 personnel talk with them. We have our contract with IBM, so we call them all the time for user problems. They usually are effective.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

What other advice do I have?

The product is good. There are other products out there. You should look to see what you really need.

Main criteria for selecting a vendor: The bandwidth. It has the data available to do a lot of nodes at the same time. This product was available at the time.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Software Defined Storage (SDS) Report and find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Red Hat, Nutanix, and more!
Updated: July 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Software Defined Storage (SDS) Report and find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Red Hat, Nutanix, and more!