IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager enters Gartner's Magic Quadrant

Summary:IBM goes full speed ahead in Gartner's Magic Quadrant report for Enterprise Backup Software and Integrated Appliances.

IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) software has protected business data for 20 years and is a major market share player and an enterprise standard in the backup, recovery, and disaster recovery space. IBM's innovations in this area are well known and recognized throughout the IT industry as the "go to" solution for big data, database backup, recovery, and data resiliency.

Gartner published its 2014 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup Software and Integrated Appliances (June 16, 2014), acknowledging that IBM's work to apply analytics to data back-up and storage management enables businesses to deliver more intelligent, global data availability.

These features enable employees and customers to access the information they need, when they need it. Building on the recent launch of software-defined storage products, IBM continues to help organizations build smarter ways to use their data to its fullest potential.

The 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup Software and Integrated Appliances report included the following important findings that identify shifts occurring in data backup requirements:

  • By 2018, 40 percent of organizations will augment with additional products or replace their current backup application.

  • Through 2015, despite the rise of disk-to-disk (D2D), disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T), backup will remain the predominant strategy for large enterprise.

  • By 2017, 70 percent of organizations (up from 30 percent today) will have replaced their remote-office tape backup with a disk-based backup solution that incorporates replication.

  • By 2018, the number of organizations abandoning tape for backup will double, whereas archiving to tape will increase by 25 percent.

  • By 2016, less than 30 percent of all big data will be backed up.

To further explore IBM's position, I spoke with Ian Smith, IBM's Director of Storage Software, to find out why IBM is a clear leader in the backup and recovery software space.

"I think IBM has moved forward, while our competition has stagnated. We've continued to invest and research in backup and recovery. Gartner recognizes our innovation and vision in this space." Ian Smith, Director of Storage Software, IBM.

Mr. Smith gave the following points to consider when searching for a backup and recovery solution or when contemplating a switch to a new backup/recovery software vendor.

  • TSM 7.0 data deduplication is up to 10 times faster than in previous versions.

  • TSM offers new snapshot technology for databases.

  • TSM delivers a lower TCO by using less hardware and having less complexity.

  • TSM has new license models including TSM Entry for SMBs.

  • TSM installation is simpler now.

There are a lot of claims in this space about saving money and lowering TCO. However, consider that IBM has taken the high cost out of TSM by decreasing the amount of required hardware, by reducing installation time from five days to five minutes, and by decreasing management frustration by redesigning the management interface; there's proof of lower TCO with a Tivoli Storage Manager software solution.

TSM Entry is an entry-level backup and restore product for small to medium-sized businesses that gives you that same enterprise backup capability as its standard counterpart. TSM Entry is the same software, but without the scalability — designed specifically for smaller environments. This entry-level product also features a significant license fee savings as well to further help SMBs with adoption.

In case you don't want to read the entire report, below is IBM's entry from the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Backup/Recovery Software report.

IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) offers very broad platform support across many OSs, file systems and applications. IBM has over 23,000, predominantly large enterprise customers for TSM, and has partnerships with MSPs to offer recovery services. While IBM has leveraged its large direct sales force, the portfolio generates the majority of its revenue from worldwide business partners.

Customers cite the portfolio's ability to scale to handle very large recovery requirements, and the vendor's service and support continue to receive high marks. Through its acquisition of Butterfly Software, IBM now claims to have profiled over 2,000PB of backup environments running competitive solutions, and states that, overall, TSM has demonstrated 53 percent lower total cost of ownership (TCO) over the competition.

IBM is getting more vocal with its marketing and messaging, and has expanded its licensing options, offering processor value unit (PVU) and back-end terabyte capacity licensing method, and is in beta now with a front-end terabyte scheme that will be offered later in 2014.

In the latest version 7 release, TSM increased scalability with up to 10x improvement of daily ingest of deduplicated and replicated data. The IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager snapshot support that included IBM and NetApp has been enhanced to support EMC VNX, Symmetrix VMAX and Symmetrix DMX, and IBM has a road map for broadening its third-party array support. TSM for Virtual Environments has been extended to offer much more capability, including VM instant access and restore, as well as item-level recovery for Exchange and SQL Server.

In 2Q14, a new product was released, TSM Entry, which protects up to 50 Windows and Linux servers. While TSM offers many compelling benefits, the perceived administrative challenge of managing the product has been an issue for many years; however, the TSM Operations Center GUI, released in 2Q13, has a multi-release plan to offer more modern management capabilities, with the third release planned for later this year.

Strengths

  • A major market share player, IBM TSM offers midsize to large enterprise end-to-end recovery capabilities, from a single machine to the largest enterprises.

  • TSM offers well-proven incremental-forever backup processing, comprehensive policy-based management, and a broad set of no-charge data reduction and reporting features.

  • Customers and references cite the portfolio's scalability, code quality and solid support staff as major reasons for choosing, and remaining with, the solution.

Cautions

  • While recent references cite improvements, the length of time to fully address the need for a refreshed management console has been a concern.

  • Low understanding and exploitation of many recent features, combined with a large portion of the installed base running old versions of the products, have led customers to switch to other products.

  • Prospects and customers express a desire for EMC Data Domain Boost integration.

Related stories:

Topics: IBM, Big Data, Disaster Recovery, Storage

About

Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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