Storage

Come on – who cares about IBM introducing a new storage system?

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For one, our customers do. With everyone talking about data “being the new oil”, explosive data growth, 80% of all data resides within the companies etc. it is quite evident that storing and retrieving data is of outmost importance. That’s why IBM get quite some “likes” when introducing what is probably the fastest storage system in the world right now: IBM FlashSystem 9100.

On-premises storage – so much last year

Not true. I agree that more and more data are moved to the public cloud, but still a lot of data stay in the companies’ datacentres either in Private Clouds or in more traditional infrastructures. For different reasons: Security, compliance, performance, proximity and economics. However, cloud is here to stay, so instead of fighting cloud we at IBM Systems developed FlashSystem 9100 to be a vital part of the “Data Driven Multi Cloud” architecture. We think most customers now and for a long time will continue to have a mix of different public clouds combined with on-premises private clouds and traditional datacentres.

Multi Cloud – how?

To be frank with you, even the fastest hardware won’t give you multi cloud access. You need software. More specifically you need IBM Spectrum Software Defined Storage. Software that makes it possible to define any combination of on-premises and cloud-based backup/recovery. Copy data management functionality across datacentres and cloud(s) to accelerate your use of multiple datasets for different purposes. And last but not least extending your virtualized storage environment from on-premises only to span both your datacentre and public cloud, either it is for disaster recovery purposes or for other reasons. When you combine products like Spectrum Protect Plus, Spectrum Copy Data Management and Spectrum Virtualize [aka SVC] with the new FlashSystem 9100 and IBM blueprints, multi cloud can be a reality, not only wishful dreaming.

Fastest storage ever – really?

Oh yes, this is right now the fastest storage system, you can buy. The combination of high IOPS, low latency and superior throughput makes this system the ideal storage for your toughest workloads as well as the perfect storage gateway in the multi cloud setup.

Built-in hardware-based compression combined with data reduction pools (de-duplication) makes it possible to reduce the data footprint with up to a factor 5, resulting in very attractive price-per-GB scenarios. Encryption is built into the hardware as well; nice to know when you need to be GDPR-compliant or FIPS 140-2 certified.

FlashSystem 9100 is an end-to-end NVMe system and when you combine NVMe with IBM’s own Flash Core Modules, you get an unbeatable performance monster. If you want to use market standard NVMe SSD’s as well, they will fit perfectly in the FlashSystem 9100 chassis, and you can even mix them with IBM FCM-modules. You don’t get hardware compression or encryption though with standard SSD’s. Did I mention, that you can have up to 2.3PB raw data, depending on compression rate in ONE 2U high FlashSystem 9100? If this is not enough, you can cluster up to 4 units with linear performance scalability, as you see in the graphics.

IBM is an AI-company, does that show in FlashSystem 9100?

You bet. We have included StorageInsights, our AI-storage management software in the system, and since it operates in the IBM Cloud, it is extremely simple and easy to setup and run. You get the most handsome, modern user interface, where you can get an overview of all your IBM storage systems, including FlashSystem 9100, and whenever needed you can drill down and investigate problems. The AI system will help you all the way, not only by recognizing problems but also by proposing best practices, move data to the most appropriate storage tiers and call IBM Support if needed. The latter is quite useful, since the system itself will collect all relevant logfiles and information and make them accessible to IBM Support avoiding misunderstandings and save you a lot of time.

So much features, so much performance – anything more?

Absolutely. With FlashSystem 9100 we introduced the Peace-of-Mind principle, which is a set of very useful guarantees for you as a customer. Let me mention a few of them:

  • People argue against all-flash systems, that the chips wear out in a couple of years. Not so with the IBM FCM flash. We’ll give you a 7 Year 24×7 guarantee on the flash modules
  • Sceptic about data compression? Fair enough, but we’ll give you an upfront 2:1 guarantee, and if we get allowed to look at your data, that guarantee can go as high as 5:1
  • Spectrum Virtualize across datacenters and public cloud, how about availability? If you let IBM Lab Services set up your systems using HyperSwap, we guarantee you 100% uptime

Do we believe, we have a winner? Oh yes, but don’t take our word for it. Call or e-mail me, and I will arrange for you to “meet” the FlashSystem 9100 in person and maybe even do a proof-of-concept. This is really a seeing-is-believing product.

For any further questions do not hesitate to contact me at: kpeterse@dk.ibm.com

Partner Technical Advocate - Storage

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