April 12, 2019 | Written by: Kim Gregers Petersen
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We always write articles about the fastest and greatest of our hardware or software-products. Not this time. How about launching a high-performance storage system targeted the main stream needs of most customers? It is not the fastest ever, since that position is still being held by IBM FlashSystem 9150, but it is to a high degree the same technology packaged in a low-cost NVMe based system. And actually, we are launching not only one but three models at the same time.
IBM Storwize storage systems have always been extremely popular with customers, mainly due to ease-of-use, robustness, integrated virtualization software and good value-for-money. We didn’t change that. Actually, we enhanced all the features, that initially made the Storwize popular and now all software licenses are included in the base price!
The needs of customers are changing, and so are the needs for storage. Sure, you still need block storage, but now it has to fit in with the rapidly growing use of containerized applications and DevOps, hybrid and multi-cloud environments and high demands of reducing data volumes to accommodate the accelerating amounts of data. All those needs are handled by the new generation of IBM Storwize V5000.
You probably guessed it already, V5010E is the smallest and cheapest one of the new models, and V5100/F is the fastest one (and less cheap), but they all share a lot of similarities, especially in the software area: The ever popular Spectrum Virtualize provides built in storage virtualization, EasyTier does automated data tiering and with Storage Insights, you get a state-of-the-art management and reporting platform to make life a lot easier for the storage administrator. Want to do local or remote data replication, maybe even to the cloud (IBM Cloud or Amazon AWS)? Everything is included. Want to migrate data from another IBM or non-IBM storage system to V5000? Everything is included.
Storage needs are still different though, and that’s why we created three models. Let’s differentiate them from each other, starting with the smallest one:
Even this new entry system is powerful enough to match the needs of a lot of customers. Up to 12PB (using data reduction pools with thin provisioning and UNMAP) in a single system using high density 30TB flash disks, lots of cache and the possibility to mix and match SSD-drives with traditional spinning hard disks. No single point of failure means 99,9999% uptime, and if you come to a point, when it is no longer fast and capable enough, you can even do a non-disruptive controller upgrade to V5030E.
As with V5010E, you can still mix SSDs and HDDs, but this system is faster, provides more IOPS and is more expandable. Using expansion trays, you can scale up a single system to 23PB flash using data reduction, and if you would rather cluster two models in a scale out environment, you can go all the way up to 32PB. Data reduction capabilities on top of what is offered with V5010E includes compression and de-duplication and if you want maximum uptime, use HyperSwap between two systems to provide very high uptime at a low cost.
The V5100 comes in two flavors: V5100 as a hybrid SSD/HDD model and V5100/F as a flash-only system. 2.4 times more IOPS than V5030E and when you connect to your SAN-switches, you can do that using 32Gb/s in the V5100/F. Max. capacity is still 23/32PB using data reduction pools, but with V5100F you can use IBM Flash Core Modules (FCM) providing low latency and built in hardware based encryption and data compression. Of course, you can still use HyperSwap, and if use IBM Lab Services to set it up, we give you a guarantee of 100% uptime! Servers and applications may not still be ready for Storage Class Memory (SCM), but it is nice to know than when time comes, V5100 and V5100/F are already prepared for and fully supporting SCM.
Positioning against other IBM storage systems is like this: V5010 replaces V3700 and the old V5000, V5030E replaces the old V5030 and V5100/V5100F are lower cost alternatives to V7000 Gen3 and FS9100.
If you are in the market for a new storage system, take a look at the new V5000’s. It is essentially high-performance storage made for the present and for the future, but this time packaged as low-cost systems. Many customers are thrilled about the high performance/low price combination, but to me the best thing is, that you get all the fabulous IBM software included in the base price. Make use of the software, and you get what is probably the most versatile storage solution in the market right now – and to a very decent price.