Inside System Storage -- by Tony Pearson

Tony Pearson Tony Pearson is a Master Inventor and Senior IT Specialist for the IBM System Storage product line at the IBM Executive Briefing Center in Tucson Arizona, and featured contributor to IBM's developerWorks. In 2011, Tony celebrated his 25th year anniversary with IBM Storage on the same day as the IBM's Centennial. He is author of the Inside System Storage series of books. This blog is for the open exchange of ideas relating to storage and storage networking hardware, software and services. You can also follow him on Twitter @az990tony.
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1 thestorageanarchist commented Permalink

Yawn!<div>&nbsp;</div> Arch-nemisis here...MAN! What a snoozer of an announcement!<div>&nbsp;</div> Let me check my facts:<div>&nbsp;</div> * DS8700 no longer supports ESCON<br /> * DS8700 no longer supports LPARs<br /> * DS8700 does not support 600GB FC drives<br /> * DS8700 does not support 200GB or 400GB SSD drives that STEC has been shipping for almost A YEAR now<br /> * DS8700 does not support 8GB FICON (but the Series z platform does)<br /> * DS8700 does not support 8GB FC<br /> * DS8700 does not support more than 1024 drives in a single array<br /> * DS8700 does not support more than 256 SSD drives in a single array<br /> * DS8700 does not support RAID 10 or RAID 6 for SSDs<br /> * DS8700 does not support more than 64 back-end channels (32 redundant FC drive channels)<br /> * DS8700 does not support encryption of either SSD nor SATA drives<br /> * DS8700 does not support more than 384 GB of total cache<br /> * DS8700 is still limited to a maximum of 16GB of pending writes<br /> * DS8700 offers nothing comparable to FAST v1 *or* v2 (sub-LUN)...even though EMC telegraphed the objective months ago.<br /> * DS8700 STILL does not support on-line expansion or contraction of the pools supporting "space-efficient FlashCopy"<div>&nbsp;</div> I guess it is understandable that IBM wouldn't retire the DS8300's just yet - you probably have a BOATLOAD of inventory of those boat-anchors in the warehouses that management is loathe to write down just yet. You'll probably unload them on unsuspecting customers in the BRIC countries - lord knows customers in EMEA and the Americas know better than to buy into 5 year old technology.<div>&nbsp;</div> And it'll be interesting to see how the IDC data for past quarter performance changes - seems IBM adjusts the previous numbers every quarter. We've seen XIV units and revenues for past quarters actually DECLINE in the IDC reports - makes the Current Quarter data look better, but it's truly fishy to watch how the numbers are manipulated.<div>&nbsp;</div> G'Luck on the new announcements...too bad you couldn't catch up. BarryW is probably enjoying the increased SVC funding (at the expense of DS8K); it is painfully clear that the DS8K is truly half-way to the pasture.

2 TonyPearson commented Permalink

BarryB, my eyes are rolling. The V-Max does not support ESCON, 8Gb FICON nor 8Gb FCP either. You point out restrictions in DS8700 as if the latest products from EMC don't have similar restrictions. While EMC talks about features it might deliver in 2010, IBM talks about features we offer now.<div>&nbsp;</div> EMC boxes support more cache capacity because they use it so inefficiently. Mirroring read cache in effect cuts the usable amount in half, but your customers have to pay for all of it. Bragging that your box can have more cache is like bragging that your vehicle gas tank can hold more gallons of gas. Unless it is matched with higher MPG, it is misleading. IBM has more efficient cache algorithms and so the 384GB is appropriate.<div>&nbsp;</div> Full Disk Encryption (FDE) drives are only made in FC form factor. Of course, software-based encryption can be used on data stored to SSD and SATA in both CKD and FB formatted volumes on the DS8700 as had already been available on DS8100 and DS8300, same as is done for those with EMC or any other disk hardware.<div>&nbsp;</div> IBM DS8700 uses the same STEC solid-state-drive (SSD) technology as EMC boxes. However, clients who buy DS8700 do so for the higher reliability, so IBM has formatted these to a more conservative 73GB and 146GB to last the full 5 years of expected lifecycle. Why should clients take chances with riskier 200GB and 400GB formats?<div>&nbsp;</div> Like the EMC V-Max, IBM DS8700 does not offer native "FAST v1" support either. Clients could put an SVC in front of DS8700 to support that capability TODAY, or they can wait until 2010 when probably both IBM and EMC will introduce this feature natively in their respective monolithic disk systems. Why wait? Clients can move LUNs seamlessly between SSD, FC and SATA drives with SAN Volume Controller.<div>&nbsp;</div> And yes, the DS8700 is field-upgradable non-disruptively from the dual 2-way to the dual 4-way. That something you can't do from V-Max SE up to V-Max, nor can Hitachi make that claim from HDS USP-VM up to USP-V, so thanks for giving me an opportunity to point that out.<div>&nbsp;</div> -- Tony

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