The product line of the IBM System Storage DS8300 and DS8100 machines has been among the most successful in the history of IBM storage, and along with their smaller sister DS6800, we still have many customers enjoying these products in the field, typically using extended warranty contracts by now.
As per the announcement http://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/ShowDoc.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/7/897/ENUS915-087/index.html (for Europe, cf. http://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/printableversion.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_sm/6/877/ENUS2107-_h06/index.html ), the end of service for these older generations has come, with 31 March 2016 being the final date for the DS8300 and DS8100, and 30 September 2015 being the final service date for the DS6800.
TCO and Consolidation
Typically the boxes get replaced because of TCO reasoning: The costs for floor space, energy, maintenance for the next years and similar things are higher when keeping the old boxes even considering the new purchase and migration, and especially when consolidating several older DS8000s into one new.
And for TCO studies, a toolset (TCOnow!) is available and can be performed individually, to make a projection on expected savings.
But let me add a few technical points to this: For things that a new DS8870 or DS8870 Business Class could do, and one of the older-generation boxes could not.
Easy Tier, our automated optimisation between flash, non-flash HDDs and Nearline HDDs has been introduced 2009, so is not available on older boxes like a DS8300. And with a multi-tier configuration and volume pools, significant space savings are possible:
E.g. where an older configuration used completely 300 GB/15K HDDs, a new configuration may go with a mix of 5% flash and 95% 900 GB/10K HDDs.
This allows a lot less frames to be used. And a lot less energy. So energy savings are one of the biggest drivers to introduce flash, along with the sub-ms response times that are possible there.
And other energy savings come from the simple fact that the old models were using 3.5" HDDs (FC). The new models run on 2.5" SAS 2.0 drives, so per individual drive, this may be another 50% in energy saving, and on top comes the space saving gained by the newer drive enclosures, and the saving when one flash drive replaces a large number of HDDs.
Not counting the large performance gains of the storage system itself, which usually allows a many-to-one consolidation for a majority of the data centres.
New Features and Models
Many of the OS synergy features come only in the newer DS models also.
For instance, we have VMware VAAI integration, AIX HyperSwap or an OpenStack Cinder interface with a new DS8870. There is T10 PI. There is NIST SP 800-131a-compliant command encryption.
There is Multi-Target PPRC now, one source DS to 2 or more targets. There is I/O Priority Manager, as a QoS feature.
There is "Easy Tier Server", an integration of the Easy Tier automatism with local flash-cache optimisation directly at an AIX server.
For z Systems, we can do things like zHyperWrite: DB2 clients saving response times on log writing in mirrored environments.
In multi-tiered pools, you can pin volumes to a certain tier, for a certain point of time.
Codeload, and recovery times have sharply improved over the years.
With the new z13 now having 16Gb HBAs, also an upgrade of the SAN infrastructure to such higher speeds at the directors might go into this analysis.
For some of the DS8300/DS8100 installations, potentially also a completely different product like a FlashSystem V9000 is now an option, and flash being definitely a new game changer also in the sense that for some clients, these response times enable new applications and analytics insights not having thought of before.
In many cases, DS8870 or DS8870 Business Class models will be the natural successors, with a wide range of CPU power (dual 2-way, up to dual 16-way + acceleration features) or cache sizes (16 GB up to 1 TB) available.
Did I mention that there is an "All-flash" model for the DS8870 available, completely filled with High-Performance Flash Enclosures?
Get the discussion going.