IBM 8800 Storage Array
IBM has announced a new model in its 8000 Tier 1 series of storage arrays, to be generally available November 19, 2010. The key differences between the previous 8700 model and the new 8800 model is the use of 2.5 inch 6Gb/sec SAS-2 drives for the back end, and up to 8Gb/sec FC front-end ports.
It uses the same packaging as the new Storwize V7000 with 24 SAS drives in a 2U space.The total number of drives is 1056 taking three frames.
The 8800 storage array is a welcome addition to the IBM 8000 series, providing additional power and reducing the footprint and power consumption significantly compared with earlier models. The 8800 comes with all the tier 1 functionality that is expected, and is an excellent tier 1 performance array. The Easy Tier software is best of breed for tier 1 storage arrays, and Wikibon believes that it will be extensively deployed.
The IBM 8800 does not have the drive and capacity options of EMC or Hitachi. IBM outperforms the EMC VMAX on environmentals for performance-focused arrays but needs significant work to compete with Hitachi’s VSP environmentals.
Action Item: Organizations that have IBM 8000 series installed will be very pleased to have the performance and environmentals of the 8800 storage array, and will usually be best served by continuing to use the well established 8000 software, processes, and procedures for true tier 1 applications rather than converting to other vendors. IBM 8000 users should put Easy Tier on a fast track for adoption. However, IBM will need to do more to attract new users to the IBM’s tier 1 offering.