Hardware overview

The architecture of the IBM® DS8000® series is based on three major elements that provide function specialization and three tiers of processing power.

Figure 1 illustrates the following elements:
  • Host adapters manage external I/O interfaces that use Fibre Channel protocols for host-system attachment and for replicating data between storage systems.
  • Flash RAID adapters manage the internal storage devices. They also manage the SAS paths to drives, RAID protection, and drive sparing.
  • A pair of high-performance redundant active-active Power® servers is functionally positioned between the adapters and a key feature of the architecture.

    The internal Power servers support the bulk of the processing to be done in the storage system. Each Power server has multiple processor cores. The cores are managed as a symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) pool of shared processing power to process the work that is done on the Power server. Each Power server runs an AIX® kernel that manages the processors, manages processor memory as a data cache, and more. For more information, see IBM DS8000 Architecture and Implementation on the IBM Redbooks®

Figure 1. DS8000 series architecture
DS8000 architecture
The DS8000 series architecture has the following major benefits.
  • Server foundation
    • Promotes high availability and high performance by using field-proven Power servers
    • Reduces custom components and design complexity
    • Positions the storage system to reap the benefits of server technology advances
  • Operating environment
    • Promotes high availability and provides a high-quality base for the storage system software through a field-proven AIX operating-system kernel
    • Provides an operating environment that is optimized for Power servers, including performance and reliability, availability, and serviceability
    • Provides shared processor (SMP) efficiency
    • Reduces custom code and design complexity
    • Uses Power firmware and software support for networking and service functions