by Adam Armstrong

IBM Advances Its All-Flash FlashSystem

Today IBM announced that it was making several changes to its all-flash storage solutions and software. These changes are aimed to both drive down costs and extend the solutions out to the cloud. Aside from support for cloud, IBM’s news advanced data center solutions also deliver support for containers and machine learning.

Flash has over time proven itself to be a potent weapon in any storage arsenal. Even in recent years it has made massive jumps in speed and density. But price is still a limiting factor. One angle of attack is increasing density further, storing more data in the same footprint to lower overall costs. IBM is doing this with its new IBM FlashSystem 900, which is used in the IBM FlashSystem V9000 and IBM FlashSystem A9000. IBM FlashCore technology has transitioned to enhanced 3D TLC flash to lower CAPEX and OPEX cost.

IBM has also advanced its FlashSystem past the hardware with new software, such as Spectrum Virtualize that eases migration and disaster recovery of data to and from the IBM Public Cloud. The company is working on software that provides persistent storage support for Docker and Kubernetes containers, expanded SKLM support and an enhanced GUI. And the company is launching a Cloud Beta software program that integrates AI and machine learning to collect inventory and diagnostic information potentially optimizing performance, capacity, and health of clients’ storage infrastructure.

Updates to IBM Storage systems and software include:

  • New Platform Speeds Private Cloud Deployments – IBM Spectrum Access solutions offer what storage admins users need to deploy a private cloud quickly and efficiently, delivering the economics and simplicity of the cloud with accessibility, virtualization and performance of an on-premises implementation;
  • Consumption-Based Pricing – new utility offering enables a consumption-based buying model for hybrid cloud environments leveraging most of the IBM storage and VersaStack portfolios for users preferring to buy storage as an operating expense;
  • Consolidated User Interface – new interface for FlashSystem 900 consolidates activity and performance information in a single dashboard. Consistent with user interfaces used in other IBM storage systems and IBM Spectrum Storage software, the UI simplifies operations and helps improve productivity;
  • VersaStack with FlashSystem – incorporating the newest FlashSystem being announced today an extensive refresh to the IBM/Cisco VersaStack converged infrastructure offerings;
  • Investment Protection – several of the new all-flash storage and VersaStack solutions announced today are NVMe ready, enabling them to take advantage of the NVMe offerings coming in 2018.

Availability

The new features to IBM’s all-flash systems and IBM Spectrum Storage software are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of this year.

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