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IBM Storage

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IBM Storage

The IBM Storage product portfolio includes disk, tape, NAS and Flash storage products, storage software and integrated solutions. On June 4, 2012, IBM announced a strategic approach to storage referred to as "Smarter Storage."[1] IBM has three basic tenets for Smarter Storage: efficient by design, self-optimizing, and cloud agile.[2]

Disk Systems

Systems for enterprise workloads

DS8000 Series

The IBM System Storage DS8000 is designed for high performance, reliability, and flexibility and works in a range of open server operating environments and the IBM System z mainframe. The DS8000 includes a range of features that automate performance optimization and application quality of service, as well as provide high levels of reliability and system uptime. The DS8000 offers specialized advanced functions optimized for IBM Power Systems and IBM System z servers. The DS8000 also can use self-encrypting drives for every drive tier to help secure data at rest.[3]

  • DS8100[4]
  • DS8300[5]
    • Dual 4-core POWER5+-based controllers (based on p570 servers)
    • Can contain up to 1024 drives
    • Drives can be Fibre Channel or SATA
  • DS8700[6]
    • Dual 2- or 4-core POWER6-based controllers
    • 3.5" Fibre Channel drives or SSD Solid State Disk
    • Can contain up to 1,024 drives
    • Drives can be 3.5” 15K RPM Drives and SSD Solid State Disk
  • DS8800[7]
    • Dual 2- or 4-core POWER6+-based controllers
    • Can contain up to 1,536 drives
    • 2.5" 10K and 15K RPM Drives and SSD Solid State Disk SAS-2 drives
    • 3.5" Nearline-SAS drives
  • DS8870[8]
    • Dual 2-, 4-, 8- or 16-core POWER7-based controllers
    • Can contain up to 1,536 drives
    • 2.5" 10K and 15K RPM Drives and SSD Solid State Disk SAS-2 drives
    • 3.5" Nearline-SAS drives


The IBM XIV Storage System is a high-end disk storage system designed to provide consistent performance, high availability and simple usability. As virtualized storage that meshes tightly with server hypervisors, XIV is designed to work well in cloud and virtualized environments. The XIV Gen3 model offers 3 TB drives, providing up to 243 TB of usable capacity per rack. SSD caching (available as an option) adds up to 6 TB of management-free high-performance data caching capability to the whole array. The system also can connect to external storage via Fibre Channel (8Gbit/s) and iSCSi (1 or 10 Gbit/s).[9]


IBM Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS) is the IBM enterprise storage platform based on GPFS technology. This system implements NAS based protocols over a large-scale global name space. Today the system can scale out using commodity components to 30 balanced nodes and up to 14.4 PB of storage. GPFS gives the SONAS system with built-in ILM and tight integration with Tivoli Storage Manager helps move data to disk pools.[10]

For entry and midrange workloads

Storwize V7000

IBM Storwize V7000 is a virtualizing storage system from IBM based on the software from the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC). It can attach to storage clients via FCP, FCoE or iSCSI (1 or 10 Gbit/s) protocols and can use Real-time Compression to reduce disk space usage by up to 80 percent.

Storwize V7000 Unified

The Storwize V7000 Unified combines two head units running IBM SONAS version 1.4 code with the IBM Storwize V7000. It is described as unified storage because it simultaneously implements NAS protocols (such as CIFS and NFS) and block storage.[11]

Storwize V5000

IBM Storwize V5000, announced in 2013, is a mid-range virtualizing storage system offering many of the features of the V7000 in a 2U rack-mount enclosure. Storwize V5000 supports 6 Gb SAS and 1 Gb iSCSI host attachment and either 8 Gb FC or 10 Gb iSCSI/FCoE host attachment. The system can support up to 168 drives with six expansion enclosures, and up to 336 drives in a two-way cluster configuration.[12]

Storwize V3700

IBM Storwize V3700, announced on November 6, 2012, is an entry-level system designed to meet the block storage needs of small and midsize businesses. This new system offers capabilities previously available in more expensive systems to help businesses consolidate and share data at a lower price.[13] Key hardware features include:

  • Dual controllers with up to 180 TB of capacity and 8 GB of cache
  • Up to 120 2.5-inch disk drives or 60 3.5-inch disk drives with four expansion units
  • Host attachment through 1 Gb iSCSI ports and 6 Gb SAS ports (standard), with optional 1Gb iSCSI, 6 Gb SAS, 10 Gbit/s iSCSI/FCoE, or 8 Gb Fibre Channel expansion cards.
  • 8GB Cache (4GB per controller) standard; optional upgrade to 16GB
  • RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10
  • Redundant, hot-swappable components (i.e., power supplies and fans)
  • AC power (110 to 240 V)

Storwize V3700 also offers management and interoperability features from previous Storwize systems, including:

  • Simple management capabilities
  • Virtualization of internal storage and thin provisioning for improved storage utilization
  • One-way data migration to easily move data onto Storwize V3700

The system also offers remote mirror, Turbo performance and FlashCopy upgrade and IBM System Storage® Easy Tier® technology to optimize usage of solid-state drives.[14]

In October 2013, IBM announced DC powered models, NEBS and ETSI compliance[15] and remote mirror over IP networks, using Bridgeworks SANSlide technology to optimize the use of network bandwidth.[16]

DS3500 Series

The DS3500 products are made for IBM by NetApp (after NetApp purchased Engenio from LSI in March 2011).[17]

  • DS3512/DS3524
    • 6Gbit SAS single or dual-controller with two SAS host ports on each conroller. Controller options to add (per controller) either two more 6Gbit SAS hosts ports, four 8Gbit FC ports, two 10Gbit iSCSI ports or four 1Gbit iSCSI ports.
    • 2U enclosure with 12 3.5" (DS3512) or 24 2.5" (DS3524) SAS drive bays
    • Can use up to 192 drives using EXP3512 or EXP3524
    • 3U enclosure with 16 SAS or SATA drive bays


The IBM System Storage DCS3700 is designed to offer performance, scalability, and storage density for high performance computing environments.[18]

  • Dual-active intelligent array controllers enabled with Turbo Performance
  • 6Gbit SAS host ports standard with optional 8Gb Fibre Channel (FC) host ports
  • 60 SAS drive bays, with ability to scale up to 180 drives by attaching two DCS3700 Expansion Units
  • Performance model controller is also available
    • 8Gb FC ports standard on each Performance model controller with optional quad port 8 Gb FC HIC, dual port 10 Gb optic iSCSI HIC and quad port 6 Gb SAS HIC.
    • Up to 360 drives supported with five additional DCS3700EXP attached on a performance model controller enclosure.

N Series

The IBM N series solutions are rebranded NetApp FAS arrays, with multiprotocol architecture that natively implements block- and file- based protocols (FCP, iSCSI, NFS, CIFS, FCoE). The system is designed to offer application integration and storage efficiency, with block level de-duplication on primary data and other features.[19] The N Series is offered through an OEM relationship between IBM and NetApp.[20]

According to IBM, N series systems are designed to protect diverse business environment with simple, effective and affordable storage resource management.[21]

N series systems offer now Clustered Data ONTAP, to support clustered architectures with up to 24-cluster nodes.[22]

IBM System Storage N7000 series[23]

  • Highly expandable infrastructure designed for nondisruptive expansion to more than 5.7 PB (5,760 TB) storage capacity
  • Can contain up to 1,440 drives
  • Dual (active/active) Controller configuration
  • 24 processors
  • 192 GB Random access memory

IBM System Storage N6000 series[24]

  • Consolidates block and file data sets onto a single multiprotocol storage platform, up to 2.8 PB (2,880 TB) storage capacity
  • Can contain up to 720 drives
  • Controller configurations: Single (C), Dual (active/active) (CC), Single + IO Exp (CI), Dual (active/active) (CI-HA)
  • Up to 4 processors
  • Up to 40 GB Random access memory

IBM System Storage N3000 series[25]

  • N3000 Express systems offer integrated data access, intelligent management software and data protection capabilities
  • Can contain up to 144 drives with up to 576 TB raw storage capacity with 4 TB drives[26]
  • Controller configurations: Single (C), Dual (active/active) (CC)
  • Up to 4 processors
  • Up to 12 GB Random access memory

Tape and virtual tape systems

For enterprise workloads

TS3500 Tape Library

Highly scalable tape library supporting Linear Tape-Open (LTO) or TS11x0 drives. Can scale up to 16 frames, 192 drives and over 20,000 cartridges capacity per library string or up to 2,700 drives per library complex.[27]

Tape drives

  • TS1140 - Tape drive that uses 3592 media.[28]
  • TS1060 - LTO tape drive that uses LTO generation 6 technology for use in TS3500 tape libraries.[29]

Virtual tape libraries

  • IBM Virtualization Engine TS7700 series - The TS7700 is a virtual tape library for System z (mainframe) that uses disk drives for cache to accelerate backup operations. The design is intended to protect data while having shorter backup windows. End-to-end encryption protects data in motion, on cache hard drives and on tape. TS7740 is designed to speed up tape backups and restores by using a tiered hierarchy of disk and tape to make more efficient use of tape drives. TS7720 provides a hard-drive based "deep cache" solution for frequently accessed data.[30]
  • IBM System Storage TS7650G ProtecTIER Deduplication Gateway - Designed to meet the disk-based data protection needs of the enterprise data center while reducing costs. The solution offers inline deduplication performance and scalability up to 1 petabyte (PB) of physical storage capacity per system that can provide up to 25 PB or more backup storage capacity.[31]

For midrange and entry workloads

Tape libraries

  • TS3310 - Expandable library with up to 18 LTO drives (409 cartridges maximum with expansion modules.)
  • TS3200 - Up to four LTO drive library using half-height drive assemblies (48 cartridges) or up to two with full-height drives.[32]
  • TS3100 - Up to two LTO drive library using half-height drive assemblies (24 cartridges) or one full-height drive.[32]

Tape drives

  • The IBM System Storage TS2900 Tape Autoloader - Designed for entry-level automation for backup and archiving in small-to-medium business environments. The TS2900 is available with IBM Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Half-High SAS tape technology.[33]
  • TS2360 - Full-height external standalone or rack mountable shelf unit with a native physical capacity of 2.5 TB. The IBM Ultrium 6 technology is designed to support media partitioning, IBM Linear Tape File System (LTFS) technology and encryption of data and WORM cartridges.[34]
  • TS2260 - Half-height external standalone or rack mountable shelf unit with a native physical capacity of 2.5 TB.[35]

Virtual tape libraries

  • TS7620 ProtecTIER Deduplication Appliance - Preconfigured repository that can be configured with either a Virtual Tape Library or Symantec OpenStorage interface with a capacity of up to 35 TB.[36]

Flash Storage

IBM offers a range of dedicated flash storage systems and flash storage capabilities in a number of other systems and solutions. In April 2013, the company announced a plan for a $1 billion investment in flash storage research and development to continue to enhance these capabilities.[37] IBM acquired flash storage system maker Texas Memory Systems in 2012.[38] The IBM FlashSystem products announced in April 2013 are based on technology from this acquisition.[39]

IBM FlashSystem 820

IBM FlashSystem 810


IBM FlashSystem 720

IBM FlashSystem 710

FlashSystem 710 is a 1U rackmount system composed of single-level cell (SLC) flash technology, supporting up to 5 TB usable capacity in 1 TB increments. The system supports ECC, IBM Variable Stripe RAIDTM and Active Spare features for data protection and offers hot-swap power supplies. FlashSystem 710 is targeted to write-heavy enterprise workloads.[43]

Other flash storage capabilities

IBM EXP 30 Ultra SSD I/O Drawer – 1U rackmount drawer for IBM Power System offerings. Supports up to 11.6 TB of storage and up to 480,000 IOPS

High IOPS PCIe Adapters – PCIe card adapters for IBM System x servers, offering capacities up to 2.4TB

eXFlash for System x – An internal expansion unit for IBM System x and IBM BladeCenter systems. Supports up to 1.8 TB of storage per “pack.”

Other storage products and capabilities

SAN Volume Controller

The IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) is a block storage virtualization appliance. Because the IBM Storwize V7000 uses SVC code, it can also be used to perform storage virtualization in exactly the same way as the SVC. Since mid-2012 it offers real time compression with no performance impact, saving up to 80% of disk utilization. SVC can be configured on a Stretched Cluster Mode, with automatic failover between two datacenters and can have SSD (Solid State Drives) than perform sub-LUN automatic tiering (EasyTier).

SmartCloud Storage Access

IBM SmartCloud Storage Access is a software solution designed to create a private cloud storage service on existing storage devices. The software can be configured to allow users self-service, Internet-based access for account creation, storage provisioning and file management. The software offers simple management with monitoring and reporting capabilities, including storage usage by user and group definitions.[44]

Real-time Compression Appliances

The IBM Real-time Compression Appliances are designed to compress active primary NAS storage by up to 80 percent with no performance degradation and with no IT or application changes.[45]

  • STN7800 – The STN7800 is a 2U rack-mounted appliance, equipped with 1-gigabit copper Ethernet ports, 10-gigabit optical Ethernet (10GBASE-SR)ports, or both configured as:
    • Four 10-GbE optical ports and eight 1-GbE copper ports
    • Eight 10-GbE optical ports
    • Sixteen 1-GbE copper ports[46]
  • STN6500 - The STN6500 is a 2U rack-mounted appliance, equipped with 16 one-gigabit copper Ethernet ports and 1 management port. IBM announced that the STN6500 will be withdrawn in March 2013.[47]
  • STN6800 - The STN6800 is a 2U rack-mounted appliance, equipped with 1-gigabit copper Ethernet ports, 10-gigabit optical Ethernet (10GBASE-SR) ports, or both configured as:
    • Four 10-GbE optical ports and eight 1-GbE copper ports
    • Eight 10-GbE optical ports
IBM announced that the STN6800 will be withdrawn in March 2013.[47]

Linear Tape File System (LTFS)

LTFS works in conjunction with LTO tape technology to simplify accessing data stored on an IBM tape cartridge. LTFS allows users to run any application designed for disk files against tape data without concern for the fact that the data is physically stored on tape.[48]

IBM offers four options:

  • IBM LTFS Single Drive Edition - access and manage data on a standalone tape drive as if the data were on disk
  • IBM LTFS Library Edition - access and manage data on single or multiple cartridges in a tape library
  • IBM LTFS Storage Manager - manage both online and offline files in IBM tape libraries
  • IBM LTFS Enterprise Edition - run applications designed for disk files from tape storage.

Active Cloud Engine

The Active Cloud Engine (ACE) is an advanced form of multiple site replication. ACE is designed to allow different types of cloud implementations to exchange data dynamically. ACE does is designed to extend the SONAS capability for a single, centrally managed namespace, to a truly distributed, geographically-dispersed, global namespace.[49]

IBM Easy Tier

IBM Easy Tier is designed to automate data placement throughout the disk pool on certain IBM storage systems to improve the efficiency and performance of the storage system. Easy Tier is designed to relocate data (at the extent level) across up to three drive tiers automatically and without disruption to application. Easy Tier also rebalances extents within the same disk tier - even within homogeneous and single-tier extent pools.[50] IBM Easy Tier is available on the DS8000 Series, Storwize V7000, Storwize V7000 Unified, V5000, V3700 and SAN Volume Controller.

Withdrawn disk systems

  • EXP300 (SCSI Ultra160 Expansion drawer for direct host attachment)
  • EXP400 (SCSI Ultra320 Expansion drawer for direct host or DS400 attachment)
  • DS300 (iSCSI controller)
  • DS400 (FC Attached controller, using SCSI drives)
  • DS4000 Series
    • EXP100 (1Gbit FC Expansion drawer for DS4000 attachment, using SATA disks)
    • EXP700 (2Gbit FC Expansion drawer for DS4000 attachment)
    • EXP710 (2Gbit FC Expansion drawer for DS4000 attachment)
    • EXP810 (4Gbit FC Expansion drawer for DS4000 attachment)
    • DS4100 (FC Attached controller, using SATA drives)
    • DS4200
    • DS4300
    • DS4300 Turbo
    • DS4400
    • DS4500
    • DS4700
    • DS4800
  • DS5000
    • DS5020
    • DS5100
    • DS5300
  • DS6800
    • Enterprise storage, with both FC and FICON host connection
    • PowerPC 750 dual-controller with 8 host ports and 8 drive ports
    • 3U enclosure with 16 FC drive bays
    • Attached up to 128 drives using DS6000 expansion units (1750-EX1 and 1750-EX2)
    • Drives could be Fibre Channel or SATA
  • FAStT Series (renamed to DS4000 Series)
    • EXP200 (1Gbit FC Expansion drawer for FAStT attachment)
    • EXP500 (1Gbit FC Expansion drawer for FAStT attachment)
    • FAStT100 (renamed to DS4100)
    • FAStT200
    • FAStT500
    • FAStT600 (renamed to DS4300)
    • FAStT600 Turbo (renamed DS4300 Turbo)
    • FAStT700 (renamed to DS4400)
    • FAStT900 (renamed to DS4500)
  • Enterprise Storage Server (or ESS, or Shark; predecessor of DS8000 Series)
  • DCS9550 (based on the DataDirect Networks S2A9550)

See also

External links

  • IBM Storage
    • Subsections: Software
    • IBM Storage Redbooks


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