IBM 2011 May 09 Data Protection and Disk Storage Announcements

In Data storage, DS8000, DS8700, DS8800, SAN Volume Controller (SVC), SONAS, Storwize V7000, TS1140, TS3500, TS7700 by Administrator

IBM Data Protection and Disk Storage announcements

IBM Data Protection

New TS1140

IBM announced a new generation of enterprise tape drive transport and media called the TS1140 that now provides the highest performing tape storage.  New TS1140 tape media comes in high capacity (4TB) or economy high performance (500GB) both with WORM option cartridges. The new TS1140 transport runs at 250MB/sec native data transfer, uses dual 8Gb FC ports, and has 12 separate speed-matching settings (to minimize stop-starts).  Further, the TS1140 system now can search, locate and rewind at fast 12.4 mps, and can be configured with multi-partitioning using different security settings. The new transport requires less passes to write fully and consumes less energy than the competition.

New TS3500 enhancements

IBM’s TS3500 enterprise tape library now supports an innovative inter-library cartridge transfer capability using a bi-directional connection and shuttle car to move cartridges from one TS3500 to another TS3500 string with no stops in-between.  With this new capability a library complex can be made up of 15-TS3500 strings, supporting up to 300K LTO or 225K 3592 tape cartridge slots with 2700 tape transports and can sustain up to 15K mounts/hr.  With the new TS1140 transports and media a 15-TS3500 library complex maxes out at 900PB of raw tape capacity.

TS7700 VTL for Mainframes enhancements

IBM has increased overall TS7700 performance by 30% and sustained writes by nearly 70% using new Power 7 servers and IO enhancements.  In addition, the TS7700 now supports up to 2 million 6GB sized logical volumes, uses 8Gb FC for backend storage access with up to 6 Grid connections for continuous operations, replication and failover.

IBM Disk Storage enhancements

Storwize V7000 and SVC

Storwize V7000 can now support up to two control enclosures in a single “clustered system”, and as such, doubles storage capacity and performance. Also two new Storwize solution bundles have been introduced; one of which include 3years of maintenance, Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager, external storage virtualization, and IBM or partner provided solution implementation services. A second bundle drops out Productivity Center and external virtualization.

Common enhancements to both SVC and Storwize V7000 include new 15Krpm SFF drive enclosures, 10GbE for iSCSI and future FCoE, VAAI and vCenter plugins for better VMware integration, and new external disk support for HDS VSP, HP StorageWorks P9500, TMS RamSan-620 and EMC VNX systems.

Also, IBM has rolled out new SVC hardware (2145-CG8) for better performance using 24GB cache, 8GFC, and new Intel Westmere processor chips. The new hardware can now utilize up to 4-SSDs per node and can be intermixed in pairs within any current SVC cluster.  Other enhancements include management of up to 32PB of virtualized storage, Easy Tier for internal or external SSDs, enterprise licensing (for multiple data center locations) and together with VMware stretched SVC clusters where virtual volumes are accessible across multiple ESX clusters up to 10km apart.


SONAS software has been enhanced to improve performance (2X) by increasing concurrent IO thread counts, more cached files, better sequential throughput and better small file IO handling. Also SONAS now uses dual 10GbE links to the host for more bandwidth.  In addition, it can now employ XIV and StorWize V7000 as backend storage and provides outboard anti-virus scanning (McAfee and Symantec) and NDMP backups.


The latest DS8000 microcode brings the new DS8800 hardware up to the same level of functionality as DS8700, i.e., thin provisioning, Easy Tier and storage tier advisor, remote pair FlashCopy, and specifically for z/OS environments, Metro/Global mirror incremental resync, Distributed Data Backup, Ficon Discovery and Auto Configuration (zDAC), and high performance FICON. After that announcement IBM later revealed some additional functionality enhancements that included better Easy Tier, I/O Priority manager (LUN QoS), new (XIV inspired) management GUI, and increased volume size support.  Finally, the DS8700 now gains 8GFC host ports.  The DS8700 and DS8800 will continue to coexist with the older DS8700 using LFF FC drives connected via 2Gb/s backend and the newer DS8800 using SFF SAS drives connected via 6Gb/sec backend.

Announcement significance

IBM’s TS1100 family of tape drives continues the duel with Oracle for the enterprise tape market. As the score now stands, Oracle has higher raw capacity and IBM has higher transport and search performance and lower energy consumption.

As for disk storage, StorWize V7000 seems to be enjoying great market acceptance with Q4’10 completely sold out.  How this impacts the SVC business is another question.  However, the new stretched SVC clusters will generate some interest. SONAS continues to roll forward but now with Isilon owned by EMC, this competition can only heat up.  Finally, while the latest DS8000 microcode update is great, there’s more to be done.

[This announcement summary dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in May of 2011.  If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) or subscribe by email and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports.]

Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community