IBM announces new FlashSystem A9000/R, DS8888 AFA, & Storwize V7000F/V5000F

In DS8888, FlashSystem A9000/A9000R, Spectrum Accelerate, Storwize v5000F, Storwize V7000F by AdministratorLeave a Comment

IBM® recently announced new versions of their IBM FlashSystem™ A9000/FlashSystem A9000R, IBM DS8888 System Storage and Storwize V7000F and V5000F storage systems.

New IBM FlashSystem A9000 and FlashSystem A9000R

IBM has combined their Spectrum Accelerate™ (XIV®) storage software with FlashSystem 900 storage to create a new grid storage solution called the FlashSystem A9000. The FlashSystem A9000R is a rack configuration of FlashSystem A9000 storage including 2 to 6 grid elements in a rack, with InfiniBand switching between all components. IBM FlashSystem A9000/A9000R storage supports both FC and iSCSI storage protocols.

IBM Spectrum Accelerate is a scale-out grid storage solution with award winning management software and extensive data functionality that now comes in software-only, software-hardware XIV storage and FlashSystem A9000 systems. The main advantages of IBM A9000/A9000R grid storage are its high IO performance while providing a full data reduction suite, consistent and linear performance scalability, automated performance tuning by spreading customer data across all grid elements and inherent operational simplicity. A9000’s high IO performance, automatic tuning and intrinsic ease of use make a good match for hybrid cloud storage.

IBM FlashSystem A9000 & A9000R hardware

Each FlashSystem A9000 pod consists of 3 grid controllers and 1 flash storage enclosure. The flash enclosure includes 21.4TB, 52.8TB or 105.6TB raw or 60TB, 150TB or 300TB effective storage capacities. The A9000 can handle up to 500K IO operations per second (IOPS) with a 70:30 read:write (R:W) ratio at a 250msec response time. Each of the FlashSystem A9000R grid elements includes 2 grid controllers and 1 flash enclosure. A 6-grid element A9000R system is capable of up to 2M IOPS at 250msec response time and provides up to 1.8PB effective storage capacity. Like all FlashSystem storage, the A9000 and A9000R make use of IBM FlashCore™ technology to provide highly parallel IO operations and IBM Variable Stripe RAID® to support per module data protection.

IBM FlashSystem A9000 & A9000R software

The FlashSystem A9000R offers flash optimized data reduction capabilities that includes data pattern removal, inline data deduplication and data compression to reduce logical data space.  IBM markets the system using an effective capacity that is 5.26.1 times the usable capacity though data reduction could be better or worse depending on the workload. The new storage also supports redirect-on-write, read-write or read only snapshots which are space efficient and have negligible performance impact.

Furthermore, the A9000 includes Quality of Service functionality to cap bandwidth or IOPS on a storage pool, volume or host level to minimize noisy-neighbor problems and better support multi-tenant/mixed application environments. The A9000 also supports secure multi-tenancy, role based access controls, and LDAP support. Coming in June is data encryption, synchronous/asynch remote replication, and RPO monitoring. The A9000/A9000R comes with VMware vCenter plug-in support and in 2H2016, will include VAAI, vVol, SRA for SRM and VASA 2.0 support. FlashSystem A9000/R supports 2 licensing models: enclosure based and capacity based which allows customers to transfer licensing between Spectrum Accelerate software-only, XIV and FlashSystem A9000 storage.

New IBM DS8888 All-Flash storage

Pre-announced last fall, IBM has released a new DS8880 system, the DS8888 All-Flash storage. The new storage is built on POWER8 technology. IBM DS8880 storage has always included rock solid reliability (6-9’s) and extensive mainframe (z/OS) support. The DS8888 supports up to 128 FICON or FC ports with dual redundant POWER8 storage controllers having a total of 96 cores. In a 40U rack, the DS8888 supports 16 High Performance Flash Enclosures (HPFE) that consists of 480 Flash Cards, up to 192TB.  The DS8888 supports up to 2.5M IOPS under 70:30 R:W, at sub 1msec response time

The DS8888 offers all the same functionality as other DS8880 systems, including IBM FlashCopy, Metro Mirror, Global Mirror, Metro/Global Mirror, Global Copy & Multiple Target PPRC, self encrypted drives with KMIP support, new RESTful and OpenStack APIs, thin provisioning and reclamation of deleted data.

New IBM Storwize V7000F & V5000F storage

The new Storwize all-flash storage systems utilize flash enclosures with up to 24-2.5” flash drives supporting 200GB to 1.6TB per SSD. The Storwize V7000F supports up to 21 flash enclosures and the V5000F supports up to 20 flash enclosures. New Storwize performance is reported to be 162K IOPS for the V7000F and 143K IOPS for the V5000F (70:30 R:W). For more performance, both the V7000F and V5000F offer cluster configurations with up to 4 storage systems.


The new FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R storage systems provide easy scale-out storage technology with FlashSystem’s amazing response times & IOPS performance for FC and iSCSI storage. All this with space efficiencies and data reduction capabilities that match the best in the industry available today. That combined with the inherent ease of use of the Spectrum Accelerate software makes for a compelling combination.

The DS8888 and Storwize V7000F and V5000F storage round out IBM’s all flash storage portfolio and places IBM at the forefront of flash technologies using IBM proprietary designs for FlashSystem and DS8888 as well as standard off the shelf SSD technologies.

[This storage announcement dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in April of 2016.  If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports. Dispatches are posted to our website at least a quarter or more after they are sent to our subscribers. Also we have recently updated (May 2019) our SAN Storage Buying Guide so if you are interested in purchasing block or primary storage, please checkout our Buying Guide available for sale on our website. ]  

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

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