IBM® recently announced new versions of their IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) and FlashSystem V9000 hardware, new Storwize V7000F & V5030F systems and Spectrum Virtualize software enhancements.
New SVC, V9000 and Storwize V7000F/V5030F hardware
IBM has announced new Storwize V7000F and Storwize V5030F storage systems as well as a new generation of SVC controller also used in the FlashSystem V9000 system.
SVC and FlashSystem V9000 changes
The new SVC and FlashSystem V9000 controller has moved from an 8-core to a 10-core compute engine which provides up to 30% more IO performance for both systems. The new SVC controller also offers 4X more cache to improve application responsiveness and 2X more 10GbE ports for server and storage attach.
The FlashSystem V9000 and SVC can now also incorporate up to 20 expansion shelves, in a new hybrid offering supporting 1.9TB and 3.8TB SSDs with the new 7TB and 15TB high capacity SSDs coming soon. With the new hybrid offering, the FlashSystem V9000 also offers other Spectrum Virtualize capabilities such as Easy Tier storage tiering and distributed RAID.
Storwize V7000F and Storwize V5030F
The Storwize V7000F all flash system gets a new controller, promising over 45% better IO performance. Both systems are now GA and also support the 1.9TB and 3.8TB SSDs with the new 7TB and 15TB high capacity SSDs coming soon.
The V7000F supports hardware-assist Real Time Compression (RTC) with distributed RAID and multi-layer write caching. The V5030F has the distributed RAID and multi-layer write caching but only offers software RTC.
New Spectrum Virtualize software
As you may recall Storwize, SVC and FlashSystem V9000 series systems all use Spectrum Virtualize functionality which is also being enhanced. Spectrum Virtualize is now also available in a software defined edition as well.
At present, Spectrum Virtualize supports external storage virtualization, local and remote (SVC, Storwize, and FlashSystem V9000) replication, (software) compression, (software) encryption and Easy Tier automated storage tiering. Spectrum Virtualize also supports clustering with other software-defined storage servers running Spectrum Virtualize.
With the enhancements being announced today, Spectrum Virtualize supports 20% more LUNS (8K to 10K), better flash management, additional iSCSI support for Spectrum Accelerate, and coming soon, support for virtualizing EMC Unity storage systems.
IBM Statements of Direction (SoD)
Currently, Spectrum Virtualize only runs on Lenovo X3650 M5 Servers but IBM made a SoD to support Cisco UCS, Supermicro and HP servers. Moreover, Spectrum Virtualize only runs on bare metal servers today but IBM made a SoD to support hypervisors and containers as well as bare metal.
IBM provided a SoD to support up to 256GB of DRAM as cache per node on SVC controllers and to support iSCSI for clustering across all Spectrum Virtualize product lines. IBM also said they will release a new 5U 92 drive, high-density expansion shelf for Storwize, SVC and FlashSystem V9000 configurations. As mentioned previously, IBM will support 7TB and 15TB SSDs in SVC, FlashSystem V9000 and Storwize configurations.
Some additional Spectrum Virtualize software SoD, include:
- Data deduplication will be supported in all of configurations;
- Flash memory management and SSD drive wear software will be enhanced; and
- SCSI “unmap” command will be supported for thin provisioned LUN data deletion.
The new Storwize V7000F and V5030F were discussed earlier this year but now are GA. The FlashSystem V9000 expansion is very interesting and could signal a broadening of the V9000 target market. Spectrum Virtualize’s iSCSI clustering is another enhancement needed to open up the market for its various configurations.
Spectrum Virtualize was previously only available as Beta software but will be now be GA.
The changes coming in Spectrum Virtualize will make it a more fully functional software- defined storage solution. But realize that even with today’s release, it supports storage virtualization and remote replication with storage hardware systems like SVC, Storwize and FlashSystem V9000, unavailable from any other software-defined storage system on the market today.
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Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community.