High-end Enterprise Storage: IBM FlashSystem 9200 and 9200R

3 minute read

Rapid deployment of new applications combined with crazy fast growth in the amount of data being operated on is pushing enterprises of all shapes and sizes into territory that can only be described as the most demanding of environments. 

The radically simple idea IBM has introduced is that, with Spectrum Virtualize and Storage Insights, all the IBM FlashSystem storage from entry enterprise through to high-end enterprise, and all the other block storage you might have from other vendors, and the block storage you might use on multiple public clouds can all behave in a consistent manner. In my post Elegant flexibility – IBM Spectrum Virtualize and the SAN Volume Controller, I explored how this works with the block storage you may already have from multiple vendors. In this post I’m going to introduce IBM FlashSystem high-end enterprise storage and a few more of the consistent software capabilities Spectrum Virtualize and Storage Insights can bring across your hybrid multicloud. 

Meet the IBM FlashSystem 9200 and 9200R, enterprise storage systems designed for the most demanding environments.

These systems are simply fast. 

With its end-to-end NVMe throughput advantage, IBM FlashSystem 9200 sets a new standard in I/O performance density, the measure of work done per rack unit spent. A FlashSystem 9200 can deliver over 2.2 million I/O’s per second per rack unit — twelve times better than the current generation of some competitors. The IBM FlashSystem 9200 can also deliver faster business decisions with 70 microsecond latency — thirty percent faster than the current generation of other competitors. And for gigabytes per second, a scaled-out IBM FlashSystem 9200 can deliver a stunning 180GB/s — much faster than competitive alternatives(1). 

Like all storage based on Spectrum Virtualize…

These systems are simply efficient.

Making efficient use of available storage capacity can have a profound impact on client budgets. This is where data reduction comes in. Data reduction can come in two forms. First is the hardware-accelerated compression in IBM FlashCore modules. This is ideal for performance sensitive applications that can still benefit from data reduction. There is also software data reduction where Spectrum Virtualize applies several techniques including deduplication, compression, thin provisioning, zero detect, and SCSI Unmap. And it can do this in a consistent manner for all the block storage in your datacenter regardless of your choice in hardware vendors. 

To help size systems correctly, IBM guarantees capacity savings of up to a 5-to-1 ratio, based on a profile of a your workload. If it is not practical to work with IBM to collect data and run reports on your workloads, you can take advantage of a self-certified guarantee of 2:1 data reduction. 

These systems are simple to secure.

Encryption can come in two forms. First is the U.S. Government computer security standard FIPS 140-2 validated encryption that can be enabled with IBM FlashCore modules. This is tamper-resistant hardware encryption for your most sensitive data. There is also software encryption that can be extended system-wide and in a consistent manner to all the other block storage in your datacenter regardless of your choice in hardware vendors.  There’s also choice in how to take care of your encryption keys – either with a physical USB key in the system or with an enterprise key manager like IBM Security Key Lifecycle Manager or Gemalto SafeNet KeySecure.

Check back for the next post where I’ll introduce Midrange Enterprise Storage from IBM and a few more of the Spectrum Virtualize capabilities found across the hybrid multicloud. 

(1) Competitive performance comparisons taken from these third-party and vendor sources for DellEMC link, link; NetApp link; Pure link, link; that were publicly available as of the date of this post.


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