Menu
IBM updates all-flash storage array to complement X6 servers

IBM updates all-flash storage array to complement X6 servers

The FlashSystem 840, building on last year's 820, will fit a petabyte of storage in a rack with low latency

As IBM accelerates its sixth-generation X Series servers with memory-channel flash storage, it's also offering to boost data-center performance with a new all-flash SAN array.

The company announced the FlashSystem 840 array on Thursday alongside the x6 platform, its latest x86 server family for mission-critical enterprise use. The storage box is a followup to the FlashSystem 820, which was introduced last April and represented the debut of technology that IBM bought with Texas Memory Systems in 2012. In addition to making that acquisition, the company announced last April it would invest US$1 billion in flash research and development.

IBM is aiming x6 servers at big-data analytics tasks and cloud-based services, as well as standard data-center purposes. All those applications have to tap into large and fast-growing collections of data, and IBM is making big investments in flash so enterprises can quickly get that data to the high-powered x86 chips that will process it. In x6 servers themselves, customers will be able to deploy flash storage in DIMMs like those normally used for memory, taking advantage of the memory channel's super-fast connection to the CPU.

Each FlashSystem 840 is twice the size of an 820, measuring 2 standard rack units high, and has twice the maximum capacity, at 48TB fully loaded. It carries forward the earlier platform's high performance, with latency of 90 microseconds for writing data and 135 microseconds for reading. A fully configured system can perform 1.1 million IOPS (in/out operations per second).

That means the FlashSystem 840 can be used for analyzing and processing 40,000 credit-card transactions per second, according to Michael Kuhn, vice president and business line executive for IBM Flash Systems. The platform can also help enterprises and cloud service providers support financial trading and analysis, software as a service and health care. In the medical field, this type of storage can help to power quick analysis of data such as how different types of people respond to treatments, which in turn can be used to deliver real-time prescriptions and advice in doctors' offices, he said.

Customers that fill an entire data-center rack with FlashSystem 840 units will have a petabyte of storage in that rack alone and the systems can be expanded to multiple racks.

The company is also introducing the FlashSystem Enterprise Performance Solution, a bundle of the 840 with IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller technology. This adds popular enterprise capabilities such as compression, thin provisioning, storage virtualization and snapshots to the 840.

All-flash arrays are growing beyond specialized products geared toward all-out performance and enterprise-class features are part of the evolution, said IDC analyst Jeff Janukowicz. For example, the FlashSystem 840 includes redundancy and the ability to hot-swap components in and out, he said.

"These are the types of things that are truly necessary to help move the whole market from just being relatively small and a niche into more mainstream types of applications," Janukowicz said.

Meanwhile, the ranks of vendors pushing purpose-built, all-flash storage has expanded from startups to established vendors such as IBM and EMC, which last year began shipping its Xtremio flash arrays, he said.

IBM's introduction of both the new flash SAN array and memory-channel flash shows how solid-state storage is emerging in multiple forms for different needs, much as spinning hard drives have come in various forms, said Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Mark Peters.

The company is finally bringing its massive size to bear in flash with serious development efforts and market focus, Peters said.

"The IBM storage division is a lot more assertive and directed than IBM has been a few years ago, where really they thought that just stamping 'IBM' on it was enough," Peters said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IBMstorage

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments