Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.

Oh, there’s good news!

3/18/2021 by Michael Zwolski

By Mike Zwolski

Spring is here and you’ve probably already forgotten how bad the winter was.

What’s worse, you may have forgotten the good news that IBM announced in early February. That’s okay; I’ve been trying to forget February, too.

But the announcement was a big deal for your storage environment. 

First, a simple reminder. Whatever your organization needs – cloud, security, big data, applications, servers, or services – everything revolves around storage. Without data, none of them have any purpose. So, like the priest who repeats the same homily week and week, and does so until the congregation starts to listen, so I am obligated by a higher power to continue to bludgeon you with storage information until I feel you have all repented and changed your behaviors!

With that out of the way, here we go …

First, at 10,000 feet, IBM has a simple, platform-optimized product set for its storage strategy. There are four families.

Mainframe attached: all System Z servers and many large System I servers
FlashSystem Family
All open systems (Intel), VMware, Linux, System P servers, and smaller System I servers
“FS9000 = Daddy-bear sized,
FS7000 = Mommy-bear sized,
FS5000 = Baby-bear sized”
ESS – Elastic Storage Server
For Big Data and AI workloads
COS – Cloud Object Storage
For customers building out low cost cloud storage on premise

Most of our customers will be interested in the DS8000 and FlashSystem Family products. In February, there was news on the low end (FS-5000), which targets the fastest growing segment in the storage market.

The new FlashSystem 5200 is one of IBM's most powerful storage systems for its size and designed to provide enterprise-class storage capabilities to organizations of any size. And although it has greater performance and capacity than its predecessor, the FlashSystem 5100, the new 5200 has a base price that is on average 20% less expensive (based on configuration). Other key attributes include:

  • Hybrid Cloud & Containers: The IBM FlashSystem 5200, like the entire IBM flash storage portfolio, supports Red Hat OpenShift, Container Storage Interface (CSI) for Kubernetes, Ansible automation, and Kubernetes, as well as VMWare and bare metal environments.
  • Enterprise Capabilities: The system also comes with IBM Storage Insights, which can give users visibility across complex storage environments to help them make informed decisions, and IBM Spectrum Virtualize, which enables users to consolidate and manage storage as if it were one pool, designed to improve performance and lowering operating expenses. Also included are such data resiliency functions as IBM HyperSwap which supports automatic failover in case of a site incident.
  • Capacity: FlashSystem 5200 starts with 38TB of data capacity and can grow to deliver 1.7PB[2] in a compact 1U form factor for space-constrained environments, or the equivalent of close to 1 trillion pages of printed text.
  • Speed: Although FlashSystem 5200 is half the size of traditional storage systems, it offers 66% greater maximum I/Os than its predecessor and 40%[3] more data throughput at 21GB/s, and is designed to help clients save on both capital and operating expenses.
  • Ease of use: IBM support line (for installation, configuration, and usage questions) is available for every FS-5200.

IBM also announced two additional models to the FlashSystem series that are designed to deliver improved performance: the FlashSystem 5015 and 5035, both of which are 2U systems, designed for organizations with less demanding performance and growth requirements (using a flash/HDD mix) but with the same rich IBM Spectrum Virtualize and IBM Storage Insights functions.

So that’s the one thing about February that you really should remember, because storage infrastructure is important. If you have storage questions for the LRS team, please fill out the form below.

About the author

Michael Zwolski is a z Systems and Storage Solution Advisor with LRS IT Solutions. With more than 30 years of experience supporting Fortune 100 IBM customers in the areas of mainframe and enterprise storage, Michael is skilled at interfacing between technical and business resources. His knowledge of IBM storage solutions including DS8000, FlashSystem, SVC, and TS7000 and others make him a valuable asset on storage projects.