IBM Bolsters Performance and Capacity of DS3500 Array
September 6, 2011 Alex Woodie
IBM‘s entry-level DS3500 Express storage array can now utilize solid state drives (SSDs), giving the array a speed boost for high performance application environments. Meanwhile, the addition of a new high-speed 900 GB 2.5-inch SAS drive and a 3TB 3.5-inch near line SAS drive gives customers more storage options for their growing data library.
The DS3500 Express is one of IBM’s lower end arrays. With the optional expansion enclosures (EXP3512 and EXP3524), the DS3500 can support up to 192 SAS drives of various types, speeds, and sizes, giving customers many TBs of storage. And with the capability to mix and match X64 and Power Systems server connections using 6 Gbps SAS ports, 8 Gbps Fibre Channel ports, and 1 Gbps iSCSI ports, the DS3500 still offers the type of flexibility you might expect in a more expensive array.
Last week, IBM announced several enhancements to the DS3500 line. At the top of the list are the new 200 GB and 400 GB 2.5-inch SAS SSDs. Like all SSDs, these new drives will deliver higher performance and lower latency than the fastest 15,000 RPM drives currently offered in the DS3500, and will be especially beneficial as a cache for applications with high input/output per second (IOPS) requirements. Up to 20 SSDs can be added to a DS3500 and its expansion units.
Also added was a 900 GB 10,000 RPM 2.5-inch SAS drive. This disk option gives users more storage capacity when using the smaller 2.5-inch drives, which can deliver higher IOPS per Watt than 3.5-inch drives. Previously, the largest 2.5-inch 10,000 RPM drive was 600 GB.
A growing midrange shop with rapidly expanding data storage requirements may be interested in the new 3 TB 7,200 RPM 3.5-inch nearline (NL) SAS drive option. The largest drive of this type previously offered was 2TB, giving the DS3500 a 50 percent increase in capacity for cost-oriented environments.
IBM also added a new Mac OS Host Kit, which enables the array to work with Mac OS X 10.6 running on Apple servers. The DS3500 supports an array of operating systems, including the latest Windows, AIX, HP-UX, Red Hat and SuSE Linux, and VMware environments. It supports IBM i 6.1 and 7.1 clients via VIOS 2.1.3 or 2.2, according to www-03.ibm.com/systems/support/storage/ssic/interoperability.wss. For more information, see www-03.ibm.com/systems/storage/disk/ds3500/index.html.