IBM Gooses DS8870 Disk Array With Power7+ Chips
December 9, 2013 Alex Woodie
IBM last month unveiled a refresh of its high-end DS8870 SAN disk array that features the latest Power7+ processors, which Big Blue says will deliver a 15 percent increase in data throughput for transactional workloads. The refreshed SAN also features a pair of new hard drive options, new security features, and new optimizations for Flash drives.
IBM first rolled out the DS8870 over a year ago to serve the data storage needs of its most demanding customers. Users can mix and match a variety of different drives to house hot and not-so-hot data–up to 2.3 PB of it when four of the DS8870 enclosures are linked together and outfitted with more than 1,500 SAS drives.
With the new Power7+ processors, the high-performance DS8870 Model 961 can help deliver up to 15 percent performance improvement in maximum IOPS in transaction processing workload environments over the Power7-based Model 961, IBM says.
IBM is also now offering 1.2 TB SAS encryption drive spinning at 10K RPM and a 4 TB nearline SAS encryption drive spinning at 7,200 RPM as new options on all DS8870 models. These drives go along with the existing drive options, which include 400 GB SSDs, 146 GB and 300 GB 15K RPM SAS drives, 600 GB and 900 GB 10K RPM SAS drives, and a 3 TB, 7,200 RPM nearline SAS drive.
Users can choose to outfit their DS8870s with 100 percent flash drives, too. Combined with the new internal microcode, an all-flash setup ups the performance by 20 percent, in terms of maximum IOPS in random I/O workload environments. To get the all-400 GB SSD option, users ask for the new flash accelerator RPQ #08S1364.
The entry-level business class configuration of the DS8870 also got bigger. The business class machine can now scale to 1,056 drives and use up to 16 Power7+ cores. When the DS8870 launched last year, it could be outfitted with up to 144 drives and was powered with a basic dual-core Power7 processor.
On the security front, the DS8870 now supports National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) SP 800-131A, which is a cryptographic algorithm that uses keys with 112-bit lengths. IBM says that NIST SP 800-131A is required to provide data security and data integrity for secure data created in the cryptoperiod starting in 2014.
The DS8870 microcode refresh is available now, but the new drives and Power7+ processor options will have to wait until March 6 and June 6 of next year, respectively.
The list price for the microcode (dubbed DS8000 LMC R7.2) is $40,000. An upgrade from the two-core Power7+ processor to the four-core will cost from $78,805 to $89,605, depending on machine type. Selecting the eight-core processor will cost, depending on machine type, from $157,610 to $176,510, while selecting the 16-core Power7+ processors will cost, from $315,220 to $343,120, respectively, depending on machine type.
For more information see announcement letter 113-174.