IBM Deals On V3700 Arrays, Preps Dedupe For FlashSystem
September 29, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you are shopping for disk arrays for your IBM i systems, IBM has a deal for you on adjunct software functions for its Storwize V3700 storage. And the company is also making promises about adding some advanced functions to the FlashSystem flash-based arrays as well.
In announcement letter 314-098, IBM is offering software function upgrades for the V3700 at no charge. The deal is applied to the Storwize Turbo performance boost, which cranks up the I/O operations per second on the array by 50 percent and doubles the maximum throughput as measured in gigabytes per second for the array. In the United States, this feature costs $6,850. The deal also applies to Remote Mirroring, which costs $8,499 and which provides synchronous or asynchronous data replication between V3700s or arrays front-ended by IBM’s SAN Volume Controller. You can also get a freebie version of FlashCopy, which upgrades the point-in-time flash copy from a basic level with 64 point-in-time copies to a maximum of 2,040 targets; this software upgrade normally costs $2,999. And finally, the Easy Tier data tiering software to move hot and cold data around to hot and cold storage (flash and disk) is also available for free under the deal; it normally costs $3,999. To take part in this deal, you have to buy a dual-controller model of the V3700 and a dozen disk or SSD drives. The offer is open ended, so IBM can withdraw it at any time.
In announcement letter 214-373, IBM made a statement of direction that it would be enhancing the FlashSystem all-flash arrays. But what it really meant is that it would be enhancing the combination of the SAN Volume Controller paired with the FlashSystem. Anyway, here is the statement of direction:
“IBM continues to improve, innovate, and integrate data reduction technologies for the FlashSystem offering. IBM intends to expand its FlashSystem system data reduction technologies, to not only include Real-time Compression, but to also provide data deduplication technology to further increase usable capacity and storage efficiency for client workloads such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).”
All of the arrays from the upstart flash array makers have data compression and data deduplication features that work inline, as data is moving in and out of the system, and they do so because without these features flash arrays would be far too expensive compared to disk arrays on a cost per effective gigabyte basis. Many array makers have had to beef up their controllers to do inline compression and dedupe, and in the case of the FlashSystem, IBM has had to bolt on a pair of SVCs and then beef them up to perform these functions. IBM has not said when it will offer dedupe functions on the combo, but clearly it needs to do so as fast as possible to remain competitive.