IBM FlashSystem 9200 NVMe-Accelerated, Multi-Cloud Enabled
This blog introduces the IBM FlashSystem 9200, which provides support for NVMe End-to-End and includes IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software Defined Storage (SDS) hypervisor, enabling organisations to virtualise existing arrays from 500 IBM and other vendors.
The IBM FlashSystem 9200 follows on from the 9100, launched in August 2019 as the first full NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) array from IBM. If you’re not yet familiar with NVMe, it is a relatively new protocol specifically designed for high-speed storage media. Earlier protocols like SCSI, SAS and SATA can trace their lineage back to the mid-1980’s and were created in the days of tape and spinning hard drives. While these protocols have been updated numerous times over the years to increase transfer speeds, the same basic bottlenecks persisted. NVMe is designed to remove some of these bottlenecks and reduce the “chatter” associated with SCSI/SAS, increasing the efficiency of data access as well as the number of data queues – which means better parallelisation in data processing.
Further enhancements to NVMe will become available over the coming months and years as host adapters that support NVMe over Fabric (NVMeOF) become more widely available. If you’re looking to get the low-latency performance that NVMe can bring while future-proofing your investment, a key thing to check is whether your chosen array supports NVMe End-to-End.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog on the 9100 launch, the primary challenge facing businesses isn’t so much the speed of storage as the ability to make sure that the right data is in the right place at the right time, based on its value to the business. The IBM FlashSystem 9200 differentiates itself from a standard NVMe array thanks to the comprehensive range of management tools that it ships with.
As well as support for NVMe End-to-End, the 9200 includes IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software Defined Storage (SDS) hypervisor, enabling more than 500 IBM and third-party storage arrays to be virtualised and inherit functionality from the parent array – such as compression, deduplication, tiering and encryption. The 9200 also ships with:
As well as support for NVMe End-to-End, the 9200 includes IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software Defined Storage (SDS) hypervisor, enabling more than 500 IBM and third-party storage arrays to be virtualised and inherit functionality from the parent array – such as compression, deduplication, tiering and encryption.
The 9200 also ships with:
- Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud, enabling synchronous or asynchronous replication from on-premises storage to the public cloud.
- Copy Data Management, enabling the capture and reuse of primary data for secondary use cases such as testing, development and analytics – including self-service provisioning to extend cloud efficiency to on-premises applications.
- Support for Storage Class Memory (SCM) – non-volatile, ultra low latency memory for a fraction of the cost of traditional memory.
As with other members of the newly unified FlashSystem family, the 9200 is also available to purchase under the IBM Storage Utility Model, which allows you to pay according to the actual capacity you’re using, in an OPEX model that brings the commercial benefit of cloud economics to on-premises environments.
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