The DS8000 is IBM’s high-end enterprise storage system supporting both mainframe and open system attachment. The DS8000 storage system currently consists of the DS8880 and DS8900 models with various choices of base and expansion elements to address specific configuration needs from a capacity, connectivity, and performance perspective. F is the designation for all flash models such as DS8880F and DS8900F.
The DS8000 series is based upon the IBM POWER 8 and POWER 9 server technology that is also integrated with the IBM Virtualization Engine technology. The DS8000 consists of a storage unit and one or two Hardware Management Consoles. A storage complex is the storage unit and the Management Consoles that manage it.
The DS8880 hybrid models offer 2.5” disk drive technology and 2.5” SSDs along with Flash Enclosures utilizing 2.5” Gen-2 Flash Modules (Gen-1 Flash modules were 1.8”) and provides the following features. The all-flash models – DS8xxxF – use Flash Enclosures exclusively.
Transparent cloud tiering where data is automatically migrated to IBM Cloud Object Storage, IBM Cloud, or IBM TS7700 was added in 2017. This allows the mainframe to control movement for ECKD volumes with DFSMShsm to move data to and from the DS8000 and cloud object storage.
The IBM DS8000 is targeted at the high-end enterprise, especially with mainframe support requirements. IBM supports both mainframe and open systems and the DS8000 is IBM’s only storage offering capable of mainframe attachment. As a very mature and extremely reliable system, the DS8000 has extensive features required in demanding enterprise environments.
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The IBM DS8000 is a mature architecture that is extremely reliable – without question the most reliable of the high-end SAN storage systems. The inclusion of the Flash Enclosure with Flash modules is an enhancement that will improve the value of DS8000 with increased performance for customers. The need for a mainframe attached storage system will continue and IBM will support the DS8000 as that system. The maximum capacity for the different models reflects the amount required in that environment. Other storage systems will scale larger, but focus specifically on open systems usage.
The tight integration with zOS is a key value proposition for the DS8000 and IBM has the advantage of controlling both sides. It should be evident that IBM will continue to be the leader here. Evaluator Group expects that more advances will be made with the flash enclosures with great capacity and greater density as customers transition to all-flash primary storage.
Competition for selling storage, especially all-flash storage, is fierce and there is a continue price decline and dealing for footprint by vendors. IBM maintains a high list price and then provides discounting. The high list price needs to change given the changing competitive practices.