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IBM Elastic Storage Server (ESS) – Product Analysis

Last updated December 1st, 2022 for end of year updates. Covers product architecture, software, performance, commentary on strengths-weaknesses of IBM Elastic Storage Server which uses Spectrum Scale. Download the full Product Analysis now!

The IBM Elastic Storage Server or ESS storage system is a high-end, highly scalable NAS and object storage systems targeted at very large terabyte and petabyte environments. Typical large scale environments include data analytics with Hadoop, Media & Entertainment, geo-sciences, life sciences, backup and archive. The ESS system represents an integration of elements by IBM into a multi-featured NAS system targeted at enterprises that also supports object access.

In the integration to create the ESS system, IBM has used AMD servers in the ESS 3200 and 3500 models or IBM Power servers in the 5000 model and in earlier models, the Spectrum Scale (General Parallel File System) software, storage devices from their OEM suppliers, Linux operating system as the base system and Spectrum Protect (Tivoli Storage Manager or TSM) integrated for additional advanced features. OpenStack Swift open source software is installed on nodes to provide object storage access with objects stored as files. Additional software supports S3 access that maps to Swift protocol.

IBM Spectrum Scale software can be installed on different servers and utilize multiple storage systems for earlier models and interoperate as nodes in a cluster with ESS 3200 or 3500 models. Additionally, Spectrum Scale can be installed on AWS for customers that run or develop analytics software in the public cloud.

There are multiple editions of Spectrum Scale that are offered with variations of licensing, included functionality, and operating systems supported. Details of the versions is included after the product highlights section.

IBM Elastic Storage Server (ESS) Product Analysis includes:

  • Highlights
  • Overview
  • Hardware architecture
  • Software architecture
  • RAS features
  • Software features and functions
  • Evaluator Group commentary

Download the full Product Analysis now!

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