The IBM FlashSystem solid-state storage systems are a family of all solid-state technology systems with the latest models being the 900, the Spectrum Virtualize based V9000 and the Spectrum Accelerate based A9000. The FlashSystem storage systems come from the IBM acquisition of Texas Memory Systems in 2012. The 900 has custom designed flash devices with special software to manage wear and lifespan called MicroLatency Modules. The FlashSystem systems come from a heritage of systems designed for solid-state technology with the original systems based on DRAM technology. The all solid-state systems benefit from the memory –based performance designs.
The FlashSystems have embedded software called Ramsan OS for the control and interface support. Currently, advanced features such as replication and snapshots require an IBM Spectrum Virtualize or Spectrum Accelerate software on nodes to be installed in front of the FlashSystem 900 systems or integrated in the form of FlashSystem V9000 and A9000.
The features provided with the FlashSystem 900 without the added software used in V9000 and A9000 include:
- Performance response time of 95 microseconds consistently
- Seven year wear guarantee for MicroLatency modules
- Compression – inline with flash module hardware
- Encryption with SKLM key management
- NVMe over Fabric using InfiniBand for high performance, RDMA fabric access
The flash-based solid state modules are RAID protected with two methods: RAID 5 within the module (or optionally RAID 0 in the case of model 900) to protect from cell failures and RAID 5 across the modules called Variable Stripe RAID to protect from module failures. The RAID protection method is called 2D Flash RAID. In addition to redundant power, data paths, and control paths, ECC is used in the flash modules. A hot spare flash module is included and hot swap of the module allows for non-disruptive operation.
The FlashSystem 840 was introduced in December 2013 and with additional capabilities or changes compared to the earlier model 820. The FlashSystem 900 (and V9000) were announced in February of 2015.
The update with TLC 3D NAND technology for the MicroLatency modules was announced in October of 2017.
IBM FlashSystem 900 Product Brief Includes:
EvaluScale Product Review Methodology
Evaluator Group Commentary
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