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IBM FlashSystem 9100 – Product Analysis

Published July 10th, 2018. Comprehensive 26-page analysis of IBM FlashSystem 9100. Covers hardware/software architecture, advanced features, performance, and commentary.

The IBM FlashSystem 9100 is an end-to-end NVMe storage system meaning it supports NVMe over Fabric with Fibre Channel and Ethernet as well as attaching storage devices in the form of SSDs and FlashCore Modules using PCIe with NVMe protocol. The FlashSystem 9100 has two models, the 9110 and 9150, targeted with the performance and capacity to cover requirements from mid-tier to high-end enterprises. With Spectrum Virtualize software in the FlashSystem 9100, it is capable of virtualizing other attached storage systems providing common administration, advanced features such as replication and snapshots, and the ability to seamless migrate data. The FlashSystem 9100 is a scale-out storage system with the basic unit being a pair of controllers that can be scaled to four pairs or eight controllers in a cluster. Included in the system is data reduction in Data Reduction Pools price. Data is deduplicated, compressed, and compacted as it is received in the 9100 controllers and stored in reduced form. Data in the virtualized external storage systems may also be reduced.

Competitive storage solutions include the Dell EMC PowerMax, NetApp AFF A800, Pure Storage //X series, and HP 3PAR 9000 while the virtualization solutions competition includes Hitachi VSP F-series, Huawei OceanStor, and DataCore. Additional information on these products is available in ESR to authorized subscribers.

Product Analysis includes:

  • Highlights
  • Overview of system
  • Hardware architecture
  • Software architecture
  • Advanced features
  • Reliability, availability, and serviceability features
  • System management
  • Performance
  • Evaluator Group commentary

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