2010-42.2: Introducing the IBM Storwize V7000

(A Brief History of Recent Time – Part5)

ORIGINALLY POSTED 7th October 2010

17,846 views on developerworks

 Well as you have probably read, or heard, the Storwize V7000 is why the SVC team has been so busy over the last 18 months, and why my blogging has been sporadic at best.

Hopefully the point of this series of posts is clear, although this is a brand new modular storage box – organically developed by IBM (the first time since 7133 that IBM has produced its own midrange storage product) – its not all so new. We’ve basically taken the key areas of expertise I’ve been discussing and architected them into a single solution.

Take the flexible componentised SVC architecture and slide in the DS8000 RAID firmware as a new layer in the stack. Remember, as I described, the SVC architecture grew out of the RAID firmware architecture, so a lot of the thread and light-weight fibre concepts were  easily portable to the SVC clustered architecture. Take the backend SCSI layer in SVC and instead of supporting “mdisks”, or arrays from other products (as it still does), now it can talk directly to its own disks as well. The SAS network management and enclosure services had already begun with SVC 5.1 when we added native SSD support to the SVC nodes themselves – its the same SAS protocol hardware we are using. So really although this is a brand new product, its >70% of the same code base that is SVC today.

I couldn’t help but come up with an adaptation of the well known saying :

something old (SVC)
something new (the controller and enclosure)
something borrowed (DS8000 RAID)
but its ALL BLUE !

Its not often a brand new storage product can hit the ground running like the Storwize V7000. It has the same SCSI front end and back end layers as SVC, so everything we support today on SVC is also supported by the Storwize V7000. Its got the same host operating system support, and of course it can virtualize everything that SVC does… why not stick your Clariion behind one and see a performance boost too!

Since performance is still my day job, lets just say like the price, feature set, and integration – its class leading. Saturate a maximum configuration, and you still have about 50% horsepower left over for either the advanced functions, and to virtualize your existing boxes!

I’ll be posting a series of technical breakdowns over the next few weeks, but as you can imagine there is still a lot going on over the last few weeks leading up to GA, and now that its public information at long last, there are a lot of people to talk to about this.

Today I’m up in London at the UK Launch event, there is a corresponding Launch event in NYC later today, and another in China next week. If you are European based, I’ll be manning a vLab session (with the real hardware on show) at IP Expo on the 21st October, and I am
presenting at the SVC User Group the last week of the month in Mainz, followed by a presentation the next day at SNWE – no prizes for guessing the topic!

This really is a landmark day, not only is this a hugely differentiated modular storage product, did I mention it comes with Easy Tier – IBM’s automated fine-grained tiering – for no extra cost, but it also marks a real entry back into IBM developing its own mid-range storage systems from the ground up!

Here’s a sneak peak at the two styles of enclosure (that can be intermixed in any combo)



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