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IBM FlashSystem OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM FlashSystem is #2 ranked solution in top NAS tools, #2 ranked solution in top Modular SAN (Storage Area Network) tools, and #6 ranked solution in best All-Flash Storage Arrays. IT Central Station users give IBM FlashSystem an average rating of 8 out of 10. IBM FlashSystem is most commonly compared to Pure Storage FlashArray:IBM FlashSystem vs Pure Storage FlashArray. IBM FlashSystem is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 61% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 29% of all views.
What is IBM FlashSystem?

IBM FlashSystem products are enterprise computer data storage systems that store data on flash memory chips. Unlike storage systems that use standard solid-state drives, IBM FlashSystem products incorporate custom hardware based on technology from the 2012 acquisition of Texas Memory Systems. This hardware provides performance, reliability, and efficiency benefits versus competitive offerings.

IBM FlashSystem was previously known as IBM Storwize.

IBM FlashSystem Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM FlashSystem Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

IBM FlashSystem Customers

Celero, Friedhelm Loh Group, Clarks, Mingkang Natregro Health Food Group, Sofia, Etisalat Fights Fraud, UF Health Shands Hospital, Generali, Elecon Engineering Company Limited, Ventiv , Technology, CPFL Energia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., SciQuest, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Paddy Power, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Interconnect Services, Severstal

IP-Only AB, PVU Group GmbH

IBM FlashSystem Video

Archived IBM FlashSystem Reviews (more than two years old)

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Andrey Rogov
CEO at a government with 1-10 employees
Real User
Good storage system and that has a good ability to create and modify LUNs

What is our primary use case?

I am using the private deployment model. 

What is most valuable?

The ability to create LUNs and modify them is the most valuable feature of this solution. It has a very good storage system. 

What needs improvement?

Enterprise data storage needs improvement. They should create a feature for data and file storage. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Storwize for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has good scalability abilities. 

How are customer service and technical support?

They have good technical support. IBM has offices in Ukraine that have knowledgable engineers. They speak Ukrainian. 

How was the

What is our primary use case?

I am using the private deployment model. 

What is most valuable?

The ability to create LUNs and modify them is the most valuable feature of this solution. It has a very good storage system. 

What needs improvement?

Enterprise data storage needs improvement. They should create a feature for data and file storage. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Storwize for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has good scalability abilities. 

How are customer service and technical support?

They have good technical support. IBM has offices in Ukraine that have knowledgable engineers. They speak Ukrainian. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy, understandable, and straightforward. It's a very good product. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price is fair. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a nine out of ten. Engineers think that Dell EMC has better storage than Storwize. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
EO
Systems Administrator at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Good deduplication and compression features and has a good interface

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are deduplication and compression."
  • "The ease of installation should be improved. We had issues with the configuration model."

What is our primary use case?

We use the on-prem deployment model. Our primary use case for this solution is for backup for the solutions. We sell this solution to customers. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are deduplication and compression. 

The interface is also good.   

What needs improvement?

The ease of installation should be improved. We had issues with the configuration model. 

In the next release, there should be and flash and caching features. Customers also have problems accessing their files from the storage. That's what they usually complain about. This is something they should improve. 

The main issue is the speed in terms of accessing the data. That is the customer's big complaint. They also complain about the speed of the hard drive.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not have any issues from the client saying that Storwize had stability issues. We didn't have any issues with it. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support was okay. We had their support remotely and also from the local support stream.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price is good. We are also IBM partners and the give big discounts for the same product. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight out of ten. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Learn what your peers think about IBM FlashSystem. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,676 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Matthys Booyens
Chief Technology Officer at Inovo
Real User
Its features and reliability are one of the top tiers on the market right now

Pros and Cons

  • "We are a 100% satisfied with the stability of the solution."
  • "I think the only thing the developers can look at, is that it is limited to 25 gigabytes currently. In the next release they might want to increase that."

What is our primary use case?

We are running private clouds for various customers on top of VMware with IBM on the storage layer

How has it helped my organization?

Performance is not a problem anymore and the space available is enough for about 5 years of operations. Wa are now busy with cross dc failover which will use the capabilities of this system extensively.

What is most valuable?

A valuable feature of this solution is the metro/global mirror for synchronous/asynchronous copying of data between data centres.

What needs improvement?

ISCSI/ISER Bandwidth is at 25gbps. Would be nice if that can keep track with the bandwidth currently available in new dc networking deployments.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about six months now on private cloud.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are a 100% satisfied with the stability of the solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The system can be expanded with additional trays. Current we have about 2,000 users on the system. They are mostly end users, database administrator, and developers. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We are happy with the technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used hyper-converged storage in the past and the reason we switched was because the reliability was not as good as we had hoped with the bigger workloads.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and it took us about two days to implement it. We did everything ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson we've learned so far is that hyper-converged storage is good for smaller workloads, but the re-syncing after a failure will be a problem for big workloads.

The IBM System is top-notch and offers all the features we need to keep going for another 5 years.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RR
CTO at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Stability is fine, but technical support is so poor that we are changing vendors

Pros and Cons

  • "Stability-wise, this solution is fine."
  • "This solution needs a management console where we are alerted to issues and can report them, or escalate them through email or another method."

What is our primary use case?

We have a clustered network using an IBM 3650 for our server. Our environment is entirely in-house, and we are not currently running anything in the cloud.

We are planning to migrate from our current system, as the equipment is getting old.

What needs improvement?

The support is simply not there, so it needs to be improved.

This solution needs a management console where we are alerted to issues and can report them, or escalate them through email or another method. If something happens to our storage, for example, then we will be notified, and we can report it through the console. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, this solution is fine. However, we have been having some trouble with our cluster breaking. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable to an extent. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We have been facing many issues with support. The main dealer here for IBM is not giving us any support. They are useless fellows, and if you raise any IBM issues they are not serious about them. We are fed up with this situation, which is why we are migrating.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is complex.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are currently in the stage of migrating our environment to a Huawei solution. It is similar to what we have now, being on-premises and nothing related to the cloud for the time being.

We were having too many support issues with IBM. Within the past couple of months, we were having physical server issues, including problems with the RAM.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is considering this system is not to do it. I do not recommend it. It is a big no.

The biggest complaint that I have about this solution is the support. It is important to have responsive support. We had a RAM issue, and the RAM is the heart of the server. I had to escalate the ticket and wait for thirty days. During that time, my server was totally down, which caused our productivity to suffer. It was a big disaster.

The hardware may be good, but I cannot rate this solution very high because of the support.

I would rate this solution a five out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Storemgr67
Storage Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Good deduplication features and stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The feature I find most valuable, is the deduplication, because the nature of the data that we are using in our current environment, has a lot of replicated data."
  • "I would like to see an improvement in the handling of large amounts of rights."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is deduplication.

What is most valuable?

The feature I find most valuable is the deduplication because the nature of the data that we are using in our current environment has a lot of replicated data. You tend to create a copy of the same system multiple times for different reasons. So if you use a flash system that is deduplication-enabled, you end up using less capacity. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see an improvement in the handling of large amounts of rights. An automatic flash system that doesn't do compression or deduplication will flush through the rights directly from the host to the flash modules. It doesn't keep them in the cache. For compression and deduplication systems, they have to do compression, deduplication and the memory and cache for the controller. So they have to keep the data there otherwise you will find yourself stuck with performance issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for four years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is currently hosting our core banking system and we haven't faced any stability issues, so it is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have only four boxes now, so it's not the best scalability you can get, but it is still acceptable. Since we are hosting our core banking on it, we have about 20,000 employees working on it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I will rate their technical support an eight out of ten. If you send them a question, it takes them ten days to come back to you with an answer. But besides this, we've had no other issues. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We use EMC devices and IBM FlashSystem concurrently, but we have a different evaluation for these products. They are not the same because our critical applications are hosted on IBM FlashSystem. The less critical applications are hosted on VMAX.

How was the initial setup?

The setup of the IBM devices is really straightforward. The actual deployment for the IBM FlashSystem took about seven hours. One of our partners was responsible for this, and we are very satisfied with his performance.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to others would be to go for the big one, the A9000. It is a little bit more expensive but it offers a better total cost of ownership.

In the next version, I would like to see external virtualization. We are currently using LVC for external virtualization, and then we are using the boxes under LVC. If IBM embeds the LVC feature inside the box, I will only need to use the box and then virtualize the smaller boxes behind it. It will simplify my issues.

I rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ajai Jayakumar
Solution Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
A scalable, stable solution that offers very good performance

Pros and Cons

  • "The performance of the All-Flash System is very good. There is more enhanced performance and data production in the solution, which I appreciate."
  • "The solution is not easy to implement. It takes a lot of time to study the product and it's a little complicated in general."

What is most valuable?

The performance of the All-Flash System is very good. There is more enhanced performance and data production in the solution, which I appreciate.

What needs improvement?

They should reduce the cost of the solution and offer smaller storage sizes to target small to medium-sized businesses.

The solution is not easy to implement. It takes a lot of time to study the product and it's a little complicated in general.

The solution should offer integration with the cloud on the next upgrade. It might already be there but we have not integrated that, or gone for that upgrade. It would mean we could keep a copy of our data in the secured cloud, whether it's Amazon or Azure. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for almost three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, stability is fine. It's been almost three years now and it's working perfectly well. I don't have any hardware issues or any other performance issues. I've had only good feedback about the system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable, although it's very expensive. In maybe another three or four years we'll be adding more storage space and hard disk flashes to the existing system. Right now, we have between 500-600 end users on the application.

How are customer service and technical support?

When you buy IBM products you subscribe to the technical support as well, so as long as the technical support and subscription are valid, they will support you. We took a five-year support subscription; we have two more years of the product subscription left. As long as the support and subscription are there, they are happy because if there is any technical issue or some format upgrade, IBM is there to support you.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used DDN storage. 

We switched because IBM has got a good reputation and they gave us a better price. From a technical and reputational standpoint, IBM was superior.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little complicated, especially the storage part of the implementation. The solution itself is complicated as well. 

There are multiple applications which require better performance as well as space. Both were a big issue. Some features were expensive, but we had to meet the storage requirement as well as the performance for these and had to design a solution to meet these two requirements. 

It was an implementation handled in phases, so it took about four to five months to deploy the complete solution.

We went phase by phase and then we did a performance analysis at the end of each phase to make sure that the storage performance was not going down and we were getting the best performance out of the bots. After every phase we had and throughout each phase, we had multiple performance and penetration tests as well; this was all mandatory.

We had about five people helping with the implementation. For maintenance, as long as you have an experienced person or team, you only need one or two people. 

What about the implementation team?

We had IBM's main partners do the deployment. IBM was also involved in the implementation. 

They were very professional and experienced in these complicated implementations. It was was a very good experience because they knew what they were doing.

What was our ROI?

We are seeing an ROI. We are getting better performance and all the applications are working fine. Our users are happy, but performance is the key. The All-Flash System was chosen specifically for performance and we are getting that.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In our case, we calculated the storage capacity and performance we would need for five years and we bought the product outright. After five years we might have to scale the product, but then we will need to invest in the upgrade. Right now I'm not paying anything because everything from support to subscription was paid upfront. Their upgrades are free as well, so we are getting new features for the product, from the website.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I didn't evaluate another solution before choosing IBM.

What other advice do I have?

We use the on-premises deployment model of the solution.

In terms of advice, I would give to others, I would say that you need to have the proper training for the solution. You need to train your staff on this product because it's not a straightforward implementation or a straightforward product, so you need to have some knowledge about the storage and how it works. Then plan and size your infrastructure prior to your deployment. We planned for five years in advance, and we are happy with the solution because we did our homework prior to implementation. 

I would rate this solution eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Gokhan Aricioglu
IT Manager at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Decreased the run time of batch jobs from an hour to minutes but more granularity is needed in the software features.

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup was really straightforward. It was not complex. Deployment took one month, due to the data migration duration."
  • "The solution is not able to replicate data in one-to-many scenario."

What is our primary use case?

The product is used as a central storage system. All live and test environment data, except for periodic data backups and centralized log management system data, is stored on the IBM Flash system.

How has it helped my organization?

As a result of the accelerated read and write operations from disks, productivity across the enterprise has increased in daily work.

What is most valuable?

Ability to compress the data at the NVMe disks is valuable as it is off-loading the process from the storage controller units. Hyperswap feature is valuable as it is increasing the availability without an intervention in the server operating system.

What needs improvement?

Deduplication feature is not mature and it is significantly increasing the latency. Additionally, the product has limitations in the software features and granularity. For example, data reduction feature cannot be aligned at the logical unit (LUN) level. It is aligned at the pool level. However, I expect to create some LUNs with deduplication and HW compression while some other LUNs with HW compression only. The other limitation is available at the remote copy feature. You can not create one-to-many scenarious for the LUNs which is created as the Hyperswap LUN.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product has been stable for the last three months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable enough.

How are customer service and technical support?

We recently contacted the technical support and received prompt response. IBM Company has a strong customer service and support organization in my country.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This is the first time we are using a Flash System. In the past, we were using traditional hard disk drive (SAS and SATA) storage systems. We needed to increase the capacity and didn't want to invest in an old technology and slower systems.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was really straightforward. It was not complex. Initial setup, data migration from the old products and the remote copy synchronization between Primary DC and DRC was completed in one month period.

What about the implementation team?

We worked together with a local partner of IBM for the setup of the product. They showed satisfactory performance. Data migration was achieved by our own team.

What was our ROI?

We didn't buy the product for any specific purpose like increasing the number of such transactions for completing more deal in a day. Therefore, I am not sure how can I say the ROI is but it was pretty big investment for us.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing is very straight forward for IBM Flash System and the warranty includes highest level of support conditions. The initial setup was very easy and smooth. The cost was higher than some other competitors.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We chose this solution among 6 solutions from different vendors. Local support organization, performance test results, cost and the technology of the product were the key parameters in the comparison.

What other advice do I have?

Almost all vendors are offering data reduction functionalities (deduplication, compression, thin provisioning etc.) in their newest products. Reduction techniques are offering up to 10 times reduction in data but this ratio is not more than 2 or 3 in real life for mixed type of data. Therefore, customers should test the products with their real and different type of data to measure the reduction rates properly.

Otherwise, vendors may offer smaller sizes in their proposal and there might be conflict in between two parties after setup of the product in the live environment.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ST
Senior System & Storage Engineer at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
SRM, Highly Scalable, multivendor backend storage support, Easy Migration Path

What is our primary use case?

In a bank.

How has it helped my organization?

- Migration efforts - Site recovery using SRM - Highly scalable while backend storage can be of many vendors - Ideal solution if you have a mixed intel/power infrastructure Ease of use

What is most valuable?

  • Migration effort
  • Site recovery plan.

What needs improvement?

- CLI though intuitive, no other API available - Lacks scheduling or a cron - Has no built in short term performance graphs - IBM TPC overexceeds the montoring needs, had to fall back on Stor2RRd - Support response times are bad -

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Node conditions in specific workload conditions might trigger a node reset.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

- Multivendor support for backend storage - Clustering and adding in another IO--group - supports many shelves, large disks, several clusters

How are customer service and technical support?

- Bad response times

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

IBM SVC -> HP 3PAR -> Storwize v7000f

How was the initial setup?

- Easy and straighforward

What about the implementation team?

- selfserviced

What was our ROI?

Biggest return is the easy migration/upgrade path as well as the scalability options - IBM added in compression and deduplication in its portfolio, as well as Garbage collection and space reclamation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

- setup cost is cheap as you can do it yourself - IBM SVC licensing on non IBM back-end storage used to cost a lot in terms of licenses per shelf or even per TB. The equipment on itself is relatively cheap. Watch out for license costs !

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

- HPE 3PAR StoreServe - EMC Unity
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
FS
Project Manager at Insirio S.p.A.
Real User
Storage virtualization simplifies space management

What is our primary use case?

Storage virtualization. Two Storwize V7000 systems in a cluster configuration serve about 500 servers (physical and virtual).

How has it helped my organization?

Storage virtualization simplifies space management.  Thin provisioning saves space. Copy services simplify environment replication.

What is most valuable?

Virtualization, because it abstracts hardware and allows to use other storages (old DS series) as unique storage spaces.

What needs improvement?

The cluster should be improved because non-disruptive failover was supported only on a few operating systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What is our primary use case?

Storage virtualization. Two Storwize V7000 systems in a cluster configuration serve about 500 servers (physical and virtual).

How has it helped my organization?

  • Storage virtualization simplifies space management. 
  • Thin provisioning saves space.
  • Copy services simplify environment replication.

What is most valuable?

Virtualization, because it abstracts hardware and allows to use other storages (old DS series) as unique storage spaces.

What needs improvement?

The cluster should be improved because non-disruptive failover was supported only on a few operating systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
COO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Virtualization significantly decreases the data migration time

Pros and Cons

  • "They have a virtualization feature and, even if you do not want to buy that feature, you can have it as a trial for two to three months. If you have another brand of storage from another company, you can use this tool to transfer all your data from the old system to the new Storwize system, which really shortens the migration time."
  • "I have looked at a few pages of a report I download and I saw a graph there regarding software-defined vendors. IBM is not in a good position on this graph. I know that they are working very hard on this, to make it much better and to get to a level where it's not only hardware but also software to provide a complete solution."

What is our primary use case?

We usually use Storwize for SMB customers, when they need small but reliable storage and fast response times. The performance is great.

How has it helped my organization?

The virtualization feature shortens the time to convince customers, to sell the solution, and to implement it.

From the moment we first see a customer and tell him that we are capable of doing this, until we do it, is a relatively short time. It's not going to be a long-term project, one that is going to take time for migration.

What is most valuable?

The user interface is very mature and it's becoming more mature all the time. They made it very easy for the user, very friendly to work with.

They have a virtualization feature and, even if you do not want to buy that feature, you can have it as a trial for two to three months. If you have another brand of storage from another company, you can use this tool to transfer all your data from the old system to the new Storwize system, which really shortens the migration time. This feature makes it much easier for us, as a business partner, to convince the customer that it can be done in a very short time, without any concerns about losing data or something breaking. That's one of the main features, and it works.

It helps me a lot when talking with potential customers who are stuck with all this data and, when they think of moving on to new systems, the first thing that bothers them is how to migrate all this information to a new system.

The other stuff that everybody sells today like tiering, which IBM calls Easy Tier, and FlashCopy, they have been around for years with the other vendors as well.

What needs improvement?

IBM gets a lot of input from the field, from system engineers, regarding what needs to be done and I believe they have a roadmap to try to constantly make the user interface more mature, as well as the options and tools. I trust they are doing good job on this.

I have looked at a few pages of a report I download and I saw a graph there regarding software-defined vendors. IBM is not in a good position on this graph. I know that they are working very hard on this, to make it much better and to get to a level where it's not only hardware but also software to provide a complete solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable as a single system or you can have it as a cluster for redundancy. We haven't had any issues, as far as I know, of it crashing or something that might make you suspicious about the reliability of the system. It is really reliable. The system engineers we work with have no doubt regarding any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is fine, but it also depends on the type of customer. If they are a lower-level SMB and we can find out what their growth would be over the next year to two years, the availability of different models from Storwize makes us comfortable in telling customers that they can expand, without any doubt, for another three to four years. They don't need to worry about having to buy a new system in two years. Just upgrade and expand, that's all.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have our own engineers trained by IBM and they are certified. I don't really recall many real issues. As I think back, there has been nothing critical where we had to ask IBM to contact their own labs to find a solution. Day-to-day, we have almost no need for IBM to show up for any problem or technical issues.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are not in a good position to answer this question because we have worked with IBM for all these years. But I believe the way it came about was that we had a situation where we moved a customer from the competition to IBM Storwize. When we looked at the space it took, the performance, the pricing, the ease of working with it, and the migration - especially the migration, because when you want to move somebody from a different vendor to Storwize, people know it's hard work - it was easily done by Storwize and the software that comes with it.

As a business partner, when selecting a vendor the important criteria are the terms and conditions under which you can work with your supplier. In addition, it's the level of availability of the vendor when you need them, that they will respond immediately and are with you in the problem, hand-in-hand, to go solve the issues. One of the main issues is that you don't feel alone in the field, you have somebody with you. That is very important. If there is a problem, the customer also needs to be confident in who we are. We have a name and we are a business partner, but who is backing us up? When you go with a company like IBM, with all its experience, and with your own experience over all these years, that's a huge advantage.

How was the initial setup?

I'm not involved in installation but, as far as I know, it's very straightforward, it's very easy. The main issue is that if you spend enough time on design, to find out what the customer really wants, that makes the implementation easier. That's where the emphasis should be. But as far as the system itself, the installation and putting it up, it takes no time. As far as I know, it's so easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing has been very competitive for the last few years. IBM got to the point where they changed the pricing model and we feel very comfortable with the pricing. It's very competitive.

Over the last two years, IBM has been coming up with all kinds of interesting promos, especially for the SMB systems. That makes it very competitive price-wise and in terms of performance to help convince customers. It benefits both the customer and us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also do sell HPE if we have to, but IBM is usuall the first choice because of the pricing and performance.HPE has tried to work with us a lot and we tried to work something out with them, but each time we went back to Storwize, as it fits our needs and it's much easier to work with.

There really aren't any others really on our list. The Infinidat we have in our data center is for our own usage and our own services that we have in the cloud system. It's not something that we go out and install.

What other advice do I have?

IBM is really open and available to those who want to find out what kinds of solutions will fit their needs. More than that, if it becomes more serious, with potential, IBM can provide you almost everything you need to see in its labs, to show you that the numbers they talk about are not only on paper but in real life. They are real and they can get to these performance levels.

IBM does a lot of customer setups in their labs and they invite the potential customers in and show them. But it's not for everyone. When we have a real potential customer and they demand it, that's what we do for them.

There are no 10s in the market right now. Everybody is evolving. As far as where we see storage going, it's not only hardware, it's also software-defined, and everybody is trying to reach a higher and very comprehensive level. And that takes time. It's not IBM, they need others to get to that higher level so we can have a comprehensive solution. It's not because IBM is an eight out of 10 and somebody is a nine or 10. It depends on the solution and application. In some cases, they would rate a 10, in others you might only give them seven.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
it_user418875
Diretor de TI at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Stable storage but other solutions have more features

What is our primary use case?

I use it for virtualization and databases.

What is most valuable?

It is simple but stable storage. I use the Snapshot feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Excellent.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have never used technical support for this solution. I haven't needed support.

How was the initial setup?

I did the initial setup based on the documentation it came with. It was very simple.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at Dell and HPE solutions. I probably wouldn't buy a 3PAR but it does have more features than Storewize.

What other advice do I

What is our primary use case?

I use it for virtualization and databases.

What is most valuable?

It is simple but stable storage. I use the Snapshot feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Excellent.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have never used technical support for this solution. I haven't needed support.

How was the initial setup?

I did the initial setup based on the documentation it came with. It was very simple.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at Dell and HPE solutions. I probably wouldn't buy a 3PAR but it does have more features than Storewize.

What other advice do I have?

My most important criteria when selecting a vendor are price, stability, support, and scalability.

I would rate this solution a seven out of 10. It is a good storage solution, but there many other options out there with more resources.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672354
Storage Administrator at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Consistently delivers performance below 1ms for read/write

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial customer technical support was efficient and effective."
  • "The performance monitoring feature is useful as it can report in 15 minute intervals by hour, day, week, month, or by a custom date range."
  • "The FlashSystem 900 consistently delivers performance below 1ms for read/write. This performance is essential for an effective SVC stretch-cluster configuration across two datacenters, and presenting active-active storage to the customer."
  • "Include an option to upload the support package to the IBM ECuRep when opening an IBM PMR."

What is our primary use case?

We are using the IBM FlashSystem 900 in a tiered storage environment virtualized behind the IBM SAN Volume Controller in a stretched-cluster topology.

How has it helped my organization?

The FlashSystem 900 consistently delivers performance below 1ms for read/write. This performance is essential for an effective SVC stretch-cluster configuration across two datacenters, and presenting active-active storage to the customer.

What is most valuable?

The performance monitoring feature is useful as it can report in 15 minute intervals by hour, day, week, month, or by a custom date range. Version 1.5.0.0 also has a useful feature which allows for IBM to provide remote support directly into the FlashSystem 900.

What needs improvement?

Include an option to upload the support package to the IBM ECuRep when opening an IBM PMR.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

How are customer service and technical support?

The initial customer technical support was efficient and effective.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No previous solution was used.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very similar to setting up the IBM family of enterprise storage products (V7000, V9000, SVC, etc.).

What about the implementation team?

We implemented with a business partner and IBM.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user736929
Senior Systems Engineer & Support Contracts Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Virtualization and Data Migration help make management of IT environment easier

Pros and Cons

  • "High availability and enhanced security; Proven dependability; Data compression with hardware acceleration; Advanced copy services features are all in this product."
  • "GUI interface should be enhanced more as there is some issues in copy services."

What is our primary use case?

Using IBM storwize V7000 as storage to be used in daily operation as well using the virtualization capability along with doing data migrations of old storage data.

How has it helped my organization?

IBM Storwize It makes management of the IT environment much easier, 

High availability and enhanced security; Proven dependability; Data compression with hardware acceleration; Advanced copy services features are all in this product.

Thanks to the product's benefits.

What is most valuable?

Virtualization and Data Migration.

V7000 is built with IBM Spectrum Virtualized software, which is part of the IBM Spectrum Storage family.

V7000 software:

  • Provides a single or multiple pool(s) of storage
  • Provides logical unit virtualization
  • Manages logical volumes
  • Mirrors logical volumes

V7000 hardware provide the below features:

  • Large scalable cache: thru IO groups methodology
  • Copy services: metro mirror, global mirror, Data Migration, point in time copy, active-active copy (Hyperwap)
  • Space management: thin provisioning, Easy Tier, and compression

The Storwize V7000 nodes in a clustered system operate as a single system and present a single point of control for system management and service.

What needs improvement?

GUI interface should be enhanced more as there is some issues in copy services GUI interfaces should be enhanced as this will not let the customer doing wrong configurations

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, some bugs in the system, like nodes warm-started.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Nine out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No, I have only used used IBM solutions.

How was the initial setup?

Two methods of initial setup are straightforward, either by using USB port through Init tool or by using the technical port. sgafd

What about the implementation team?

In-House implementation

What was our ROI?

15 - 20 %

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Storwize software for Storwize V7000 license has the following feature codes:

  • Base software
  • Full feature set
  • Easy Tier
  • FlashCopy
  • Remote Mirroring
  • Compression

IBM V7000 has a new license and price structure which provides intuitive licensing based on the functions customers wish to enable and use the most.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

What other advice do I have?

I advise everyone to have a look at their current use of storage and think of single management and live migrations of their data, and how they will save money instead of having multiple vendors to reinstall and migrate data.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an IBM Business Partner.
RP
Senior Technology Engineer at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We use this product for a variety of the applications and databases.

Pros and Cons

  • "The GUI is very easy and performance is also good."
  • "Replication features need improvement. Currently, they are there in the product, but I'm not sure as to how it works exactly."

What is most valuable?

The good thing is that it is very easy to use and anybody can allocate Launch to the systems. The GUI is very easy and performance is also good.

How has it helped my organization?

It is easy to deploy. We use this product for a variety of the applications and databases. This is one of the best features I think.

What needs improvement?

Replication features need improvement. Currently, they are there in the product, but I'm not sure as to how it works exactly.

They are other IBM products that are better than this such as IBM XIV and IBM disk storage (the old one); they have better performance.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We can add more disks or JBODs into it. So, it is scalable and easy to scale.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was easy.

What other advice do I have?

You can use this product for your applications, databases or for whatever other solutions that you have.

Cost and performance are the two things that we consider while selecting a vendor.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user739677
Systems Integration Expert & IT Consultant at a tech services company
Consultant
Initial setup is pretty straightforward with a nice GUI

Pros and Cons

  • "Virtualization of external storage, while adding cache and speed to the external storage."
  • "Events/log analysis tools."

What is most valuable?

Virtualization of external storage, while adding cache and speed to the external storage. You don't have to completely take out the datacenter of your old storage. Just add it to the Storwize, continue using it, but with added performance/speed.

How has it helped my organization?

It has saved money for our clients by not replacing all of their current storages (with new storages).

What needs improvement?

  • The IP replication
  • Events/log analysis tools

For how long have I used the solution?

I've never used it myself for long periods of time, since as a system integrator and partner, I have only configured these systems for the end user. However, our clients have been using them since 2011, both Gen 1 and 2.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Since our company staff and I are an authorised IBM service partner with certifications in servicing Storwize V7000, all the technical support towards our clients have been done by ourselves. Only when some part fails have claimed it from IBM, and that went fast.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, IBM DS5300. We switched because of the external storage virtualization.

How was the initial setup?

It is pretty straightforward with a nice GUI. One has to know the basic concepts and terminology.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

No special advice about pricing. Regarding licensing make sure you add at least three years software maintenance from IBM at the beginning, because you will not be able to download firmware updates or any fixes/patches without this. Even if you have hardware maintenance, they will not allow a download without this SW maintenance contract.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, IBM SVC, which has essentially the same software, but it has no place for disk drives. Therefore, you must attach some storage to it.

What other advice do I have?

Get the control box first, without any expansion boxes, and make sure you add at least three SSD drives, because this system has an auto tiering option. Thus, your frequently used data will be automatically placed on SSDs and be accessed faster by hosts. Data for shared folders, which is not so important, you can keep on older storages virtualized by the V7000, or put on bigger, cheaper, and slower disks.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: An authorised IBM service partner with certifications in servicing Storwize V7000.
it_user738690
Gestor de Capacidad at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Versatile, reliable, performs well and makes admin simple

What is most valuable?

I think the v7000 is versatile, reliable, and gives really good performance in the configuration you choose. The V7000 can be configured in different ways. It has proved to me that it is reliable, that the disks do not constantly break down, and that any administration work is simple. It also has a very complete assistant that helps you to solve the problems that arise.

How has it helped my organization?

This product has improved the speed of disk access where I have mounted, but I do not think that is its best feature since others give you the same performance. As I said for me what recommends this product is its reliability and the peace of mind it brings.

What needs improvement?

Of course the cost, it's expensive compared to other solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No problem, in fact it is a characteristic that I like.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No problem, there are very scalable models, everything depends on planning and the requirements.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support in general of IBM, in my personal opinion, could be much better. The truth is that I have never had any problem with them at a hardware level, the service is agile. Things get a bit complicated if the issue is not solved with a replacement part. I would give technical support a seven out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used many solutions, having mounted many projects with storage (NetApp, HPE, Clarion, etc.) but if I had to choose one based on value for money, I think I would stick with V7000.

How was the initial setup?

The initial configuration is simple, but critical because at this point you can make it not work or even damage it completely. I think configuration should be done by a specialist. A storage specialist who had never set up a V7000 would not have problems.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

As I have already noted, everything depends on how you want it set up. I think there are others in the market that are equal in cost but much worse.

What other advice do I have?

If you are going to go with a V7000, you will not regret it. Be sure to clarify what you need, and it will give you the expected results.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Systems Consultant at a tech services company
Consultant
One screen to control multiple arrays means simplified administration

Pros and Cons

  • "Ability to manage third-party arrays and virtualise them: One screen to control multiple arrays. Simplified administration."
  • "One area for improvement is in the GUI, where host clusters are not properly dealt with. With Hypervisor host clusters, all hosts must see the same volumes in the same order. Using the concept of a “host-group” has been around (even with IBM) for many years, so why not with the V7000?"

What is most valuable?

Storage virtualisation: Use o storage pool to spread I-O load across as many disks as possible, reduces “hot spots”.

Ability to manage third-party arrays and virtualise them: One screen to control multiple arrays. Simplified administration.

Auto-tiering with Easy-Tier: High usage volumes and parts of volumes are automatically moved to high performance disks in manageable “chunks”. This means volumes with heavy I-O usage are are moved to SSD for the best response. Zero admin overhead.

How has it helped my organization?

Using V7000, the storage administrator has complete visibility into the I-O load and response times of the volumes, storage pool. Together with “Easy Tier”, this means volumes with high workloads are automatically moved to the highest performing disks (SSD) in the array. There is almost zero administration required once the storage pool is established.

Data migration: The migration wizard made migration from old to new an absolute doddle. Something that historically had been “hard and difficult” became a background task, once the old array was managed by the V7000.

What needs improvement?

The replication of data between IBM Storwize arrays in V1 of the product had some major limitations. A lot of the limitations were overcome in V2 of the product. Some improvement can still be made in scalability using clustered V7000 nodes.

One area for improvement is in the GUI, where host clusters are not properly dealt with. With Hypervisor host clusters, all hosts must see the same volumes in the same order. Using the concept of a “host-group” has been around (even with IBM) for many years, so why not with the V7000?

For how long have I used the solution?

Four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some isues were encountered during upgrades in the early firmware versions. This has now been resolved.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The V7000 can scale up to 10 enclosures (disk shelves), each up to 24 disks per enclosure. A cluster of 2 x V7000 has twice the capacity.

Using the V7000 you must be careful not to overload the CPU and disk backplane. When planning to implement any storage array, you must plan your workload carefully. IBM have a superb tool, Disk Magic, that predicts the I-O performance of the array configuration you have selected. This is an invaluable tool in planning any IBM storage array.

How are customer service and technical support?

I was lucky to have a very good relationship with the local IBM storage support experts. The implementations were done under IBM guidance and, knowing this, any issues that came up at my sites were quickly dealt with. The support staff knew the arrays had been installed with expert guidance and had no inherent issues in design.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previous storage solutions included the HPE 3PAR array family. We switched to IBM for 3 reasons:

  • Upgrade cost
  • Complexity with administration tasks and day-to-day running
  • Support costs

How was the initial setup?

The IBM V7000 initial setup was straightforward, as I had engaged IBM support early on and was given very good advice on how to size, configure and implement the array(s), including data migration from the old to the new.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It pays to go back and get the best price you can from your supplier. The first offer is not always at the best discount.

Ensure that all the features you need (including replication) are included in the license options.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Several vendors were evaluated in addition to IBM: HPE, NetApp, EMC.

What other advice do I have?

  1. Download the IBM Redbook on best practices to implement.
  2. Engage IBM support or your integration partner/reseller at a detailed level.
  3. Know what you want to do and document your requirements.
  4. Investigate upgrade costs and five-year maintenance options.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
System Administrator at Dhaka Bank Limited
Real User
Back end command line interface is very comfortable for scripting, though needs improvement in number of disk shelves

What is most valuable?

In the Unified model it supports SAN and NAS solutions very smoothly. Also, there is a back end command line interface which is very comfortable for scripting, especially for snapshot and business copy solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

V7K has better I/O performance than some other storage, such as HPE XP12K, HPE EVA (4K and 8K) and IBM DS (3K and 4K). Because of this, I have seen improvements in long-term business operations (like billing run in a telecom company and end-of-month operations in a financial institution).

What needs improvement?

It should increase sociability with respect to number of disk shelves and capacity.

For how long have I used the solution?

Overall, five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Eight out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Switched to decommission older hardware (XP12K and EVA from HPE).

How was the initial setup?

Very simple setup, especially for FC SAN network.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I cannot comment on this as I used it as an IBMer.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I compared the product with IBM DS8K. Due to a huge gap in price, and not having very high-level needs, I selected V7000.

What other advice do I have?

This is highly reliable storage. Other than not having very high IOPS requirements, RAID5 would be good enough for application and database LUN. But before creating the RAID group/array, the implementer should have proper projections.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
General Manager Information Technology Department at a university with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Thin Provisioning and Flash Copy are valuable but stability has been an issue

What is most valuable?

Thin Provisioning Flash Copy User friendly management interface

How has it helped my organization?

We run our business applications on it. Also OS was booted from SAN.

What needs improvement?

Product support is restricted to IBM only. It must be decentralized to IBM partners as well.

For how long have I used the solution?

Six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, we faced power supply failure, Multiple SAS drives failure, and at the end both controllers were dead.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are able to add additional drives easily.

How are customer service and technical support?

One out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No, it was our first…

What is most valuable?

  • Thin Provisioning
  • Flash Copy
  • User friendly management interface

How has it helped my organization?

We run our business applications on it. Also OS was booted from SAN.

What needs improvement?

Product support is restricted to IBM only. It must be decentralized to IBM partners as well.

For how long have I used the solution?

Six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, we faced power supply failure, Multiple SAS drives failure, and at the end both controllers were dead.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are able to add additional drives easily.

How are customer service and technical support?

One out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No, it was our first experience with any kind of SAN.

How was the initial setup?

Initial SAN configuration was smooth.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you are planning to purchase a new SAN then go for all flash. Do not invest in a hybrid SAN.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, HPE and Fujitsu.

What other advice do I have?

Please make sure that you will be getting proper after-sales support from IBM.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user732741
Sistem Yönetimi Uzman? at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
​User friendly interface and robust hardware but deduplication is limited

What is most valuable?

  • User friendly interface
  • Robust hardware
  • Good support

How has it helped my organization?

VMware and Hyper-V datastore (with Fiber Connect). All virtual systems are running on the Storwize V7000 storage in our company.

What needs improvement?

Deduplication and DRC synchronization. Deduplication is small, limited. We need better deduplication and disaster recovery.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 2014.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Good stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Global support is good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, I myself have used. The customer decided to switch.

How was the initial setup?

Yes, it is easy in terms of management and installation.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, I evaluated HPE, Dell EMC.

What other advice do I have?

Check IOP values and disk speed. Check often for updates and firmware. Make absolute SNMP settings for warnings and alerts.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672369
Solution Architect tct at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Provides data reduction for many workloads.

What is most valuable?

This was a great step forward from the XIV in next generation hardware for the customer. We're seeing tremendous data reduction for many workloads. It's not a 100% move from XIV for all workloads, however, but the customer is very pleased, for the most part, in their environment.

How has it helped my organization?

Benefits for us include lower overall cost, higher density, lower data center costs, and reduced total TCO, as well as moving to an all-flash solution versus a flash/spinning disk solution.

What needs improvement?

The HSM management console GUI still need some enhancements. It is still a bit awkward in navigation, and some functions/features are not yet fully integrated into the GUI support, but only via CLI. We also need to get reporting down to individual pool and volume levels, rather than just overall system levels. Customers need a more granular view of their individual business usage as well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had some issues with stability, such as a couple of hardware failures and a couple of code bugs. They were addressed, but they caused initial customer concern.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is quite nice, with being able to support over 1.5TB effective in one rack is a nice selling feature. One of the early issues was that they weren't at a code release where we were able to add new elements right away in a non-disruptive fashion. We had to wait for a couple of code releases for that. We've gone beyond that now. At this point, scalability is no longer an issue.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been great. They have been engaged from start to finish.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Regarding previous solutions, this was more of a technology refresh decision. A customer was heavily invested in an older technology that they were very satisfied with, but they wanted to continue to make the move to flash technology. This was the next logical era of evolution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little more difficult than the predecessor XIV, but it's a new product, so a learning curve is to be expected. As it is becoming more common in the field, it should be getting better documented and more straightforward to deploy. We are seeing new and continual updates to Red books and best practices documents now.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't really consider alternative solutions, mainly because there aren’t any out there that can touch the A9000 family. From our standpoint, we're an IBM business partner. We value reliability and performance above everything else. Price is a close second, but reliability is key.

What other advice do I have?

Read anything and everything you can, such as documentation manuals and best practices that are coming out. Stay plugged into the IBM communities and leverage services if this is your first engagement for capacity and sizing.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an IBM business partner.
ITCS user
Technical Head at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
Licensing has everything you need.

What is most valuable?

Auto Tier is 1M-iops.

How has it helped my organization?

It improves our number of TPS.

What needs improvement?

Flash Manager needs to be included.

For how long have I used the solution?

2 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Only battery for controller.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

None so far.

How are customer service and technical support?

If 10 is the highest, I would rate them at 9.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using a V7000 before, so only upgraded.

How was the initial setup?

Almost straightforward and the same as doing a V7000 series.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing has already everything you need…

What is most valuable?

Auto Tier is 1M-iops.

How has it helped my organization?

It improves our number of TPS.

What needs improvement?

Flash Manager needs to be included.

For how long have I used the solution?

2 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Only battery for controller.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

None so far.

How are customer service and technical support?

If 10 is the highest, I would rate them at 9.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using a V7000 before, so only upgraded.

How was the initial setup?

Almost straightforward and the same as doing a V7000 series.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing has already everything you need like replication, but you need to consider the license cost for the SAN switch.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

EMC Xtreme IO, HPE 3PAR, Nimble.

What other advice do I have?

Consider which type of disk to use: All flash, High Capacity Drives, SSDs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user693222
IT Specialist / IBM Software and Hardware support at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
One of the fastest available in the market today​.

What is most valuable?

I/O speeds. This products in basically a RAID comprised of SSD drives with PCI-Express interface, that you can connect to 16GB HBAs, making this storage one of the fastest available in the market today.

How has it helped my organization?

This storage has incredible performance, the I/O is awesome. It is difficult to understand how fast it is if you don’t have one, that’s why IBM gives you a month trial, to install it in your infrastructure and give it a try.
In my organization's case, we use the FlashSystem basically for virtualization (VMware). It's amazing how fast a virtual machine boots. We use it for databases too, and the disk I/O performance is incredible.

What needs improvement?

This storage is factory configured so it's very difficult and expensive to add more flash modules (disk capacity).

Scalability is the main area which needs to improve.

For how long have I used the solution?

Six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, no at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

IBM support is excellent as always.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No, this is my first experience with a 100% SSD solution.

How was the initial setup?

No, in fact it was easier than I expected.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you are going to buy one, have in mind the amount of capacity you need, and your estimated growth for the following years. As I mentioned above, it is expensive to add more SSD modules.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Not really, it was recommended to me by a friend, and after the first month, my company couldn't live without it.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend adding a pair of SAN switches to the Flash solution, otherwise it's a waste to use as and direct attach storage.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672384
Senior Technical Specialist with 51-200 employees
MSP
The FlashSystem 900: A Powerful Building Block for Flash Infrastructure

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the continuity of the user interface. Many of our customers leverage Storwize and XIV storage subsystems. That continuity in look and feel has likely helped the FlashSystem because transitioning to using this new product doesn't require any additional training or familiarization time. Instead, customers leverage their experiences to perform 90-95% of the tasks necessary to get a new FlashSystem 900 running.

It's especially important to be able to walk into a customer site and say, "Hey, you have access to the same user experience that you have with your Storwize system, and/or a very similar user experience to your XIV."

How has it helped my organization?

Having a consistent user experience and user interface has helped save our customers' time: we don't have to retrain them for a new user interface, and they don't have the learning curve associated with understanding the nuances of a new interface.

The FlashSystem has really helped improve our customers' I/O intensive workloads. Many of our customers leverage Flash for database workloads and appreciate the extra performance boost it gives.

What needs improvement?

A lot of the beauty of the FlashSystem 900 is that it's very, very focused on what it does, and it does it well. I don't really think there are additional features required.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The FlashSystem 900 is a relatively stable platform. While any codebase will have some issues and require patching (nothing is perfect), the codebase on which the FlashSystem 900 is built is solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As a building block, the FlashSystem 900 isn't really intended to scale out to a large degree. Instead, it's intended to be used as a block with which to build out a scalable solution (such as with an A9000/A9000R or a V9000).

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

IBM's support for storage hardware is usually excellent.

Technical Support:

IBM's storage technical support is usually excellent.

How was the initial setup?

I have been involved in the initial setup with a number of customers. It's very straightforward. It's a lot easier than the old days.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking for a great flash solution that can be virtualized or utilized as a building block for a scalable flash solution, or if you're looking for flash for a very specific workload, then you may want to consider a FlashSystem 900.

It's probably the most straightforward piece of hardware you can get. The user experience from the interfaces and the price points for the performance a really solid.

I'm an IBM Business Partner, so there's really only one vendor that we go to for our storage. However, even if I weren't an IBM Business Partner, having a pretty stable track record with their products, ease of use, and value delivered for price -- I would probably still recommend a FlashSystem 900 for the use cases I stated earlier.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are IBM business partners.
it_user672390
San Admin at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It is easy to use and manage. We are a hospital and have zero downtime.

What is most valuable?

IBM XIV is the most valuable part of this solution. It is easy to use and manage. It is a cheap and also has reliable technology.

How has it helped my organization?

We actually are a hospital and we have zero downtime or any outage whatsoever.

What needs improvement?

There is need to put a SVC in there.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We've been using this solution for more than ten years. We're using it on our three big sites, there were no issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It doesn't scale out that well. It actually goes up to 15 module and after that, you have to add another frame. But, they have come out with a new technology where you can do hyperscale. I wish they had put a SVC in front of it but, it's a hyperscale, i.e., you can be on either the A-side or B-side.

What other advice do I have?

The most important criteria while selecting a vendor are reliability and their level of maturity.

It's not the best solution, but it's very reliable.

It depends as every company is different. Some companies choose reliability, while others prefer the market. You have to assess your own stuff and see accordingly, what fits your bill.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672357
Tactical Expert at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Easy to use GUI, both for me and the customers is the most valuable feature of this solution.

What is most valuable?

Easy to use GUI, both for me and the customers is the most valuable feature of this solution. It's very self-explanatory, very easy to install and of course, the IBM Easy Tier function is easy to maintain.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefits are pretty much the same as I have mentioned herein, i.e., it's the time that takes to do an installation as compared to the old products. So, everything is time-related, i.e., the less time you use then it's also cost-effective.

What needs improvement?

I really don't have any preference for it, this is very easy to install and is actually a customer setup. I've talked to many customers, and all of them agree that "This is so simple, so easy, and straightforward", so IBM has done a very good job so far.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 2012

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Very easy so no problems.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is also very good because in the first product you could add four expansions to it, but then today, with the later code you can add nine to the controller units. So, it's very good and also, if you put an SVC product on top of it, then it works very well together as we see in all of the products as well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Out af 10 I would say 8 for none advanced users

Technical Support:

Very good when it's needed.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are a business partner and what we sell are IBM Storwize products. That's our main focus, we don't sell any other vendors. So, it was a pretty straightforward decision to invest in this solution. But according to what I have seen in the past and worked with than this is without a doubt the most user friendly product.

How was the initial setup?

Actually, I've done many of the installations; it is very straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

This product is so easy to use.

Have it checked over, test it out and try it. Compare it to the other competitors and make a decision from there, because I think this will definitely be a winner.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a business partner.
it_user672345
Senior Technical Specialist at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
All of the company's storage infrastructure can be done underneath this single product.

What is most valuable?

Ease of use and the GUI are the most valuable features of this product. It's the same platform all over across the same product type.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefit of this product is how easy it is to use always. All this storage infrastructure can be done underneath one IBM Storwize product and this is how it has impacted our organization. For example, if they get the IBM Storwize V7000 then they can put the other to be decommissioned storage right underneath and they can get their work done on that.

What needs improvement?

There is a need for a little bit more of a drill down in the GUI part. There is a lot that they actually did, which is already available in the GUI but still, there's a lot that can't be done. So, I would like to see more improvements to be brought about in the GUI.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using IBM Storwize for about 10 years, it is pretty good.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. I see a lot of code upgrades being done on the system. Probably twice or three times in a year, they get new upgrades and code upgrades. That's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is neat as well. It can grow massively. We usually deal with SMB environments and it's pretty good for that environment.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been good as well. Other than, maybe a few five or six different incidents in the past, they've been pretty impressive.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

For us, it's all about the commodity while selecting a vendor. In addition, the other important factors are their support level, infrastructure, how good they are, and what is their roadmap for keeping the product around.

Give it a try and look at the demos. You will like it and you will want to get it.

It's pretty good; I've been happy with it. I've worked with other infrastructures as well such as HPE, Dell, Logic and Nutanix but I like IBM Storwize.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user674244
Design Engineer at a recruiting/HR firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
I can provision the storage, find problems, and I can SSH in and do CLI commands.

What is most valuable?

For me and for the operations team, the ease-of-use of the GUI is the most valuable feature. It's really easy to understand. It's really easy to do tasks. That's what I like most. The performance is really good. From an operations perspective, definitely the ease-of-use stands out. Compared to other products and other vendors, it's much, much easier.

How has it helped my organization?

Time to value. You finish things a lot quicker. I can provision the storage a lot faster and find problems a lot quicker. The fact that I can SSH in and do CLI commands where some of these other vendors don't let you do it is a big deal. I can write custom scripts and do things a lot quicker. The ease-of-use is a lot better with this product.

What needs improvement?

There's always room for improvement. Adding deduplication would allow us to get more bang for our buck, basically.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Overall, stability is really, really good. We ran into some issues with compression, but it was because we were trying to overload it. So if we don't do that, it runs really, really well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have it architected to keep it at a certain level. But if we needed to, we could scale it pretty easily because it's virtualized storage. There's a lot of flexibility with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is really good. Because we're a bigger company, they get to us a little bit quicker. There's more on the line for IBM, so they really treat us well. It's been pretty good. We get good feedback quickly.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We needed the performance of the applications. Payroll applications are very I/O intensive and flash systems are a perfect fit. It makes sense.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the setup and it was easy. I've done those for years.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at pretty many vendors. Anybody you could name, we looked at them. We have multiple vendors in the environment, not just IBM. But for our really critical, high performance apps, we put it on the V9000.

What other advice do I have?

Just be careful if you're going to try to use compression, because of the specific issues we've had. If it's a high performance computing environment, just keep it thick provisioned. Get the best performance from it. Don't try to save and then screw up the user experience.

If something fails, it's not going to bring down the application. V9000 is redundant through and through, so it's a great product.

When selecting a vendor, stability, ease of use, and resiliency are the most important things.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user674238
Storage Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We don't have to learn more than one interface to manage the storage arrays.

What is most valuable?

The ease-of-use and scalability are the most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

The common interface has improved the way we work. We don't have to learn more than one interface to manage the storage arrays.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, it seems pretty stable. We haven't had any major issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We find the product very scalable. We've been able to implement many storage arrays in our environment with very little effort.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support. So far, we haven't had any bad experiences with them. We have been able to get the proper support we needed.

Which solution did I use previously and

What is most valuable?

The ease-of-use and scalability are the most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

The common interface has improved the way we work. We don't have to learn more than one interface to manage the storage arrays.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, it seems pretty stable. We haven't had any major issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We find the product very scalable. We've been able to implement many storage arrays in our environment with very little effort.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support. So far, we haven't had any bad experiences with them. We have been able to get the proper support we needed.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

When selecting a vendor, I want stability, years in the industry, and overall stability.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you look at a wide variety of products. That way you can come to an intelligent decision on what platform you are going to go with.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user674226
Senior Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
MSP
Incorporates both the Spectrum virtualization layer and flash technology.

What is most valuable?

The V9000 incorporates both the Spectrum virtualization layer as well as flash technology. It does it in such a unique manner that it provides super fast response times. There's low latency for the customers. It's very simple and easy. It uses the same interface as all the Storewize products do, so it's a very short ramp-up time for customers.

How has it helped my organization?

Speed. I mean it's flash. It's speed. The benefit is to reduce the amount of workload and transaction time. When customers have put data on the V9000, their response times go down and they can do more work within a shorter span of time.

What needs improvement?

They've already got one. The clustering host came in 7/8 code, so that's coming in. I would like to see deduplication come very soon. That would be really good to have deduplication built in, not only with compression, but also have deduplication with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is awesome. It's based off a mature product line, Spectrum Virtualize. It's a long standing product. It's been around since 1999, so that core technology is there.

The flash system has grown from the old TMS days. It's a well-known and proven technology, so they've combined the two well-known and well-proven technologies to form this solution. It's just very solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is also good because you can add an additional FS900 behind it or you can stack in other V9000s and cluster them together. You can either go deeper or wider with your solution set. It really just depends on how much performance or workload insulation you need, whether you go wide or you go deep.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used technical support and none of my customers have had to call technical support on a V9000 yet. That kind of speaks to the product itself. It is a relatively new product, but the field time is still good. The resiliency is there.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Our customer was a legacy Storewize customer. We knew that when they were announcing their combination of Spectrum Virtualize and flash that it would be a winning combination. You can't go wrong with that kind of combination.

Our company decided that we needed to train up fast and get on top of it quick. Because of that, we were able to turn out some of the first in the Eastern area.

How was the initial setup?

It can be complex if you don't follow the guide. Follow the instructions that IBM sets forth in the Redbooks and make life simple.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was very easy. It's almost a "set it and forget it" kind of product.

What other advice do I have?

Read the Redbook.

The most important thing when selecting a vendor for me is how well the vendor works with me. It's a partnership, not just a sales, “here's a product” kind of thing. If you partner with us, you really get in, dive deep with us, and work through the solutions if needed. That's what makes a good vendor.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672396
Storage Administrator at Sprint
Vendor
Redundancy that the machine provides is the most valuable aspect for us.

What is most valuable?

For me, it's the redundancy that the machine provides as that's the most value that I get from this product.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the benefits is that when it's doing data extents, it moves them faster than what I was being able to move previously, i.e., by using a flash system.

What needs improvement?

There is a need for more help with the commands because, from version to version, they change; so what I used to use back in the different version, I can't use now. Thus, it would be helpful if they improve that aspect.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For me, it's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't use the technical support as much because it's quite stable and scalable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We weren't using any other solution. Our storage architect is the one who decided for us to have it.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward, it is pretty easy and I can do it with my eyes closed, if I wanted to.

What other advice do I have?

Reliability is the most important aspect while selecting a vendor.

I would recommend to use it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672381
Head of IT infrastructure at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The valuable features are snapshots and snap logs.

What is most valuable?

The valuable features are snapshots and snap logs. We only use those on our flash system. We value the performance of the system.

How has it helped my organization?

Our automatic banking systems have become twice as quick with flash storage.

What needs improvement?

I don't know about improvements. Maybe having independent snapshots. For now, when we make snapshots one by one, they depend on each other. If we delete the first snapshot, then we can lose the others. We really need functional snapshots which are independent of each other.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is not very good. Over the course of the last two years, we had two incidents with flash storage when we lost our data. We have three flash storages and we lost all the data on two of them. That was not very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good enough. Their advice was mainly to upgrade our firmware and restore our backups.

What other advice do I have?

Test all of the products as you evaluate them.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672363
Systems Engineer at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
Real User
Valuable features include compression, disaster recovery, and storage pooling functions.

Pros and Cons

  • "The valuable features for us are the extra add-ons, such as the FIM provisioning, the compression, the disaster recovery capabilities, and the storage pooling functions."
  • "AHV is Acropolis Hypervisor – A relatively new Hypervisor, robust and stable as VMware vSphere, has built-in advanced analytics and powerful operations, Self Service Portal and components for DevOps included, managed by a single pane of glass (Prism) via HTML5 and it is free of charge – That is why Nutanix is so advanced and revolutionary."

What is most valuable?

The valuable features for us are the extra add-ons, such as the FIM provisioning, the compression, the disaster recovery capabilities, and the storage pooling functions.

How has it helped my organization?

Most of my customers love it because it's easy to use and easy to manage. They can get their applications up and running very fast. They can buy it at a good price.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the connection to cloud service providers, although I think that's already there. There's not much more that I can tell you. There are some issues on a firmware level. It's not very transparent. The option to connect to a Cloud storage provider seems to be available but there is not much detail on how it's implemented.

As a field engineer I’m used to how the systems work. Some customers however have expressed to me , well for lack of better word “anxiety” at not being able to see more of what goes on in the background (as an option). They would like a more detailed progress of the firmware upgrade process. (i.e. NVRAM,controller, etc…).

AHV is Acropolis Hypervisor – A relatively new Hypervisor, robust and stable as VMware vSphere, has built-in advanced analytics and powerful operations, Self Service Portal and components for DevOps included, managed by a single pane of glass (Prism) via HTML5 and it is free of charge – That is why Nutanix is so advanced and revolutionary.

The challenge here is in order to replace massively Install base of VMware vSphere they need to expand their ecosystem with ISVs (i.e. F5, PaloAlto, Citrix, TrendMicro etc.) to provide a wider range of solutions running as a virtual appliance (vApp) just like VMware did years ago.
Currently there is an ecosystem but I think it is around 30-40 providers.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, it's been a very stable platform. There have been some issues lately with some bad codes, but for the most part, it's been very stable. It is something that I can recommend at any time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability has improved so far. It seems like every year there are more and more expansion added to that.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have used the technical support and so far it has been very good. The response was a little bit lacking last year, but it looks like it's been improving.

What other advice do I have?

Just buy it. Support for sure is important when considering which vendor to go for, as well as ease of use and the track record of the code base.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672354
Storage Administrator at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The most valuables features are the virtualization of the storage and the compression.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are, of course, the virtualization of the storage, the performance, and the compression."
  • "With regards to the IBM V7000 storage system, where we have multiple tiers of storage, a heat map would show I/O distribution across the tiers of storage."

How has it helped my organization?

The benefit to our organization is primarily the capacity savings. It compresses the data so we can see something like a four to one compression.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are, of course, the virtualization of the storage, the performance, and the compression.

What needs improvement?

With regards to the IBM V7000 storage system, where we have multiple tiers of storage, a heat map would show I/O distribution across the tiers of storage. I'd like to see some type of heat map reporting on the management console. It would be nice to see something like that. It may already be in the new release, but I'm not sure. The current release may have that already.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had no major issues with stability. It's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We actually upgraded it, adding expansion shelves. It was fairly simple.

How is customer service and technical support?

I can't remember what I called the technical support for. Generally, I think their support gets the job done. It's sufficient. We have a premium support account with IBM, so we have a dedicated support person to help us get it through.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup, but we had a business partner that did the actual physical connections. I helped with some of the configurations. It was pretty straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our shop historically had been an EMC shop. We had the IBM storage put in just a couple of years ago. I believe management brought it in based on price, in order to get price competition between the vendors. We were primarily looking at considerations of cost, reliability, and customer service.

What other advice do I have?

I would just tell them to give it a try. Benchmark it and compare it with the other vendors. Talk to some customers about their experiences.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
LS
Systems integrator at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
It allows our organization to provide a more timely response to our customers.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows our organization to provide a more timely response to our customers.

What is most valuable?

The speed of the unit is its best feature. It performs very well.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see bigger modules. That's about the only thing that needs improvement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, it's been very stable. There have been no issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support and they have been very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were having performance issues. We decided to find the lowest latency device and this was it.

How was

How has it helped my organization?

It allows our organization to provide a more timely response to our customers.

What is most valuable?

The speed of the unit is its best feature. It performs very well.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see bigger modules. That's about the only thing that needs improvement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, it's been very stable. There have been no issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used technical support and they have been very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were having performance issues. We decided to find the lowest latency device and this was it.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup and it was very straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We only evaluated EMC. This was a better performing product.

What other advice do I have?

This is probably the best unit you're going to find out there.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user671433
Programmer Analysts at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We migrated from EMC storage and it was virtualized.

What is most valuable?

It was quite easy to migrate from EMC storage because everything is virtualized. Easy Tier is quite nice to use.

How has it helped my organization?

We're a public sector organization. One of the benefits was that it was the lowest bid for us. It basically came down to cost.

What needs improvement?

I had wish lists, but I found out that they have already been completed.

At our current code level, when I extend any volume that is using Metro Mirror, I have to remove the Metro Mirror relationship. Once the Metro Mirror relationship is removed, I can extend the volumes and I have to re-create the Metro Mirror relationship and sync the entire volume.

For example, if I have a 1TB volume and I want to extend to 1.5TB instead of 0.5TB being replicated using Metro Mirror, 1.5TB has to be replicated.

The next version will include an update for this problem.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has been good. We haven't had any issues, besides those that were our own fault when we pushed the work loads too high.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is quite easy. We've been expanding pretty much every year.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have always used support. We have a main contact person, and he's a really good technical resource.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We don't really have a choice of vendors because we are public sector. To me, it's history. Our trusted partner is Horizon, and they're great people to work with. When I work with someone else, I'm not sure if they can deliver what I want. But Horizon goes the whole nine yards.

How was the initial setup?

I was not initially involved in the setup. I was tasked with other projects at the time.

What other advice do I have?

If cost is not a factor, I would definitely say IBM is good. Their business partners are good. For instance, they will try to get you vouchers to get training. With EMC, we never really got any training. It was all a cost for us in the public sector. We have to evaluate what training we can take, because I have a jack-of-all-trades type of role.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user671430
Enterprise Architect at Horizon
Consultant
It virtualizes storage and provides thin provisioning and compression.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the ability to virtualize other storage behind it, thin provisioning, compression, and flash systems.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefit of the product is the ease-of-management. It has significantly reduced the IT operation costs to our organization.

What needs improvement?

I don’t really have a feature that I’d be using. Other storage technologies such as 3D drives or 3D flash would be cool to see, but for the users who I’m selling to, I don’t have this to offer. I don’t think that there is any improvement required.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has been excellent and we never had any problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It’s massively scalable, so I’ll never run into that problem.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used tech support and they are excellent. They always have an answer for me.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

When selecting a vendor, the support mechanism and the reliability are the most important elements.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. I have done it for other clients, and it’s very straightforward to set up and use.

What other advice do I have?

Take it for a test drive. You’ll be impressed.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user671418
Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
MSP
The biggest benefit is the latency. It increases the speed of block storage.

Pros and Cons

  • "The speed and the ease of installation are the most valuable features."
  • "I would like to have a larger disk. Right now, you can get 57 terabytes in a shelf. Once they get the larger disk and you get larger capacities, it'll be even better."

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest benefit is the latency. It is so low that it's going to increase your transactions for transactional data. It's going to increase the speed of any block storage on which you're trying to get low latency.

What is most valuable?

The speed and the ease of installation are the most valuable features. The IBM FlashSystem is the fastest in the industry. You can add it to their other products, such as IBM SAN Volume Controller, and virtualize it. It's a flexible system that you can use purely for speed, where you can add it to a SAN Volume Controller and use Easy Tier to speed up all your disks.

What needs improvement?

I'm not sure that I want to see any additional features. I like the way they have it. It's simple. It gives you the low latency that you need, so I'm not sure if there are any features that I would be looking for.

I would like to have a larger disk. Right now, you can get 57 terabytes in a shelf. Once they get the larger disk and you get larger capacities, it'll be even better.

To be more specific: The FlashSystem 900 is perfect for providing pure speed and low latency. I am happy that the product doesn’t have Storage efficiencies built into it natively. You can Virtualize the FS900 with the IBM Storwize family and gain storage efficiencies when needed. Today the largest FS900 MicroLatency module is 5.7TB or 57TB per shelf. It will be great when the larger MicroLatency modules are realesed to provide density.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been a great product. As they increase the firmware codes and add new enhancements, it just becomes more stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a good, scalable product with which you can scale out. And you can add it to virtualization. Whether it's a V9000 or you add it to an SVC, it becomes even more scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I actually performed a PoC of multiple flash system products and found IBM FlashSystem to be the fastest one out there.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in many initial setups. That's part of my job to do post-sales installation. So I've done it for several companies. It's very simple and straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Pure Storage and EMC XtremIO. We chose the IBM FlashSystem because it performed the best in the PoC.

What other advice do I have?

If they:

  • Have to choose from what's out there in the industry
  • Are looking for storage efficiencies where they're going to get deduplication and compression
  • Are looking for pure speed

Then the IBM FlashSystem is the way to go.

If they need efficiencies, like compression and deduplication, then they need to look at the IBM A9000.

Support is the most important thing when looking at vendors.


Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user671412
Network Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
You can run it on several different configurations.

What is most valuable?

The ease-of-use and ease-of-setup are the most valuable features. You can get one up and running in a couple hours. I do it quite frequently for customers. The simplicity of it is the big benefit for me, compared to some others that I've used.

How has it helped my organization?

A lot of features are beneficial. It's a robust solution from my standpoint. We've got it running on several different configurations. You've got tiering and a lot of nice features to have in today's world. You can put flash in them. It is a good system to use.

What needs improvement?

As far as for what we use it for, they have got it spot on for our market. I'm sure others might have some additions, but our market is more in the SNB space. It is everything we've ever needed.

With the latest releases of software, it's pretty robust. They've pretty well nailed it. I don't see any further weaknesses with the interfaces or anything.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had any real issues. I think it is very stable. We have not had any outages or any unexpected issues. I would say it’s very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is definitely very easy to scale. It's like everybody says, "plug and play". It just works.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had a few customer requests for it. I attended conferences and they showed me that they have really put a lot of time and effort into this. It's a good solution. It was worth our time to push it for our customers.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not look at other vendors. We are a business partner for IBM on the storage side. Primarily, they're the only game we mess around with.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely give it your time. Give it your time, get some IBM folks to show you some benefits and maybe do a demo. It's a great solution.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a business partner for IBM on the storage side.
it_user671409
Storage Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
You don't need to buy hardware solutions that are vendor-bound.

What is most valuable?

It is software defined.

How has it helped my organization?

It's flexible. You don't need to buy big hardware solutions that are vendor-bound. It's one of the first, fully software-defined solutions on the market available. It's actually built in-house, so it's very robust, tested, and it works right.

What needs improvement?

I would like it to be more scalable.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's not extremely scalable as of today. There are certain limits of the hardware that it runs on. Essentially, it does provide for medium to large enterprises in a single appliance solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used support and it needs improvement. I don't like the way that levels of support are organized. Level-1 never provides any support anymore. It just relays communication to the actual Level-2 support. Level-1 support barely understands the problem at first.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

It's been well established in the market for probably over 10 or 11 years now. This was one of the first solutions available.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are open to competitive market solutions, but a single vendor solution is something that definitely makes sense for our enterprise.

What other advice do I have?

When looking for a vendor, support is important, as well as market position.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672366
Senior Technical Specialist at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Provides external virtualization, compression, and a failover mechanism.

Pros and Cons

  • "The valuable features are high availability, compression, and a failover mechanism. It's a very highly available storage solution."
  • "I know they have a flashcopy manager, but it is extra software, an additional license, and some customers don't like to add addition costs to their infrastructure. If IBM could create, or include snapshot management within the GUI, that would really be helpful."

What is most valuable?

The valuable features are high availability, compression, and a failover mechanism. It's a very highly available storage solution.

It can virtualize external rewrites and you have a single pane of management. Instead of having multiple managements for different storage products, you can have a single pane to manage everything. The external virtualization is a really good feature.

High Availability – any server, physical or virtualized accessing the IBM Storwize can be in a high-availability configurations. This will make applications available all the time to provide service to the end users.

Real-time Compression – it reduces storage costs by compressing it up to 80%, therefore saves rack space and power consumption.
Storage Virtualization – it can virtualize different storage from different vendors, thus helps ease of use by providing single pane of management and device drivers.

Storage Tiering – automatically migrates data between different storage tiers depending on the usage of the data. This will help reduce costs by avoiding to purchase dedicated SSD or Flash drives to applications that needed performance.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows the company to be highly available and be able to recover the storage if there are some issues.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the snapshot management embedded within the GUI. Right now, the snapshot management, if you want to schedule, or do multiple scheduling in a day, you have to use scripting. Customers are not highly technical, and they really cannot do scripting. If IBM could include the snapshot management within the interface, then that would be good.

I know they have a flashcopy manager, but it is extra software, an additional license, and some customers don't like to add addition costs to their infrastructure. If IBM could create, or include snapshot management within the GUI, that would really be helpful.

I have a lot of customers who are really interested in the Storewize product and they are using snapshot management. It's really good to have this kind of investment, because this product is really good.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable product. I like it, and I have a lot of customers using it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Storewize is scalable, especially the V-7000. The GEN-28 can scale up to 20 expansions. It's highly scalable and you can have a maximum of 8 nodes.

How is customer service and technical support?

I have used the technical support on occasion, but not a lot. It's good. As long as you provide them with the correct information about the problem, they will respond very quickly.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy, very easy.

What other advice do I have?

I highly recommend it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672375
CTO at CAS Severn
Consultant
Provides our customers with virtualization and flattening.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature that our customers are very interested in is the virtualization. Being able to have the flexibility as they grow, without having to just lift and replace everything that they're doing.

Where it's moving into now is a unified set of advanced features that they're able to lay across their enterprise, without it being different in every single product that they're dealing with.

The virtualization, the flattening, and those advanced characteristics of the product are really what our customers have gravitated towards on the V9000.

How has it helped my organization?

When it comes to our benefits from this solution, a lot of it comes down to simplicity. If we take a look at a lot of these complex IT solutions today, they're very hard to maintain and to administer. However, the V9000 and the investment that IBM has made to the user experience, makes it very easy for our customers to be able to self-maintain and self-administer their own environment. They don't have to always go to a storage consultant or have to call into support. That's been very beneficial to our clients.

What needs improvement?

We think that IBM has to continue to invest in additional data reduction capabilities which are on their roadmap. Being able to use flash most efficiently, where the least amount of data is physically being stored on the V9000 is really where IBM needs to make additional investment. They are doing that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability's been rock solid. If we take a look at the V9000 and the base of what it's built on, it is the heritage of IBM Storwize. This goes back to IBM SAN Volume Controller or SVC. We're on a very mature code base and it is a code base that's been very extendable.

So over the years, they've been able to inject new capabilities in the product line while still keeping the product very stable. We've had customers who have been through multiple upgrade cycles over the life of the product with no issues at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the V9000 product is really where it shines. Being able to add additional capacity to the unit, without having to come up with a different management of lots of separate units, has been very beneficial to clients.

That idea of starting small with their current flash rollout and then being able to grow as the budget allows, has been very beneficial to clients.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've been absolutely happy with the technical support.

From an IBM perspective for technical support, they really love the V9000, especially when you're going to do some enhanced service offerings that IBM has.

When it comes to using things like the technical advisor, being able to have more of a concierge service with support has been very beneficial to clients.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

A lot of our customers were previously using either all disk or hybrid solutions for their storage. Moving towards an all-flash V9000, allowed them to take performance management and stop having to worry about that in their everyday tasks.

Moving to an all-flash array allowed them to spend more time dealing with application integration and dealing with their end users. This is rather than having to do performance management and moving data around. The all-flash array made their life a lot simpler.

How was the initial setup?

We were involved with all aspects:

  • Initial design
  • Setup
  • Rollout
  • Integration with the different operating systems and different hosts through the storage fabric

It was straightforward. What we really like about the V9000 is that we're able to take implementation engineers who had experience with other members of the Storwize family.

They are able to take those skills that they learned within other product sets and directly translate those to the V9000.

They are able to very quickly come up to speed on the product without having to learn a brand new skill set.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

From a CAS Severn perspective, IBM continues to be our premier supplier of storage. We do have a lot of experience with other vendors in the industry, including Pure Storage, EMC, and HP.

When it comes to recommending a vendor, the entire lifecycle of supporting a system is important. That's everything from design, to implementation, to ongoing support. IBM provides a strong package on all three aspects of the lifecycle of the equipment.

What other advice do I have?

Folks that are looking to implement the V9000 really should take a look at the simplicity that an all-flash array can bring to their environment. They should look at the efficiency of being able to take skills that they might have learned within other Storwize products and be able to directly translate those into the V9000.

To summarize: Similar interface, similar support interaction, and the way they can take knowledge that they previously had and be able to directly translate that to their all-flash array decision.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user672393
Systems Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Provides virtual capabilities and enables us to move data between tiers.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the virtual capabilities that you get from the system and being able to move your data between tiers. We use that feature and we also optimize that with the SAN.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped improve our organizational functionality with the ease of replacement of hardware. We use it a lot for that, for swapping in and out of old hardware to new hardware.

What needs improvement?

I can't really think of any specific improvements which I would like to see.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has been great. Every time that we had a failed drive or a failed piece of hardware, it's been no problem. The systems have stayed up, with no problems at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't scaled it to the maximum. It does scale quite a bit more than we've actually ever used it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been great. As far as responding, we usually get a resolution, or we have somebody calling us from higher up in the chain.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We're an IBM shop, so we've always been on some kind of IBM platform.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It's pretty simple.

What other advice do I have?

I would tell them, "The ease of use of the system. If you have a small storage team, then this is the platform for you. It's really easy to manage, really easy to use, and it doesn't take a lot of training." The biggest key to deciding on the product is the support and replacement capabilities.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user674229
Storage Admin at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Compression and deduplication are important to us. There is a limit on the flash memory.

What is most valuable?

We do replication and other things. For us, compression, deduplication, and the space saving features are important to us. The price to value ratio, for us, was good.

How has it helped my organization?

We are using replication for our backup solutions and it costs us less compared to other solutions. For space saving features, it definitely saves us in a virtual environment in terms of space and money.

What needs improvement?

There is a limit on the flash memory for fresh copy, i.e., a memory limit. So there are limits within the software, for buffering and then caching. We want to see those items increased.

There are a lot of bugs and they are still adding features in the product. The system has matured from 6.X to 7.X. It has improved a lot, but it still has room for more improvement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is not an enterprise solution, and our team doesn't sell that. That's how it is. So we shouldn't expect an enterprise level solution. Whatever is marketable for the segment serves a purpose.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale out as much as you want. We use up to four in a cluster, four to six nodes, so it's working fine for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

Other than bug fixes, the technical support is really good. If you actually hit a bug in your environment, it's definitely going to take time. It has to be escalated all the way to the third level and then to the engineers. It's a little bit challenging over there. But overall, it's okay.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using SVC and DS83. We are actually using that app, but for us, IBM Storwize V7000 was more cost effective in our environment. That's why we chose that specific product.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward if you want to do a basic setup. But if you want to do customization specific to your environment, then you need to be more intimately involved with it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are not, at this point, considering other vendors. These days, it's specifically cost which is more important when selecting a vendor. We are not part of a financial environment or something like that where we would have a lot of penalties. So for us, as long as it is stable enough, we are okay. So for us, it is stability and then cost.

What other advice do I have?

If they are cost conscious and have a release table solution, this is probably the best solution available.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
WebOpsManager15
Web Operations Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We have not seen many drive failures. It should have built-in reporting to understand the health of the array.

What is most valuable?

The hardware is the best feature of the product. We have not seen many drive failures. The V9000 all-flash is constructed well.

How has it helped my organization?

It has not made us more efficient from a deployment standpoint. That is why we have been migrating to a hyper-converged solution.

What needs improvement?

  • The overall code.
  • The ability to have built-in reporting to understand the health of the array.
  • Stability within the code.
  • Clear upgrade paths for the code.
  • Support is horrible. It takes weeks to get simple answers. We had a LUN down and support refused to get on a WebEx without the array being completely down.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have had the system for over two years.

We currently have about 1PB worth of storage that spans IBM Storwize V5000, V7000, and V9000. This is across two datacenters.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had stability issues as stated elsewhere.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The V9000 can only hold two shelves of flash, at which point you need new controllers.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is the worst in the industry, as mentioned elsewhere.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used EMC. We switched based on cost.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is not difficult.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Not worth the money.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

EMC was evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

There are far better products with better support for less cost.

The hardware itself is good, but the code that runs on it is not good at all. We have LUNs that will just go offline, and support has no clear answer. Each result is a code upgrade that does not resolve the problem. There is no built-in historical reporting. That is a costly add-on for an already overpriced system.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user211857
IT Program Manager at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The cost was low when we purchased it. Some of the platform limitations need to be addressed.

What is most valuable?

The cost was low when we purchased it.

How has it helped my organization?

It has not improved how we function.

What needs improvement?

ACLs should be more compatible with other NAS-based platforms. Some of the platform limitations need to be addressed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this product for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had to bounce services several times over the past two years.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is horrible. IBM doesn't have much expertise with the product.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using EMC VNX.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly simple.

Which other

What is most valuable?

The cost was low when we purchased it.

How has it helped my organization?

It has not improved how we function.

What needs improvement?

ACLs should be more compatible with other NAS-based platforms. Some of the platform limitations need to be addressed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this product for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had to bounce services several times over the past two years.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is horrible. IBM doesn't have much expertise with the product.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using EMC VNX.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly simple.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We migrated from EMC VNX.

We performed a new enterprise storage refresh and kicked out EMC.

We moved from EMC VMAX to Pure Storage All-Flash, and then got this product to replace EMC VNX.

What other advice do I have?

DON'T use it unless you have a new and small NAS environment.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user583515
IT Director Of System & Security Dep at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The easy GUI is the most valuable feature.

What is most valuable?

The easy GUI is the most valuable feature.

What needs improvement?

As I said When you Sync V7000 to Another V7000 that are located in my case more than 10km and with DWDM as dark fiber , first you need license for long distance from brocade.
Than you can change the buffer credit on the SAN switch to at least 49 . the point is that you need to test the parameter to get the best value .
This depend on the line you have and also check if there is any limitation from your DWDM Provider.

The problem is that if the buffer is not configured correctly this increase the latency because of this delay and the retransmit .

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Remote copy performance impacts latency on the local storage: Must be configured with the correct buffer credit.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is very good.

Technical Support:

Technical support is very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used a different solution. We switched because Storwize v7000 is easy to manage.

What about the implementation team?

A vendor team implemented it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior UNIX Systems Administrator at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It has helped us to achieve a good response time for users. The memory card failure and the array's inability to create a spare card resulted in several crashes.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features were the performance of the array, i.e., very low latency and high IOPS. Plus, the management interface is very easy to use."
  • "The array level RAID does not seem available."

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped us to achieve a good response time for users.

What is most valuable?

The latency and speed of the array and also its ease of management were beneficial features.

The most valuable features were the performance of the array, i.e., very low latency and high IOPS. Plus, the management interface is very easy to use.

What needs improvement?

The several major crashes resulted in the entire weekends being lost in rebuilding the array and then for restoring the data. This was caused each time by a memory card failure and the array's inability to use a spare card. The array level RAID does not seem available.

How are customer service and technical support?

It was great with TMS, however it has been terrible ever since IBM took over.

On one occasion our support renewal had not been processed, which we found out when we tried to get support during an array failure.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, it was a great experience with RamSan-400.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is very easy.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it in-house. It is very straightforward.

What was our ROI?

Since the takeover by IBM, the prices are much higher.

What other advice do I have?

For resilience, you need to buy two of these devices per site as RAID only applies within in each memory card, i.e., the whole array is not resilient if a card fails. Failover would only be possible for a standby device.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user533121
Storage & Backup Transition Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It facilitates those applications that need low latency and high speed for transferring the data.

Pros and Cons

  • "Speed (IOPS/second) – It is most vital for applications that need low latency and high speed for transferring the data."

    How has it helped my organization?

    The interface management is simple and intuitive. It has been replaced with other arrays successfully, that were larger in size but more slow. We were able to reduce the footprint of space used in GDCS and also the power consumption.

    What is most valuable?

    Speed (IOPS/second) – It is most vital for applications that need low latency and high speed for transferring the data. 

    We have some large databases that are accessed at the same time by more than 10,000 users. In the past, it was on 15K disks. After we migrated them under the IBM Flash Array, the overall IOPS rate has increased by 30% and its latency is lower. The customers are very happy with the new solution.

    What needs improvement?

    The storage size vs the storage price needs to improve. The total storage capacity vs price is still quite high for the IBM Flash Array. It will sound better in the following years, as and when the price will be more accessible/economical.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    In our environment we also have the XtremIO All-Flash Storage Array, but it has some scalability issues. That was the main reason why we focused on buying more IBM Flash Arrays.

    We also use ServiceNow and SNIA Protocol; it’s present and working good with all the IBM products.

    How was the initial setup?

    Since we have multiple IBM equipment in use, the installation process was straight forward.

    What about the implementation team?

    Usually IBM doesn't sell the product directly, so each installation is carried out either with the vendor or via the GDC technicians. We as storage admins configure the storage system.

    What other advice do I have?

    This product has the best quality, performance and cost.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user523167
    IT Specialist at Slovenská sporiteľňa
    Vendor
    It supports a high IOPS rate. Initial setup is simple.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable feature is that is supports a high IOPS rate."
    • "It has room for improvement in the area of stability."

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have some processes in our company that were cut in half by using the FlashSystem.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is that is supports a high IOPS rate. We have a heavy workload. Some storage systems are not as good in terms of IOPS. We are using just the FlashSystems. It is virtualized using SVCs. We are using normal physical disks like Storwize for not-so-hot data. For hot data, we are using FlashSystems.

    I think the performance of most of the application is improving. Our users now say that it's much better than it was before. The storage speed is perfect.

    What needs improvement?

    It has room for improvement in the area of stability. The firmware is upgraded frequently. We need to update it maybe three or four time a year because of the new features and bug fixes. On one side, it is good; but, on the other side, it is not good because we need to upgrade within one year or they will not support the firmware. It would be better if they supported what we already have for longer.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We sometimes had a problem with some bugs in FlashSystems. One time, one FlashSystem was burnt up. There was some smoke and the data was damaged. We saved it because we have redundancy in the cluster. At the cluster level, we make copies and replicate to the other site for disaster recovery situations.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We upgraded one FlashSystem two months ago because it was not full. We had to buy two modules, if I remember correctly. This was quite a complicated upgrade. IBM brought us new FlashSystems. Because it is virtualized, we moved the data from this one, upgraded it, and moved the data back; but it was done dynamically without any outage.

    With the virtualized FlashSystem, we hope for improved response time, but the availability is improved. It is also flexible in that we could upgrade it dynamically, move the data, and so on.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I think the guys in our country are very clever in this. We can count on them. When we call them, they respond very fast and bring the new parts on time. The repair time is written into the SLA. Support is available 24/7 and I think the repair time is within 24 hours.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Before we were using IBM DS8000s. The application was consuming a lot of IOPS with a lot of hot data.

    We needed a higher IOPS rate. We chose the FlashSystem because the response time needs to be very fast. When the people working on the application feel that the response time is not good, or there is not enough storage space for the amount of data they have, then we have a flexible enough infrastructure to dynamically upgrade them to the FlashSystem. We do this planning on a yearly basis. We design the infrastructure solution according to the project requirements. Sometimes, this requires an upgrade to the FlashSystem.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup we did ourselves because it is very simple. We did the direct mounting of racks and the hardware. The software design is virtualized using SVCs.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We considered other options, but I don’t think there were any other options with such intensive processing as the FlashSystem. We have a lot of tiers; and for other tiers, we have other vendors. I think that the IBM FlashSystem is the highest quality available in the market. For us, considering the whole solution, it was best for us.

    We are very satisfied with IBM's prices, I think.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would advise colleagues to use FlashSystems. It's a very good solution for us to achieve our goals.

    When I evaluate vendors, for me, the historical relationship is very important, and definitely the communication. With IBM, we know the vendor well.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user531666
    Senior Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    The GUI is easy to use. The SAN Volume Controller provides a single management interface for virtualized storage.

    Pros and Cons

    • "IBM FlashSystem has an easy to use GUI, similar to the IBM Storewize family, which make it one of the best flash storage systems in the market."

      How has it helped my organization?

      We used to provision storage from different devices. This requires a lot of manual effort to synchronize all hosts with each storage unit in an environment. IBM SAN Volume Controller helps manage all storage units from a single interface; while IBM FlashSystem provides high performance for our Tier 1 applications.

      What is most valuable?

      IBM FlashSystem has an easy to use GUI, similar to the IBM Storewize family, which make it one of the best flash storage systems in the market.

      We use the IBM SAN Volume Controller to provide a single management interface for virtualized storage. It is easy to manage many storage devices from a single controller.

      What needs improvement?

      The two products should be unified and have a service processor to restart devices remotely. For example, NetApp has devices which include a service processor in nodes, which could be used to restart the nodes remotely. IBM should implement something like this.

      Both products are basically for block-level access. There should be a series that also has a file level and block-level access together, which would make it unified.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      The stability of the system is fine.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      We did not have any problems with scalability.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      We receive excellent technical support.

      Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

      I currently use both NetApp and IBM. NetApp storage is cost efficient, but IBM is way ahead of NetApp in terms of block-level access.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was easy.

      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

      Pricing can be considered as per market competition. As I am seeing less projects using IBM storage these days, the only reason seems to be the cost of support.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We had a contract with IBM, and now we are also using NetApp storage.

      What other advice do I have?

      Go ahead and implement it. IBM storage provides you everything that you’ll need for a block-level architecture, as they have many different products which provides you with a variety of options to meet your needs.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      ITCS user
      Technical Head at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
      Real User
      Top 10
      IBM FlashSystem V9000 stands for Virtualized

      Improvements to My Organization

      IT Improve our TPS (transactions per seconds)

      Valuable Features

      Flash disk with Easy Tier option Same GUI as v7000

      Room for Improvement

      When you provision a datastore auto-format takes a long time .. to disable is you have to redo the whole process. this is a bit difficult if you want to make adjustments on the datastore

      Stability Issues

      none so far.

      Scalability Issues

      Scale in scale out design was implemented

      Customer Service and Technical Support

      Customer Service: We have a good relationship with IBM Technical Support: Highly skilled implementor

      Initial Setup

      Straightforward

      Other Solutions Considered

      HP, EMC,

      Improvements to My Organization

      IT Improve our TPS (transactions per seconds)

      Valuable Features

      Flash disk with Easy Tier option

      Same GUI as v7000

      Room for Improvement

      When you provision a datastore auto-format takes a long time .. to disable is you have to redo the whole process. this is a bit difficult if you want to make adjustments on the datastore

      Stability Issues

      none so far.

      Scalability Issues

      Scale in scale out design was implemented

      Customer Service and Technical Support

      Customer Service:

      We have a good relationship with IBM

      Technical Support:

      Highly skilled implementor

      Initial Setup

      Straightforward

      Other Solutions Considered

      HP, EMC,

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user211857
      IT Program Manager at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Vendor
      The services to help us migrate our NAS data from an existing EMC VNX system has failed once already with ACL permissions issues specifically on how the V7000U NAS works.

      What is most valuable?

      We have not had a good experience with this platform.

      The installation and service was very good. But, the services to help us migrate our NAS data from an existing EMC VNX system has failed once already with ACL permissions issues specifically on how the V7000U NAS works. I have had to involved IBM Global Support by actually contacting high level Vice Presidents. As of January 26, 2016, we have not successfully migrated our NAS data.

      How has it helped my organization?

      It has not improved anything yet within our environment.

      What needs improvement?

      They could increase the maximum storage capacity so more disk shelves can be added.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      We've had it for eight months, but still have not successfully migrated our NAS data yet. Also, it contains drives for AS/400 system and Exchange Archive data.

      What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

      Software functionality issues that were not known until our NAS data migration failed. We hit further ACL Permissions issues as well.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We have performance and spiking issues of which IBM applied a work-around patch.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      There have been no issues with the scalability.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      Customer Service:

      6/10

      Technical Support:

      It's average.

      Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

      We switched to Pure Storage because of the way the system performs and does everything in 32K sizing. The IOPS are high and the support and customer server are exceptional.

      How was the initial setup?

      Fairly simple as it took about two hours to rack and get on-line.

      What about the implementation team?

      It was installed through one of our partners who did a good job.

      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

      We feel that the pricing is fair and the licensing process was easy.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We evaluated EMC (which we already had), DELL and HP.

      What other advice do I have?

      The sales team was great as was the technical team. I now feel the EMC VNX and NetApp are both better NAS systems. If I had to do it over again, I would stayed with the EMC VNX for NAS.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user264465
      Arquiteto de Soluções at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
      Consultant
      Micro latency of the flash provides real-time information, but it's a little expensive.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable features of all the products are the high performance and micro latency.

      How has it helped my organization?

      I'm a Solutions Architect, so I don't have any from my company, but I do some projects for some clients where the unique performance and micro latency of the flash provides real- time information that is used to make strategic decisions.

      What needs improvement?

      Because the product is already mature, it doesn't need any improvement.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      From about two years when IBM first bought FlashSystem. I knew some things about it when it was Texas Memory System,

      What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

      I didn't have issues with models 900 and v9000, but on previous versions, like the 720, I had some questions.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      It is stable, because it's use an ASIC in it's development. Therefore, that does the job and it doesn't have software at its core.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      It has great scalability.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      Customer Service:

      It's very good because IBM always make sure they have good customer service.

      Technical Support:

      Not so good in my country because they only have a few people with great knowledge about FlashSystem.

      Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

      I've never used another solution.

      How was the initial setup?

      The initial setup was very simple, because IBM have a default interface for all their storage systems.

      What about the implementation team?

      I did the implementation in-house.

      What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

      It's a little expensive, so it's you need to have a good architect involved to explain it and make sure the project goes well.

      What other advice do I have?

      Have good knowledge about the clients business.

      Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Business partners
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