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IBM launches its new high-end DS-8880 disk array system

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October 14, 2015

IBM has launched a new high-end disk array, the DS-8880, sporting a faster processing system which can double sequential data access speeds over the previous (DS-8870) generation through new Power8 controllers.

The DS-8000 arrays are at the top end of Big Blue's monolithic storage array tree, and are on the same level as EMC’s VMAX and HDS’ VSP arrays.

For its part, HP says its StoreServ 20800 system is on par with IBM's new high-end array, as well as InfiniDat’s Infinibox.

IBM’s DS-8Ks integrate with its zSystems mainframes, Power servers and x86 servers. They use symmetric multi-processing Power8 servers as controllers.

There are three models. The DS-8884 entry-level system saves on space and features easy-to-use operations and continuous availability for running critical workloads.

The DS-8886 mid-range array has double the DS-88770 speed, six nines availability and multi-site replication.

The DS-8888 high-end product can scale from 3 TB to just over 3 PB and has a high-performance flash enclosure (HPFE) module, with 400 GB “ultra-fast flash cards” for the highest data access speeds.

We’re told storage pool striping and flash drives can virtually eliminate disk hot spots.

There is a better graphic user interface as well as a good spectrum of business continuity options such as FlashCopy, Metro Mirror, Global Mirror, Metro/Global Mirror, IBM z/OS Metro/Global Mirror, Global Copy and Multiple Target Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (MT-PPRC).

Big Blue says there is a 30 percent reduction in footprint on a new 19-inch chassis. Old racks are measured at 33 to 34 inches, which makes them roughly 30 percent smaller.

IBM boasts that, for every rack eliminated, customers can save about $1,000 per year in operational costs.

All DS-8880 components are fully redundant and can be upgraded with no downtime, increasing its availability.

The disk array also features remote mirroring that can be integrated with a high availability server capability to provide the highest levels of availability.

Infinidat’s Infinibox boasts seven nines availability, meaning less than three seconds' downtime in a year. The DS-8888 should beat that, in our opinion.

Downtime is claimed to be about 31.5 seconds a year, six nines. A DS-8000 with HyperSwap provides hot swap between primary and secondary operations.

If a DS-8880 disk array goes down, a server sets up an immediate connection to a mirrored DS-8880 to continue operations.

If there is a disaster or planned outage, operations can continue with six nines availability. DS-8880 availability can be even higher if a multi-site recovery system is deployed.

Source: IBM.

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