IBM is the world's largest
information technology services and consulting provider. Some 190,000
professionals in more than 160 countries help clients integrate information
technology with business value -- from the business transformation and industry
expertise of IBM Business Consulting Services to hosting, infrastructure,
technology design and training services. IBM services business delivers
integrated, flexible and resilient processes across companies and through
business partners, enabling clients to save money and transform their businesses
to be more competitive. For more information, visit www.ibm.com/services.|
- editor mentions on StorageSearch.com,
article comparing SAS SSDs with PCIe SSDs,
"IBM inadvertently set the trend for a
new fashion in press release messages which has been followed by many others in
the rackmount SSD and hybrid appliance markets - when IBM said that users
don't need to worry about the endurance of its FlashSystems."
the Top SSD Companies in
|Who's who in SSD? - IBM|
by Zsolt Kerekes,
editor StorageSearch.com -
April 28, 2014
IBM was ranked #2 in the
Q1 2014 edition of
the Top SSD Companies
published here on
StorageSearch.com - having moved up
9 places from the previous quarter. (This IBM's highest rank to date - in the
7 years of publishing this series.)
That was a strong affirmation that
the SSD market is interested in what it sees IBM doing in the enterprise.
interest was weighted more towards IBM's rackmount storage systems than in
its server side SSD solutions at the time of measuring this - although of
course - that could change.
See also:- -
It's IBM Jim -
but not as we know it
Editor's comments:- re IBM and SSDs
- September 2012
It took many years for
SSD strategy to materialize into a recognizable shape.
server companies - initially it was not in IBM's interests to
about SSDs because they feared it would reduce server sales. But as I predicted
in my 2003 SSD market
adoption article - as soon as user knowledge about SSDs reached a critical
mass and other server makers started to adopt them - server makers like IBM
potentially realized they would lose server sales if they didn't support them.
Before their born-again enthusiasm for SSDs - IBM (in 2006) had
publicly ridiculed products from SSD makers such as Texas Memory Systems - and /
or claimed that other SSD products in the market weren't good enough to use
yet. (A similar ploy to another SSD latecomer
many other server companies IBM initially went for the "safe" option
of remarketing, reselling or
SSD products from companies like
SanDisk and others.
recently announced agreement to acquire
Texas Memory Systems
(August 2012) has within it the potential to rapidly scale into a multi-billion
dollar revenue SSD business unit.
July 2007 -
SanDisk announced that
its SATA 5000 2.5-inch SSD will be offered as an option in IBM's new
BladeCenter HS21 XM.
April 2008 -
IBM Previews Racetrack Solid State Storage
August 2008 -
Fusion-io's SSDs were the secret ingredient in an
"million IOPS" story.
- IBM announced a technology collaboration with
- IBM published a well written article -
for Enterprise Storage (pdf) which introduces the need for SSD acceleration
and explains IBM's strategy in this market.
In May 2009 -
STEC confirmed that its
SSDs are oemed in several popular
IBM servers and storage
In December 2009 -
that its ioMemory PCIe
SSD technology has been adapted by IBM who will remarket these
solutions (initially with upto 320GB capacity) as its
IOPS SSD PCIe Adapters for use in System x servers.
In August 2012 -
announced it will
2014 - IBM
disclosed it had shipped over 1,500 fast
rackmount SSDs in
its FlashSystem 800 range - based on the RamSan product line acquired from
Texas Memory Systems.
IBM also launched a new range of servers which were the first in the market to
include - as standard -
SSDs (low latency DDR3 DIMM flash SSDs) supplied by
SanDisk and based on
the design created by SMART
more SSD articles you may
be interested in - here on StorageSearch.com
for big SSD architecture
where are we now
with SSD software?
introduction to enterprise SSD silos
how fast can your SSD
Guide to Enterprise SSDs
Auto-tuning SSD Accelerated
Pools of storage
fault tolerant SSD arrays market
SSD capacity - the iceberg syndrome
|IBM aims to be
multi-billion dollar flash systems supplier|
|Editor:- April 12, 2013 - 3
years ago I wrote a blog
about the confusing nature of the "RamSan" brand of SSDs from Texas Memory Systems
given that all the recent models in the family were in fact
flash memory rather than
RAM based - and
furthermore some of the models didn't connect via an
FC SAN but used
it wasn't a surprise to see in yesterday's
by IBM (who
last year) that the RamSan designation has been dropped in favor of the more
accurate sounding "FlashSystem" in those models which migrated
intact to IBM's
enterprise flash product line.
So - for example in the category of
availability rackmount SSDs - the old RamSan-720 (SLC) and RamSan-820
(MLC) have become the new
FlashSystem 720 and 820.
If you're not already familiar with
these fast HA SSDs - the thinking behind their design came out in an
interview I has with
Holly Frost, CEO of TMS when they were launched in
I missed them - then it doesn't look to me as though TMS's PCIe SSD models
have been so fortunate. I couldn't see them in IBM's range of PCIe SSDs (High
IOPS Modular Adapters) which are based on products and technologies from
no-show may be due to the fact that - unlike TMS's rackmount systems which
were software agnostic - a lot more work is required to efficiently integrate
server based SSDs into a wide range of server products. But I anticipate
that TMS's big
architecture SSD controller technology will resurface in future IBM SSD
Much more significant was the news that IBM is investing
$1 billion in research and development to design, create and integrate
new flash solutions into its portfolio of servers, storage systems and
middleware. IBM also announced plans to open 12 centers of flash competency
around the globe. That demonstrates confidence in the
future scale of the
SSD market and its
to computer history.
|You don't need to worry
about the endurance of our FlashSystems - says IBM|
|Editor:- October 7, 2014 - Worried about
"None of the thousands of
products (fast rackmount SSDs) which IBM has shipped has ever
worn out yet! - says Erik
Eyberg, Flash Strategy & Business Development at IBM - in his new
storage reliability: Aligning technology and marketing. "And our
metrics suggest that will remain true in almost all cases for many, many years
(certainly well beyond any normal and expected data center life cycle)"
goes on to explain that's the reason IBM can now officially cover flash
storage media wear-out as part of its standard IBM FlashSystem warranty and
maintenance policies - without changing the prices for these services.
his blog has a
to a white paper about the reliability architecture underlying this product
(although it's behind a sign-up wall - which seems counter productive to me.)
comments:- Don't expect all other flash array vendors to follow suit (with
no cost endurance guarantees) - because this product range from IBM is based on
design rules and memory reliability architectures experience in FC SAN
compatible enterprise SSD racks which have evolved since the 1st generation
RamSan from TMS (in
2000). And for more than a decade
using other popular enterprise storage interfaces.
Holly Frost - who founded
Texas Memory Systems - and who was the CEO when TMS was acquired - told me a
revealing story about TMS's policies concerning the reliability of their SSD
systems and customer care procedures.
This conversation took place
in December 2011
- when the company was launching its first high availability SSD - which
became the basis of IBM's FlashSystem.
It still makes interesting
reading today. You can see it in
this article -
in the right hand column - scroll down to the box titled - "no single point
of failure - except..."
|IBM is #1 in rackmount SSD
|Editor:- June 16, 2014 - IBM
today that a recently published market report by IDC identified IBM as the
#1 company (ranked by revenue in 2013) for rackmount SSDs with 25% market
Editor's comments:- this would only be a surprise if
you had not read my January article -
Who's who in SSD?
It's IBM Jim - but not as we know it.
|IBM Redbook places memory
channel SSDs in server context |
|Editor:- March 6, 2014 - IBM recently published a
new free 28 page ebook (aka Redbook) -
IBM eXFlash Memory-Channel Storage in Enterprise Solutions (abstract) / (pdf) -
which describes how
SSDs fit into the concept of servers relative to the other types of SSDs
already available. |
Editor's comments:- I've been writing
about this technology since the time it was being developed and have been well
briefed by the original developers - so this paper didn't have any great
surprises to me - but I think this document presents a balanced introduction
to this technology and a contextualized analysis of how it compares to the
other well established SSD acceleration options which are available for use
key takeway - in my view is table 2 - in which you can see a hierarchy of write
latencies which are approximately 5x longer in each case as you
progress up the flash SSD steps from
SSDs then PCIe SSDs
and finally SAS SSDs.
While bearing in mind that SSD data write latency is not the same
as apps performance latency (because the integration of R/W data flow
patterns with the software
plays a significant part too) and also remembering that
some products in
the market will blur the ratio of the latency boundaries for these 3
different SSD types - you can, nevertheless see why memory channel has a
distinct slot within the onboard SSD acceleration options which you need to
think about in servers.