IBM FlashSystem Review

Reliable and robust with good scalability


What is our primary use case?

We are living in IBM FlashSystem. We have more than eight flash storage devices deployed in our environment for different kinds of workloads such as applications, core systems, core banking applications, et cetera. 

What is most valuable?

Overall, the product is good. 

We've been using it for the last five years, and we haven't had any issues at all. 

The power systems are very reliable if you are running 24/7 operations. For ongoing mission-critical applications, it's the best solution. 

We have been using the V9000 storage for the last five years. It's been very reliable. It's robust from a redundancy and reliability point of view. 

What needs improvement?

Recently, we deployed SS9100. At the core level that is deployed on that storage, it is not stable. We had an incident not too long ago. Both controllers rebooted simultaneously, within 15 seconds. There was some threshold value defined in the core level, and the system exceeded that threshold value. 

We logged the case to IBM. IBM did internal checks, which we deployed. The permanent fix will be available in the first quarter of 2021. It seems to be an issue on IBM's side. Obviously, we were surprised by how both controllers rebooted. We faced downtime on our applications and on our services. 

The issue which we had recently faced relates to the core level. It should be first tested at IBM labs and then introduced for general release.

IBM should improve its data reduction development.

For how long have I used the solution?

Overall, I have 14 years of experience in implementing enterprise solutions, and also managing them. We've been using IBM Flash Storage for the last five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

While the 9000 series has been robust and reliable, the SS9100 hasn't been so stable. IBM is currently working on a patch that should be out soon to handle the issues we've had.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite scalable. A company can expand it if they need to.

We are a financial institution with two million customers. This is the storage we use behind all of our solutions.

While we don't plan to expand usage in the near future, we have recently acquired new storage solutions for an upcoming upgrade.

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

I have experience with a variety of other solutions. On storage, I have experience with IBM FlashSystem, IBM block storage, Dell EMC, block storage VMAX, VNX5600, and unified storage. Also, I have experience with Huawei storage, like Dorado and OceanStor. I've also worked on HPE Enterprise Virtual Array.

If you're talking about flash storage, we have FlashSystem IBM V9000, SS910091, 9200. On cloud storage, we have VMAX 10K, 20K. On unified storage, we have VNX5600 EMC.

We required a homogenous environment that's end to end. We chose to use IBM. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not overly complex. IBM makes the process very smooth. It's very straightforward and quite easy to accomplish. A company shouldn't have any issues with the setup process.

What about the implementation team?

A company could benefit from bringing on a reseller or consultant. They could help with the process.

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

When we procure enterprise storage solutions, the license is always be bundled with the deal. There are different licenses for encryption, replication, deduplication, data reduction pools, et cetera, and all should be included in one bundle when we buy a new solution. It's part of that deal.

What other advice do I have?

We are a customer and end-user.

We are using the V9000, and currently, we have deployed SS9100.

This is a financial Institute. As per regulatory compliance, we cannot share our customer data. We keep our confidential customer data on the cloud that is deployed on-premises.

Overall, we have been happy with the solution. I would rate it at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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