IBM FlashSystem Review

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.
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