IBM FlashSystem Review

The FS900 is denser packed then most modular all-flash arrays using commodity SSDs


What is our primary use case?

For our Oracle DB servers with ASM and FC, we were looking for the lowest latency, high bandwidth block-storage with fancy features. Therefore, we chose the IBM FS900. We already knew the product's predecessor, as we have already used TMS RS620 (Texas Memory Systems was later bought by IBM).

How has it helped my organization?

The FS900 uses custom built flash modules offering with better latency, and is also denser packed then most modular all-flash arrays using commodity SSDs. 

What is most valuable?

An easy interface to set up, good build quality, and easily accessible parts for hot swapping combined with sub 500 us latency under heavy load.

What needs improvement?

When we performed some HW fault tests under heavy load, we found that some of the parts (fan units and PSUs) should only be removed from the airflow for a short time (less than a minute) when replacing. Otherwise, there would be a large amount of throttling (loss of performance down to 10%) to maintain thermal equilibrium.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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