IBM Storwize Review

Initial setup is pretty straightforward with a nice GUI


What is most valuable?

Virtualization of external storage, while adding cache and speed to the external storage. You don't have to completely take out the datacenter of your old storage. Just add it to the Storwize, continue using it, but with added performance/speed.

How has it helped my organization?

It has saved money for our clients by not replacing all of their current storages (with new storages).

What needs improvement?

  • The IP replication
  • Events/log analysis tools

For how long have I used the solution?

I've never used it myself for long periods of time, since as a system integrator and partner, I have only configured these systems for the end user. However, our clients have been using them since 2011, both Gen 1 and 2.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How is customer service and technical support?

Since our company staff and I are an authorised IBM service partner with certifications in servicing Storwize V7000, all the technical support towards our clients have been done by ourselves. Only when some part fails have claimed it from IBM, and that went fast.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Yes, IBM DS5300. We switched because of the external storage virtualization.

How was the initial setup?

It is pretty straightforward with a nice GUI. One has to know the basic concepts and terminology.

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

No special advice about pricing. Regarding licensing make sure you add at least three years software maintenance from IBM at the beginning, because you will not be able to download firmware updates or any fixes/patches without this. Even if you have hardware maintenance, they will not allow a download without this SW maintenance contract.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, IBM SVC, which has essentially the same software, but it has no place for disk drives. Therefore, you must attach some storage to it.

What other advice do I have?

Get the control box first, without any expansion boxes, and make sure you add at least three SSD drives, because this system has an auto tiering option. Thus, your frequently used data will be automatically placed on SSDs and be accessed faster by hosts. Data for shared folders, which is not so important, you can keep on older storages virtualized by the V7000, or put on bigger, cheaper, and slower disks.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: An authorised IBM service partner with certifications in servicing Storwize V7000.
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