Other solutions comparable to IBM FlashSystem with regard to performance?


One of our members (Principal IT Architect) at a company with 1,000+ employees in the health care industry asked the following question:

Are there any other industry solutions that are comparable to the IBM FlashSystem (i.e. FS900 AEF3 in a medium or large config) with regard to performance?

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34 Answers
MatsHagberg OlssonReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Hi all
If aware of what it's built upon, please take a look at SMCs own solutions. NetApp is also in this tier 1 space together with both DDN and PURE. Comes to PB/$ PURE is hard to beat. NetApp with it's ONTAP AI release is very good too. But then one gains if already being a NetApp house.

28 April 19

regarding performance of Pure X array, two questions to ask:
1. could you think multipathing should not be mandetory to enterprise business? by far, the latest version of NVMe is 1.3, it doesn't support multipathing, need multipathing? wait for the next version.
2. what about the performance if X array support ALUA or even symmetric A/A controller? you know, controller collabration will create extra overheads and then increase the overall latency.

do you really have clear answers to these 2 questions?

28 April 19
Steven CorneliusReal UserTOP 20

Everyone seems to love Pure storage since they have a really good sales team and you can tell who owns it or another platform based on responses. 1) what are you on right now and is it working? Storage can escalate very quickly into what you don't need. 2) What does expansion, licensing, years 4 & 5 of maintenance look like? Pure's capacity-growth includes needing to upgrade the controllers at certain points, which is an extra cost/GB often not "highlighted" in the sales process. Nimble has the same issue and has had a reputation of under-sizing to win the deal and then circling back to upgrade controllers later. Measure 2x & cut 1x on this. 3) Viability of the company: Pure has had 3 x profitable quarters (earning/share) in the last 4-years and HP & Dell don't look too interested in them. HP seems to be pushing Nimble more than Pure based on OS & flexibility of the platform. 4) FLexibility/Cost: Everyone is flexible and you can add & scale but what is the cost? Most storage admins lay it on the line to buy an AFA array for 3-5yrs, and cannot go back to the well for an upgrade 1-2yrs later if they need to exercise that "flexibility" in CFO land that flexibility is a capital expense. 5). Everything is relative: if you have a 100TB on AFA do you grow at 10%/yr? i.e. 10TBs? If that's the case, your 3 x 3.84TBs away from necessitating that need (especially with comp & dedupe) do you have to buy a whole shelf? Or can you add drives and expand your RAID set? 6.)Who are you buying from? Direct? i.e. is your vendor a vendor or a strategic partner who knows your business and will give you options vs. 1 x platform no matter what you say for your project/data sets/growth/financial outlook? 7). The BEZEL: It's all intel chips and a few manufacturers of SSDs & NVME standardized on a few OEM platforms like supermicro (Nimble) or Xyratex or SEagate Chassis's for the most part. Point is the Hardware has consolidated to a few hardware manufacturers/vendors that can print bezels and then Storage manufacturer loads their OS (this is what DellEMC is doing right now i.e. loading OS onto a few standardized platforms. Point is: don't be a bezel snob & B). HW consolidation has allowed lower barriers of entry to manufacturers that don't have to live with 20yrs of stacking code so players like Pure, Nimble, Compellent, EqualLogic, etc... to come on the scene with a good OS. 8). Everyone talks about NVME/SSD, etc... and it's all a means to get the data closer to the compute layer i.e. the servers. Manufacturers like Datrium (founded by VMware & DataDomain founders) have conquered this by essentially having 2x copies of your data 1 x copy on the servers on all flash and the 2nd copy on spinning disk. They leverage the servers to do Compression & dedupe, encyrption, and block all non-unique writes so their "SAN" on the backend only records unique writes and all reads come from the host on All-flash and don't traverse the backend network. So if you stand up 1,000 VDIs, that server takes on the I/O and doesn't disrupt the "SAN" which can degrade performance across the board or push you into an upgrade. Additionally AFA-arrays have 2 x controller= fixed performance vs. Datrium has limitless since it's on the hosts. It also provides more flexibility at a lower cost since you upgrade the flash on the "fron end" i.e. the servers vs. buying another PURE shelf which is 10x more costly. Hope this helps...

26 April 19
Storage & Backup Management | Open System at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employeesUser

Evaluate the following solutions:

1) PureStorage FlashArray //X

2) HPE Nimble Storage FlashArrays

26 April 19

With regard of performance Pure FlashArray is the best positioned system in the storage market. It outstanding performs in every data pattern scenario. It's an All Flash Array with full NVMe backend and frontend. This means you have microseconds latency to get data from flash and to present it to the host. SAN FC 32 Gbs or 10 Gbs iSCSI ethernet supported. Data resides on specialized flash modules engineered to be directly accessed by Purity operating system through multiple concurrent NVMe queues. Performance are guarantee even during component failure or scheduled maintenance because of redundancy architecture. Reliability is six-nines with no need of software business continuity functions implemented.

26 April 19
Julio Crespo MéndezUser

In my opinion, Pure Storage

26 April 19
Man LawVendor

I has been storage and DB over 2 decades.... know many solutions inside out. Not because of working in particular vendor, just reckon FlashArray is the obvious answer to the question. No only consistent low latency, but also rich function, extreme simple to operate, no hassle on future inevitable technology refresh (as it is evergreen).

26 April 19
Solution Architect at CiberVendor

The IBM FS900 AE3 is an amazing purpose built flash array using IBM's Flashcore technology. The unit itself has an all HW data path composed of FPGAs and quality NAND technology based on the IBM/Micron partnership. In the model the question refers is built in HW compression that has near ZERO performance impact. The FS900 does not come with a software stack but is built for speed above that which you would typically see with a tuned NVMe array. It is a perfect array for application acceleration when used as a preferred read array or virtualized by IBM's SVC or other array running IBM's SDS Spectrum Virtualize software. Recently, IBM took this very same FlashCode technology in the FS900 and miniaturized it including the built-in penalty free HW compression into a 2.5" drive format called the IBM Flashcore Module or FCM. These offer faster and much more space efficiency than any NAND technology out there and can be used in place of or with NVMe SSDs in the new V7000 Gen3 product and the the FS9100 series arrays. Both of these arrays come with a FULL featured data service software: IBM Spectrum Virtualize. IBM WON the 2018 FLASH Summit award for Most Innovative Flash Technology for these FCMs.

BTW, I do not work for IBM. We are a multi vendor VAR and Cloud provider.

25 April 19
Scott McCreadyUserTOP 20

If this is a heads down beat on the box type of environment then I can understand why you are interested in IBM's 900 FlashSystem. It offers amazingly consistent performance and reliability. There is realistically very few options for this performance at this total cost of ownership. For example, the EMC Powermax is more than twice as expensive and unless you are a big EMC customer the staffing requirement is much higher. You could look at EMC's xtremeIO R or T, but the drives are of low capacity and they do not offer the latest advancements in RAID technology, plus the software options are limited. You should also look at IBM's 9100 FlashSystem since the economics are comparable to the 900 and the 9100 is a big focus for IBM going forward. If you do not need a box with really high performance and reliability then consider Pure and HP, but the savings will be minimal if any. Beware Pure is cheap to get into, but you get jacked on the back-end of the investment cycle.

25 April 19
Erik BaumgartnerVendor

Research them all if you want, ask all the vendors lots of questions and challenge what they claim. Ask them for customer references so you can talk to actual users. Pure is not more expensive...you have to look at the life of your investment and TCO...no data migrations ever, no forklift upgrades in years 3-5 that are innevitable with other vendors, all software features included now AND in the future! There's a reason Pure Storage has an NPS score of 87 (world class on a scale of -100 to 100) and DellEMC and NetApp have scores of 4 and 7, respectively (yes, you read that right). Customers of Pure love being a customer, there must be a reason right? Of course you can always look at the Gartner quadrant for All Flash Arrays and see Pure as the leader 5 years running, but that only speaks to technology and innovation (which is obviously important too). But what about the whole experience of being a customer of the company you're investing in? If you aren't familiar with Pure Evergreen ownership model then learn yourself about it...get that education and you'll be shocked in a good way

25 April 19
Associate Director, IT at a pharma/biotech company with 501-1,000 employeesReal UserTOP 10

"Performance" can be read in more than one way.... minimal latency? throughput? IOPS? Growth? Other? Looking at the suggestions, I'll avoid the "me too" and suggest SolidFire (by NetApp). They aren't the fastest or least-latency (that's probably XtremeIO - SF basically has 1msec or less), but IMO are more resilient to failure. They are a scale-out model that grows with you, adds performance and capacity as you add nodes. It's resilient - can automatically recover (protect data) from a drive failure, or even node failure - and has QOS per volume (min/max/burst IOPS), can grow with you incrementally, and even allows you to gracefully deprecate/remove older nodes. Supports VASA and OpenStack (api) - it's probably more of a carrier platform, but we've found it fits nicely here (we've added add'l nodes since initial deployment).

25 April 19
Gregorius SusantoUser

I think you can consider Pure Storage All Flash Array //x series (NVMe). With highlight Effortless, Evergreen, and Efficient.

25 April 19
Fernando ChevitareseUser

There are many options. You can find great models from Dell EMC, today’s storage market share leader.
Depending on the workload and capacity, you can choose an AFA among Powermax, XtremIO, Unity, SC, Isilon and ME4.

25 April 19
Julian MarksVendor

There are many options. Most vendors are switching to all flash technologies and many hybrid arrays are being steadily dropped from current ranges.
Probably the most useful to look at if you want a high end AFA with many features is XtremIO from DellEMC. However, if you also want replication try Dell Unity (mid range) or PowerMAX (enterprise class)

25 April 19
Mladen PaunovicUser

Netapp AFF or Huawei Dorado V5070

25 April 19

Having worked with Dell EMC, NetApp, and now HPE, I would recommend HPE 3PAR All Flash array, 3PAR has been been a leader in All-Flash Storage, as well the pioneers in SCM / Memory Driven Flash technology, this was highlighted by IDC.

The future is SCM - Storage Class Memory.

All-Flash Array should provide you with the below: (3PAR does much more than below):
Disaster recovery
Management console (Ease of Use, very powerful and feature rich GUI)
AI-driven management
REST APIs for cloud orchestration
Support for security standards
Elastic concurrency
High capacity
High performance
compression and deduplication
thin provisioning


25 April 19
Roman KiryanovUserTOP 20

I am sure Pure Storage is a great choice

25 April 19
Muath AlhwetatUser

Dell EMC VMAX All Flash Storage there are two types VMAX 250F and VMAX 950F (this one with performance of up to 6.7 million IOPS ),and it Supports block and file, open systems, mainframe, and IBM i.

25 April 19
Ricky SantosReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Netapp AFF

25 April 19
Szabo AndrasConsultant

You may want to look at the IBM FS9100 series, NimbusData A/B/C/D models
or DDN storage Flash portfolio

25 April 19
Kashif AdeelUser

I had three self deployed customer references and success stories of IBM FS900 Flash Storage, not in health care but in financial sector. We achieved more than our expected required performance. My suggestion is IBM NVMe Based All Flash Storage, because it's new and batter technology.

In answer to your question any other industry solution, yes EMC XtremIO Flash.

25 April 19
Albert ChenUser

Regarding to my real cases reference, Pure Storage Flash Array NVMe will better for you. Pure 1 Meta proactively solved some issues in my installation cases.

25 April 19
Mohsin RazaUser

I think best replacement is NetApp NVMe

24 April 19
Gerardo MenaUser

Pure Storage is the same solution in HW, but SW is very diferent. IBM is better

24 April 19
Shu MookerjeeReal UserTOP 5

You may want to look at the IBM FS9100 series. It's the next generation/evolution of the FS900. It supports NVMe (not just "NMVe ready") as well as IBM's own FlashCore technology (purpose-built solid state drive technology) and run IBM's Spectrum Virtualize software that enables virtualization of external (read: other vendor) storage arrays.

We have several FS9100 clusters installed at a Managed Service running infrastructure for a large medical center.

24 April 19
Joseph Olivas - IT Solutions ExecutiveVendor

Pure Storage is the Flash Storage Industry Leader 5 years running according to Gartner. We disrupted the Storage space leading with innovation. Also, anyone recommending Dell just read this https://blog.purestorage.com/beware-of-old-school-architectures-claiming-to-be-mission-critical/

24 April 19
Brent JohnsonConsultant

We have V9000 flash storage and another Vendor that is as good of performance if not better for enterprise class is Hitachi, F-series.

24 April 19
Henri VeldhuisenUser

Consider also the DellEMC powermax solutions.

24 April 19
Drew SchlusselVendor

Have a look at Infinidat. InfiniBox storage solutions provide faster than all-flash performance (latency, IOPs, and throughput), seven nines availability, and up to 8PB in a single floor tile. Worth the time to look at, especially if your capacity requirements exceed 500TB going forward.

24 April 19
William KosinetzReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Pure, EMC, NetAPP, Fujitsu are all in the same Space Ball. "Ludicrous Speed"
One needs to look beyond the IOPS when evaluating. Performance also counts in
service, support, non-interruptive upgrades. Stopping this technology to perform
service is a Ludicrous thing of the past. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAWL8ejf2nM

24 April 19
Aleksei ChipovalovUser

NetApp AFF800 NVMe & Pure of cause, but Pure more expensive

24 April 19
Erik BaumgartnerVendor

Pure Storage PURPOSE-BUILT Flash systems (FlashArray, FlashBlade...). Nothing can touch their architecture and their Evergreen model of ownership is nuts!

24 April 19
German VazquezUserTOP 20

I think Pure Storage All Flash NVMe

24 April 19
Rick KulaUserTOP 20

Pure Storage All Flash NVMe

24 April 19
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