Thursday, April 12, 2012

DS8000 R6.3 and DS8700 Hardware Withdrawal

Just to put things straight from the beginning : the hardware withdrawal of the DS8700 does not mean that R6.3 doesn't become available on the DS8700. So first the hardware withdrawal : 'Hardware withdrawal: IBM System Storage DS8000 series Model 941 - Replacements available (ZG12-0080)'. The DS8700 will be withdrawn from marketing on October 1, 2012. The replacement is of course the DS8800.

So, let's move on to what's new on the DS8000 with the following announcement : 'IBM System Storage DS8000 series increases data security and flexibility with new self-encrypting drive options (ZG12-0011)'. Emphasis of this announcement is on
  • Storage scalability with new 400GB SSD drives,
  • Data Protection with 400 GB SSD encryption drives and 3 TB nearline SAS encryption drives and with Easy Tier fourth generation which can support any type of encryption drives in addition to non-encryption drives.
  • Thin Provisioning enhancement with Metro Mirror, Global Mirror, and Metro Global Mirror services that are now supported on thin provision volumes. Mind you, this is only for open systems.
I'm not going into too much detail as the announcement is pretty clear itself.
Just a few points of interest : although the announcement says that "all features and functions in this announcement are supported on the IBM System Storage DS8700 and DS8800" it's pretty obvious that the new 2.5'' SAS 400GB SSD drives become only available on the DS8800. Just like the 3.5” SAS 3TB NL drives they have an FDE version. FDE stands for Full Disk Encryption and these "drive sets let you encrypt data at rest on a DS8800 series storage controller".

Now that the mirroring services are supported with thin provisioning volumes, "existing customers that have thin provision volumes on the system and want to use Metro Mirror, Global Mirror, and Metro Global Metro functions do not need any reconfiguration". This might be one reason to use this, but another advantage would surely be a performance benefit and less traffic on your PPRC connections.

Planned availability date : April 20, 2012.

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