IBM Aims FlashSystem 840 at the Cloud

By Pedro Hernandez

Joining IBM's sixth-generation X series servers with flash DIMM options is a new all-flash storage array from the IT giant that enables organizations to blaze through cloud and analytics workloads, according to the company.

IBM FlashSystem 840 packs up to 48 terabytes (TB) of flash-based capacity in a 2U rackmount form factor. Offering double the performance of the previous generation, the FlashSystem 820, the 840's 1.1 million IOPS rating (random read) makes the hardware "ideally suited for analytical databases, virtualization infrastructures, and public and private clouds."

Write speeds clock in at 600,000 IOPS while mixed read/write operations are rated at 775,000 IOPS. Bandwidth-wise, the system can deliver sequential read rates of 8 GB per second and sequential write throughput of 4 GB per second.

The FlashSystem 840 leverages IBM MicroLatency technology, which slashed the time it takes to access data "from milliseconds to microseconds," allowing for real-time analytics, said IBM in a statement. IBM MicroLatency helps the 840 dip below the 135 microsecond mark.

"IBM FlashSystem 840 is data center-optimized to enable organizations to strategically harness the value of stored data," stated the company on its website. The system provides a high-performance networked storage foundation for enterprise applications, "including OLTP and OLAP databases, virtual desktop infrastructures, technical-computing applications and cloud-scale environments," indicated IBM.

Connectivity options include up to 16 ports of either 8 Gbps Fibre Channel (FC) or 10 Gbps Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Alternately, the hardware can be configured with up to eight 16 Gbps FC ports or up to eight 40 Gbps quad data rate (QDR) Infiniband ports.

Capacities range from 4 TB to 48 TB of raw storage. RAID options boil down to RAID 0 or 5. In terms of keeping data safe, the 840 supports AES-XTS 256-bit encryption with zero performance penalties.

A tool-less design offers easy access to the hardware's hot-swappable components. Technicians can exchange controllers, interface cards, power supplies, batteries and fans without disruption.

IBM is offering the 840 as part of a FlashSystem Enterprise Performance Solution bundle with the company's IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC). The offering layers several storage management capabilities, including "Real-time Compression, snapshots, thin provisioning, VAAI, and application aware copies, to FlashCopy, and storage virtualization with IBM Easy Tier," announced IBM.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on January 17, 2014