IBM is cutting Big Data down to size with the launch of the company’s new all-flash array, the FlashSystem V840.

The new array “offers a fivefold increase in application performance over the previous model and supports IBM’s software defined storage for greater virtualization and scalability,” said an IBM spokesperson. FlashSystem V840 leverages the company’s Real-time Compression technology to not only maximize flash capacity with 80 percent data reduction rates, but also enable on-the-fly data compression to provide a 3.5x performance improvement compared to its predecessor.

It’s the beginning of the end for hard disk drives (HDDs) in the enterprise, suggested IBM. According to the company, the system’s feature set adds up to data storage platform that finally tips the scales in favor of flash, cost-wise.

Compared to disk-based systems, IBM estimates that FlashSystem V840 takes up 25 percent less rack space, consumes 36 percent less energy and helps reduce cooling costs. For data centers that tie energy consumption to IT output, the company notes that the new flash-filled hardware provides 19x more energy-efficient performance than HDD-based arrays.

FlashSystem V840 is a result of IBM’s big bet on flash storage, said Andy Walls, CTO and Chief Architect of IBM Flash Systems. “IBM has invested over $1 billion in flash R&D in order to bring to bear the best-in-class capabilities coupled with a cost-effective solution,” he remarked in an announcement video.

“The entry configuration is a 6U, rack mount system which can provide from 2 TB to 40 TB of RAID-protected flash capacity,” continued Walls. “The real-time compression feature can then increase this effective capacity to as high as 200 TB. That is in a single flash system chassis and just 6U of total rack space.”

All told, FlashSystem V280 can scale to 1.6 PB of effective capacity and deliver 2.5 million input/output operations per second (IOPS). IBM packs the hardware with hardy, enterprise multi-level cell (eMLC) flash chips.

Performance benefits aside, IBM is making a case for flash as a storage migration solution. One customer, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, a supermarket chain, “migrated 40TB of data from seven hard drive storage systems to a single V840 FlashSystem,” said the spokesperson.

Storage management features include thin provisioning, data virtualization and IBM Easy Tier, the company’s automated data migration and storage tiering solution. The system supports vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) for VMware virtualization environments.

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

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