back to article IBM will move stored stuff onto its new flashy boxen for free

IBM has launched more cost-effective Storwize all-flash arrays and announced a Flash In migration program aimed at Dell and EMC customers looking for a warm comfort blanket from Big Blue. The existing Storwize line includes: V7000 – hybrid flash/disk enterprise array V5000F – all flash enterprise array V5000 – mid-size …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to work in IBM storage. V7000 was never considered high end. XIV and DS8 were the high end.... Now I suppose DS8 is the high end for mainframe (DS8 = mainframe storage) and A9000 (FlashSystem with XIV software, sort of kind of anyway) is the high end for anything non-mainframe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I also used to work with IBM storage. The V7000 could always be configured with a bunch of SSDs in and once you got past a dozen or so, the performance bottleneck moved to the controllers, making it difficult to justify adding further SSDs. And that's when both controllers were operational.

      Maybe I've missed an update but could someone from IBM state if this is still the case? Don't expect performance figures (because they're all bullshit anyway), just the theory.

    2. returnofthemus

      I used to work in IBM storage. V7000 was never considered high end

      It's not, it's still firmly positioned in their Mid-range systems portfolio, however the claim here it that they've added enterprise-class features, so in essence you'll now be getting more for less.

  2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "....Not good news for Dell or EMC..."

    Maybe not good news for IBM resellers - does this offer mean IBM pays for IBM resellers to do the five days of migration work or is it Global Screwups only? If the latter, how much more motivated would a reseller be to sell a non-IBM solution and also pick up the migration consultancy work? Switching customers from their existing storage provider isn't easy, and it's not like IBM's storage products are the first choice for resellers at the moment, so screwing the reseller out of some additional consultancy is hardly going to improve the urge to sell Big Blue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "....Not good news for Dell or EMC..."

      According to the grapevine, IBM are turning down services work as they don't have the staff or skills (having made many of them redundant). I expect they could use contractors but their rates aren't competitive.

      1. returnofthemus

        Re: "....Not good news for Dell or EMC..."

        IBM have 8 Flash Centers of Competency (CoC) worldwide and over 300 Business Partners that are System Storage Specialty certified and with all the turmoil surround EMC at present, it's never been a better time to eradicate them from the floor, obviously IBM will not be alone in their thinking.

        Also, let us not forget that they employ nearly 400,000 people.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "....Not good news for Dell or EMC..."

          So what actually is a Flash Center of Competency once you get past the marketing bollocks, other than an amusing acronym.

          Those BPs who are IBM certified tend to also sell others' storage too. They need the IBM certs in order to maintain their partner status. Doesn't actually mean they will promote IBM over the competition. Salesmen will push whatever gives them the biggest cut of the deal.

          Who employs nearly 400,000 people, IBM or EMC? You don't make that clear? If IBM, how many are employed in storage? It's far fewer than were employed a few years ago. I know a lot of ex-IBM storage people. Most work for those business partners you talk about and they're not desperate to promote IBM.

          1. returnofthemus

            Those BPs who are IBM certified tend to also sell others' storage too.

            Yes, so did we prior to 2014, though following a review we dediced to go all in with IBM on storage, primarily because they had the most coherent strategy. We've not looked back since.

            1. mojomatic

              Re: Those BPs who are IBM certified tend to also sell others' storage too.

              Wait?...did I read that right? " they had the most coherent strategy" IBM? That is laughable!! Everyone now finally knows that NetApp has the only coherent strategy now and the best products to back it up! Also the whole cloud argument is killing NetApp is a joke too...Who do you think enables the cloud.

  3. returnofthemus

    A Lesson in Innovation & Integration

    Isn't it funny how just a few years ago how all the storage punduits were predicting how IBM were going to sell off it's storage assets in much the same way it did x86 server business, some even after they acquired TMS, yet the only major storage casualty in the Big Data era with it's bloated portfolio of disparate piece parts has been Excessive Margins Corp.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A Lesson in Innovation & Integration

      It's a good point re EMC, but IBM are in maintenance mode for their storage. None of the products mentioned in this article appears to be new. They're just particular configurations, much the same as the all-flash VMAX, the all-flash VSP and while we're at it, the all-flash DS8000.

      1. returnofthemus

        Re: A Lesson in Innovation & Integration

        How do you define new?

        I recently took delivery my new car, it's a Lexus RX450h it has longer wheel base than my previous vehicle, with a 2-inch (50.8 mm) increase, providing more interior room throughout, as well as Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) to adjust ride quality as needed.

        My last vehicle was also a Lexus RX450h, it's one of the world's top selling SUV's now in it's 4th generation and has been selling since 1998.

        I've also reluctantly upgraded from Windows 8.1 to a Windows 10 PC

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A Lesson in Innovation & Integration

          OK, so car analogies it is. You've clearly got a new model, if it's got a longer wheelbase. That's a significant chassis re-design. If a manufacturer's 2016 model has new wheel ans paint options compared with 2015, but is the same car underneath, its not new. A 2010 Ford Mustang is the same model as a 2005 Mustang, but the 2015 is a new car.

          Back to the point, the second generation V7000 was a significant improvement over the woefully underpowered first generation (compression, anyone?). It had all-new controllers and revised enclosures (or were they new too?)

          So is this new announcement a third-generation V7000? Has the third generation already happened? Or is it simply the old one with a spoiler on the back and a new badge? Could you have just put flash disks into what was already there to get what is now being offered as a seemingly new product?

          1. returnofthemus

            You've clearly got a new model!

            Yes and it came in a nice new shiny colour called Sonic Titanium, not a colour offered on the previous generation :-)

            >>> So is this new announcement a third-generation V7000?

            Does it have to be?

            You appear to have missed the whole point of this exercise, this is not about getting people to rip-out their Gen2 V7000's, this is about cost-optimised solutions in the form of 'All-Flash' (V7000F* & V5000F*), as well as significantly software enhanced hybrid V7000's at a much lower price point, with a view to removing EMC from the floor.

            *denotes new products, previously not available from IBM.

          2. Denis Frank

            Re: A Lesson in Innovation & Integration

            The next generation V7000 hardware refresh has just been announced, google V7000 Model 624. V7000F is an All-Flash branding based on this Model.

            I do work in SVC and Storwize software development and I can assure you we're a very active team here in Hursley doing several feature releases every year - very far from being 'in maintenance mode'.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A Lesson in Innovation & Integration

              Thank you Denis. So there is a new model then. The cynic in me would suggest that the all-flash model is simply a standard v7000 with ssds branded to look like an all-flash array when it's running code which was very much designed in the days before flash, in an attempt to pitch it against the likes of pure, etc. and ibm's own rather good flash system. Not wishing to single IBM out here: emc, hds et al are all doing it.

              The architecture is really showing its age nowadays and lends itself far more towards tiered storage than all-flash, but if the new model is a significant evolution it would certainly be worth investigating.

              So have you ditched tpc yet?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: A Lesson in Innovation & Integration

                re" have you ditched TPC yet" - it's grown into itself and is now called Spectrum Control. What was once crap is actually lovely now.

                re: architecture showing its age rather than being for all-flash - presumably this poster missed the purchase of TMC by IBM and the integration of the SVC and TMC products.

                The comments about IBM running down its Storage development really couldn't be much wider from the mark. What's really happened over the last few years with IBM storage is that IBM has ditched LSL/Engenio/Netapp and has essentially insourced the development of the storage range again, instead of OEMing mid and low end gear and filers.

                source: another UK based employee working on IBM storage.

              2. Denis Frank

                Re: A Lesson in Innovation & Integration

                Software development happens on much faster and more incremental cycles than hardware. We're continually working on improving our architecture and it's no secret (All-)Flash is the future.

                I suppose the V7000F rebrand is just a lucky coincidence with our latest performance improvements on Distributed Raid 6 in V7.7.1 - it really shines now on SSDs.

                Tiering is important for storage virtualisation and we're not gonna give up on that.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A Lesson in Innovation & Integration

                  What's TMC? Google doesn't help. Never heard of it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5 days???

    Anyone who has done any kind of a sizable data migration knows that 5 days of services barely gets you out the gate, most of my data migrations take months. How long before IBM just throws in the towel on storage HW altogether? They've laid off most of their engineering resources, revenues continue the considerable decline quarter after quarter (10%+ per quarter), trailing the industry and loosing market share. The business just cannot continue at that clip people - at least not competitively with the rest of the market with no real R&D investment or innovation...as evidenced by V7K's marketshare and this promo of scotch tape and bubble gum on a 5yr+ old product

    1. returnofthemus

      most of my data migrations take months.

      Are you sure you know what you're doing?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: returnofthemus Re: most of my data migrations take months.

        "Are you sure you know what you're doing?" I assume the original poster was referring to the planning that goes into a migration, which typically involves a lot of studying of the data, data pruning and relocation, possible service impacts, business ramifications of delays or failures, mitigation planning, service priorities, backups, disaster planning (what happens if the transfer is all going fine but you have an unrelated disaster?), etc. But, if all you've been involved in is the last stage, the grunt transfer work, I could see why you'd be confused.

  5. TheSolderMonkey

    Why the hate?

    SVC and it's renamed derivatives are as relevant today as they ever were. Like every all flash controller, when you fill them full of SSDs the controllers will struggle to keep pace with the disks, especially true if you ask the controller to give you more sensible protection than RAID 1. This is not an IBM only problem.

    Within IBM there has long been a struggle as to which product should fill the enterprise space. DS8K is currently the top dog. SVC (yeah, they renamed it) would be capable of filling that space, but lacks a key host interface required by System Z. SVC Development at Hursley have never looked to add this feature, leaving SVC targeting the mid range and leaving the Tuscon boys the DS8K and the enterprise market.

    XIV isn't high end, XIV is just, different.

    It is no secret that the SVC team were originally responsible for the disk controller cards and firmware that ran in the enterprise products (DS8000, DS800 and older stuff - SSA was invented by this team). Neither is it a secret that SVC stole some code from enterprise boxes.

    You can sling mud at the SVC family, but largely its a decent bit of software. The development team have a right to feel proud of their achievements.

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