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IBM FlashSystem V9000 – Product Brief

This document is retired and is no longer updated. Concise and unbiased 5-page overview of the features and functionality of IBM FlashSystem V9000. Product Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download the free Product Brief now!


The IBM FlashSystem solid-state storage systems are a family of all solid-state technology systems with the latest models being the 900, the Spectrum Virtualize based V9000 and the Spectrum Accelerate based A9000.  The FlashSystem storage systems come from the IBM acquisition of Texas Memory Systems in 2012.  The 900 uses custom designed flash devices with special software to manage wear and lifespan called MicroLatency Modules.  The FlashSystem systems come from a heritage of systems designed for solid-state technology with the original systems based on DRAM technology.  The all solid-state systems benefit from the memory –based performance designs.

The IBM FlashSystem V9000 integrates a FlashSystem 900 with the Spectrum Virtualize software on SVC hardware nodes.  The solution is targeted for usage in enterprise environments where the advanced capabilities of enterprise storage systems and the performance acceleration of the FlashSystem 900 are required.   The minimum configuration is an SVC dual controller system with the ability to scale to four pairs (8 controllers).  The features provided with the V9000 include:

  • Currently, same SVC characteristics and software
  • Can scale to 8 controllers (4 node pairs)
    • Performance 5.2M IOPs and 68 GB/s bandwidth for 8 controllers with V9000
    • 180 us latency (90 us latency for writes on the FlashSystem 900)
  • Provides advanced features of Spectrum Virtualize
    • Remote replication
    • Snapshot
    • Deduplication, compaction and compression – with hardware assist
    • Encryption of external attached storage
    • 3rd party storage virtualization attachment
    • Easy tier – use with 3rd party storage and three tiers
    • Support for VASA 2.0 and VVOLs
    • Support for SMI-S for MS SCVMM management in Hyper-V
    • Cloud tiering
    • Encryption of internal and external devices with SKLM or internal key management
  • Can add up to 20 2U-24 device enclosures or 8 5U-92 device enclosures of SSDs or HDDs per controller pair
  • Optional standby node
  • Optional node pair without devices for performance scaling only

The flash-based solid state modules are RAID protected with two methods:  RAID 5 within the module (or optionally RAID 0 in the case of model 900) to protect from cell failures and RAID 5 across the modules called Variable Stripe RAID to protect from module failures.  The RAID protection method is called 2D Flash RAID.  In addition to redundant power, data paths, and control paths, ECC is used in the flash modules. A hot spare flash module is included and hot swap of the module allows for non-disruptive operation.

For the V9000, IBM has an evergreen program where the controllers will be replaced with purchase of a three-year hardware and software maintenance agreement.  This is for controllers purchased after 4/1/17.

IBM FlashSystem V9000 Product Brief Includes:

EvaluScale Product Review Methodology
Evaluator Group Commentary

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