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IBM adds Storwize V3700 entry-level storage virtualization array

Sonia Lelii

IBM is taking enterprise functions from its Storwize storage virtualization system and moving them downstream. The company today introduced the entry-level IBM Storwize V3700, which does block storage consolidation, automated data tiering,

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thin provisioning and data migration.

The Storwize V3700 is targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that have invested heavily in server virtualization and now need shared storage. Storwize V3700 has the ability to virtualize internal storage, but also a one-way data migration feature so administrators can move data from a current platform onto the Storwize system.

"This is a full enterprise product offering," said George Crump, president and founder of Storage Switzerland. "It's for companies that have aggressively virtualized their environments and need enterprise features but they have an SMB budget. The system provides functions in that space that historically are limited."

The Storwize V3700 is a 2U dual-controller system that scales to 120 drives and 180 terabytes (TB) of raw capacity in four expansion units. Additional features include FlashCopy, which creates instant copies for backup and application testing; and the Storwize OpenStack Nova volume driver, which automates storage provisioning and volume management through an open source cloud platform.

The Storwize V3700 uses the same code base as the IBM Storwize V7000, launched in October 2010 for block storage. IBM added a Storwize V7000 Unified multiprotocol version a year later.

The system supports a Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) iSCSI interface with an optional 8 Gbps Fibre Channel or 10 GbE iSCSI over Ethernet host ports. The V3700 allows hot data to reside on solid-state drives (SSDs) and less-accessed data on hard-disk drives through the IBM System Storage Easy Tier technology.

It supports 200 GB and 400 GB SSDs, along with 2.5-inch drives that hold up to 1 TB of near-line SAS and 3.5-inch disk drives that handle up to 3 TB of capacity. It's a dual-controller system with a cache capacity of up to 8 GB.

"We are extending a very solid family down to the SMB level," said Ed Walsh, vice president of marketing and strategy for IBM System Storage. "Companies these sizes have the same challenges of data growth with budget costs. They don't have a lot of resources."

The V3700 operates with the IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC), a product that maps virtualized volumes that are visible to hosts and applications to physical volumes and storage devices. The SVC can be used to manage external virtualized storage from competing arrays.

"But SMBs don't need that because they don't have 13 different systems," Crump said. "They do need the one-time migration to move data. Usually, the other option is backup and recovery, which is pretty ugly."

The starting price for the Storwize V3700 system is about $11,000.


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