FlashSystem Viewpoints from Destiny Corporation
Dana Rafiee | TrustRadius Reviewer
June 26, 2019

FlashSystem Viewpoints from Destiny Corporation

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with IBM FlashSystem

IBM FlashSystem is currently in use by our clients. We recommended it and have it as part of our reference architecture to support advanced analytics. It has performed well over the past several years. All clients continue to upgrade their systems as we go from SCSI to the new NVMe-oF capabilities.
  • Sequential read writes
  • Full Table Scans from a database
  • Long lasting storage that rarely fails
  • Workspace use for temporary tables
  • IBM FlashSystem needs to better differentiate itself from commodity SSDs as clients do not typically understand the difference.
  • IBM's software stack needs to be better marketed as clients do not understand the benefits of the stack combined with the hardware.
  • IBM should explain to clients the difference between the V7000 Gen 3 and the FS 9100 series. Currently, it is confusing to clients.
When performing benchmark tests with analytics and ETL software such as Data Stage, Informatica, SAS, and Python, the runtimes of the jobs have drastically decreased. Recent tests show a 41% reduction in execution time. Across many analysts, this is a drastic increase in their abilities as they optimize their workloads. This removal of latency also frees up server workloads, helping organizations with server uptime and less crashes.
For our clients, this affects their buying decisions. They calculate how much storage space they will actually need. If there is more compression and deduplication, they purchase less, reducing their costs. Some clients see it the other way that they gain more storage for their spend. They really like the fact that much of this, with encryption, happens at the hardware level.
Our clients have utilized several types of Flash Storage options, especially when tiering is applied. For backups, they will use lower end storage. For general storage of data, they will utilize a combination of cheaper flash and SSDs, along with spinning disk. However, they are retiring their spinning disk and looking towards all flash storage. For their high end workloads, they utilize the FlashSystem 840, 900, and are now looking at the FS9100 series.
Our clients like this type of flexibility. They will use commodity SSDs. However, it is important for clients to understand that IBM Flash is almost the same in price as commodity SSDs, with a better and in many cases guaranteed life. The flexiblity is important to clients, but it is more important that IBM explains they have choices and the benefits are based on client needs as IBM has removed the obstacle of price.
We work with various partners, including Glass House, Saturn, Vicom, and ViON. All of them have their niche specialty areas. We appreciate their support and all have done a good job with implementation. It comes down to their technical staff and how knowledgeable they are about IBM products and other products that IBM interfaces with.
IBM and other vendors are creating NVMe-oF devices that are either less customized on the hardware end and are bundled with software, or are more proprietary in the hardware. HPE, Vexata, EMC, and others were analyzed. We found the combination of high quality design by IBM and their knowledgeable personnel around workloads makes a big difference.
IBM FlashSystem is well suited for heavy analytic workloads created by applications such as SAS Institute software. It is a great candidate where large amounts of data need to be analyzed and scanned. It is also well suited for use with Power 9 systems that can handle the extra throughput. When used with x86/x64 style Intel systems, it will remove all latency from disk, which will flood the Intel CPUs with data, which may require upgrading the Intel systems.

IBM FlashSystem Feature Ratings

Flash Array Performance
10
Flash Array Integration
8
Data Compression
7
Non-Intrusive Upgrades
9
Simplicity
9
Power Savings
10