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IBM FLASHSYSTEM A9000

Mfg. Part: 9836-415-0000 | CDW Part: 4138965
$16,889.99Advertised Price
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Product Reviews
IBM FLASHSYSTEM A9000 is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 10.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Provides data reduction for many workloads. Valuable Features:This was a great step from the XIV replacement for the customer. We're seeing tremendous data reduction for many workloads. It's not a 100% move from XIV for all workloads, so the customer is happy for most of the environment.Improvements to My Organization:Benefits for us include lower overall cost, higher density, lower data center costs, and total TCO.Room for Improvement:The GUI, the management GUI, and the HSM console GUI still need some enhancements. We need to get reporting down to individual pull and volume level, rather than just overall system level.Stability Issues:We've had some issues with stability, such as a couple of hardware failures and a couple of code bugs.Scalability Issues:Scalability is quite nice. One of the early issues was that they weren't at a code release where it was able to add new elements right away. We had to wait for a couple of code releases for that. We've gone beyond that now. At this point, scalability is no longer an issue.Technical Support:Technical support has been great. They have been engaged from start to finish.Previous Solutions:Regarding previous solutions, this was more of a technology refresh decision. A customer was heavily invested in an older technology. They wanted to continue in flash technology, so this was the next era of evolution.Initial Setup:The initial setup was a little more difficult than the predecessor XIV, but it's a new product learning curve. Since it is a little more in the field, it should be better documented and more straightforward.Other Solutions Considered:We didn't consider alternative solutions. From our standpoint, we're an IBM business partner. We value reliability. Price is a close second, but reliability is key.Other Advice:Read everything you can, such as documentation manuals and best practices that are coming out. Stay plugged into the IBM communities and leverage services if this is your first engagement for capacity and sizing.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:We are an IBM business partner.
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I can provision the storage, find problems, and I can SSH in and do CLI commands. Valuable Features:For me and for the operations team, the ease-of-use of the GUI is the most valuable feature. It's really easy to understand. It's really easy to do tasks. That's what I like most. The performance is really good. From an operations perspective, definitely the ease-of-use stands out. Compared to other products and other vendors, it's much, much easier.Improvements to My Organization:Time to value. You finish things a lot quicker. I can provision the storage a lot faster and find problems a lot quicker. The fact that I can SSH in and do CLI commands where some of these other vendors don't let you do it is a big deal. I can write custom scripts and do things a lot quicker. The ease-of-use is a lot better with this product.Room for Improvement:There's always room for improvement. Adding deduplication would allow us to get more bang for our buck, basically.Stability Issues:Overall, stability is really, really good. We ran into some issues with compression, but it was because we were trying to overload it. So if we don't do that, it runs really, really well.Scalability Issues:We have it architected to keep it at a certain level. But if we needed to, we could scale it pretty easily because it's virtualized storage. There's a lot of flexibility with it.Technical Support:Technical support is really good. Because we're a bigger company, they get to us a little bit quicker. There's more on the line for IBM, so they really treat us well. It's been pretty good. We get good feedback quickly.Previous Solutions:We needed the performance of the applications. Payroll applications are very I/O intensive and flash systems are a perfect fit. It makes sense.Initial Setup:I was involved in the setup and it was easy. I've done those for years.Other Solutions Considered:We looked at pretty many vendors. Anybody you could name, we looked at them. We have multiple vendors in the environment, not just IBM. But for our really critical, high performance apps, we put it on the V9000.Other Advice:Just be careful if you're going to try to use compression, because of the specific issues we've had. If it's a high performance computing environment, just keep it thick provisioned. Get the best performance from it. Don't try to save and then screw up the user experience.If something fails, it's not going to bring down the application. V9000 is redundant through and through, so it's a great product.When selecting a vendor, stability, ease of use, and resiliency are the most important things.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-06-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I can provision the storage, find problems, and I can SSH in and do CLI commands. Valuable Features:For me and for the operations team, the ease-of-use of the GUI is the most valuable feature. It's really easy to understand. It's really easy to do tasks. That's what I like most. The performance is really good. From an operations perspective, definitely the ease-of-use stands out. Compared to other products and other vendors, it's much, much easier.Improvements to My Organization:Time to value. You finish things a lot quicker. I can provision the storage a lot faster and find problems a lot quicker. The fact that I can SSH in and do CLI commands where some of these other vendors don't let you do it is a big deal. I can write custom scripts and do things a lot quicker. The ease-of-use is a lot better with this product.Room for Improvement:There's always room for improvement. Adding deduplication would allow us to get more bang for our buck, basically.Stability Issues:Overall, stability is really, really good. We ran into some issues with compression, but it was because we were trying to overload it. So if we don't do that, it runs really, really well.Scalability Issues:We have it architected to keep it at a certain level. But if we needed to, we could scale it pretty easily because it's virtualized storage. There's a lot of flexibility with it.Technical Support:Technical support is really good. Because we're a bigger company, they get to us a little bit quicker. There's more on the line for IBM, so they really treat us well. It's been pretty good. We get good feedback quickly.Previous Solutions:We needed the performance of the applications. Payroll applications are very I/O intensive and flash systems are a perfect fit. It makes sense.Initial Setup:I was involved in the setup and it was easy. I've done those for years.Other Solutions Considered:We looked at pretty many vendors. Anybody you could name, we looked at them. We have multiple vendors in the environment, not just IBM. But for our really critical, high performance apps, we put it on the V9000.Other Advice:Just be careful if you're going to try to use compression, because of the specific issues we've had. If it's a high performance computing environment, just keep it thick provisioned. Get the best performance from it. Don't try to save and then screw up the user experience.If something fails, it's not going to bring down the application. V9000 is redundant through and through, so it's a great product.When selecting a vendor, stability, ease of use, and resiliency are the most important things.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-06-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It allows our organization to provide a more timely response to our customers. Valuable Features:The speed of the unit is its best feature. It performs very well.Improvements to My Organization:It allows our organization to provide a more timely response to our customers.Room for Improvement:I would like to see bigger modules. That's about the only thing that needs improvement.Stability Issues:So far, it's been very stable. There have been no issues.Scalability Issues:It is very scalable.Technical Support:I have used technical support and they have been very good.Previous Solutions:We were having performance issues. We decided to find the lowest latency device and this was it.Initial Setup:I was involved in the initial setup and it was very straightforward.Other Solutions Considered:We only evaluated EMC. This was a better performing product.Other Advice:This is probably the best unit you're going to find out there.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It allows our organization to provide a more timely response to our customers. Valuable Features:The speed of the unit is its best feature. It performs very well.Improvements to My Organization:It allows our organization to provide a more timely response to our customers.Room for Improvement:I would like to see bigger modules. That's about the only thing that needs improvement.Stability Issues:So far, it's been very stable. There have been no issues.Scalability Issues:It is very scalable.Technical Support:I have used technical support and they have been very good.Previous Solutions:We were having performance issues. We decided to find the lowest latency device and this was it.Initial Setup:I was involved in the initial setup and it was very straightforward.Other Solutions Considered:We only evaluated EMC. This was a better performing product.Other Advice:This is probably the best unit you're going to find out there.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The most valuable feature is the continuity of the user interface. Valuable Features:The most valuable feature is definitely the continuity of the user interface. We have a lot of customers who utilize Storwize and XIV. More of our customers utilize Storwize than XIV.For customers who are going to purchase a new FlashSystem we can say, "Hey, you have most of the features that you have in your Storwize system, from an access perspective, and they are available on FlashSystem."So that helps them transition into an easier time in using it. And they continue to make feature enhancements, pretty much in line with the base Storwize code. That also helps. If there's a new feature in the Storwize code, it will usually appear in the FlashSystem as well. That's a pretty good advantage.Improvements to My Organization:The benefit of having the user interface is its continuity. It's a pane of glass that they're familiar with.In addition, the most important benefit of using the FlashSystem is that it can be utilized to help speed up workloads that are very read intensive.Most of our customers are familiar with IBM. They utilize the FlashSystem to help speed up a lot of their read intensive workloads that really require a little extra bit of punch.It's good from the perspective of helping to reduce the amount of latency for key applications. The accessibility features really help out.Room for Improvement:I'm not certain what additional features I might like to see. A lot of the beauty of the FlashSystem 900 is that it's very, very focused on what it does, and it does it well.As long as they continue to provide good fixes and they continue to improve the graphical user interface to meet with the things that they're rolling out now, that's OK.For example, I know that the A9000 and the A9000R interfaces are slightly different from the traditional Storwize interface. As long as they continue to have that continuity in the interface, I think that's going to be the best thing that they can do. It will make sure that users, (regardless of whether they're working with an A9000 or a SAN Volume Controller or a Storwize system or a FlashSystem), will all have pretty much the same underlying codebase.That's the key thing that they can focus on. Probably also just keeping up with the hardware. FlashSystem continues to improve by doing that. And that's really all that I can think of from an implementation perspective.Stability Issues:I'm familiar with the Storwize code for a very long time. I actually started out on the old SAN Volume Controller 5.1 codebase, which is ancient. It had a few tendencies to be a little challenging at times.However, for the most part, as IBM has continued to develop the codebase, it has become more and more stable. The latest releases of the codebase are extremely stable. If there is a bug, they will try and close it immediately.The stability of the underlying operating system provides both user interfaces, at the command line level and at the graphical level, and is incredibly stable.Scalability Issues:Scalability for the 900 itself as an individual appliance is increasing. It is still a little limited, because you still only have a few drawers you can add to it. But for the most part, if you put it behind something like a Storwize or a SAN Volume Controller, then you can scale that out a lot. The scalability of the product is improving, and I look forward to continuing to see those developments.Technical Support:IBM technical support, with regards to storage, is usually pretty good.Initial Setup:I have been involved in the initial setup with a number of customers. It's very straightforward. It's a lot easier than the old days of having to work with the Storwize or SAN Volume Controller code. They have really gotten that part down.Other Advice:If they are looking for a good baseline flash solution that you can potentially put behind other devices or even use for some scalability, then they should go with FlashSystem.It's probably the most straightforward piece of hardware you can get. The user interface is very easy to pick up because of its friendliness. And the price is pretty decent, compared to other flash solutions out there.I'm an IBM Business Partner, so there's really only one vendor that we go to for our storage. However, even if I weren't an IBM Business Partner, having a pretty stable track record with their products, ease of use, and value delivered for price are all important.I have been a firm believer in this product. This has been the case ever since I touched the Storwize codebase, and ever since I touched Storwize family of products, like the FlashSystem 900.From the user interface perspective, I feel like it has continued to deliver in terms of reliability from the hardware perspective. There has been great support from that perspective. I feel like they've been pretty strong overall.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:We are IBM business partners.
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The most valuable feature is the continuity of the user interface. Valuable Features:The most valuable feature is definitely the continuity of the user interface. We have a lot of customers who utilize Storwize and XIV. More of our customers utilize Storwize than XIV.For customers who are going to purchase a new FlashSystem we can say, "Hey, you have most of the features that you have in your Storwize system, from an access perspective, and they are available on FlashSystem."So that helps them transition into an easier time in using it. And they continue to make feature enhancements, pretty much in line with the base Storwize code. That also helps. If there's a new feature in the Storwize code, it will usually appear in the FlashSystem as well. That's a pretty good advantage.Improvements to My Organization:The benefit of having the user interface is its continuity. It's a pane of glass that they're familiar with.In addition, the most important benefit of using the FlashSystem is that it can be utilized to help speed up workloads that are very read intensive.Most of our customers are familiar with IBM. They utilize the FlashSystem to help speed up a lot of their read intensive workloads that really require a little extra bit of punch.It's good from the perspective of helping to reduce the amount of latency for key applications. The accessibility features really help out.Room for Improvement:I'm not certain what additional features I might like to see. A lot of the beauty of the FlashSystem 900 is that it's very, very focused on what it does, and it does it well.As long as they continue to provide good fixes and they continue to improve the graphical user interface to meet with the things that they're rolling out now, that's OK.For example, I know that the A9000 and the A9000R interfaces are slightly different from the traditional Storwize interface. As long as they continue to have that continuity in the interface, I think that's going to be the best thing that they can do. It will make sure that users, (regardless of whether they're working with an A9000 or a SAN Volume Controller or a Storwize system or a FlashSystem), will all have pretty much the same underlying codebase.That's the key thing that they can focus on. Probably also just keeping up with the hardware. FlashSystem continues to improve by doing that. And that's really all that I can think of from an implementation perspective.Stability Issues:I'm familiar with the Storwize code for a very long time. I actually started out on the old SAN Volume Controller 5.1 codebase, which is ancient. It had a few tendencies to be a little challenging at times.However, for the most part, as IBM has continued to develop the codebase, it has become more and more stable. The latest releases of the codebase are extremely stable. If there is a bug, they will try and close it immediately.The stability of the underlying operating system provides both user interfaces, at the command line level and at the graphical level, and is incredibly stable.Scalability Issues:Scalability for the 900 itself as an individual appliance is increasing. It is still a little limited, because you still only have a few drawers you can add to it. But for the most part, if you put it behind something like a Storwize or a SAN Volume Controller, then you can scale that out a lot. The scalability of the product is improving, and I look forward to continuing to see those developments.Technical Support:IBM technical support, with regards to storage, is usually pretty good.Initial Setup:I have been involved in the initial setup with a number of customers. It's very straightforward. It's a lot easier than the old days of having to work with the Storwize or SAN Volume Controller code. They have really gotten that part down.Other Advice:If they are looking for a good baseline flash solution that you can potentially put behind other devices or even use for some scalability, then they should go with FlashSystem.It's probably the most straightforward piece of hardware you can get. The user interface is very easy to pick up because of its friendliness. And the price is pretty decent, compared to other flash solutions out there.I'm an IBM Business Partner, so there's really only one vendor that we go to for our storage. However, even if I weren't an IBM Business Partner, having a pretty stable track record with their products, ease of use, and value delivered for price are all important.I have been a firm believer in this product. This has been the case ever since I touched the Storwize codebase, and ever since I touched Storwize family of products, like the FlashSystem 900.From the user interface perspective, I feel like it has continued to deliver in terms of reliability from the hardware perspective. There has been great support from that perspective. I feel like they've been pretty strong overall.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:We are IBM business partners.
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It facilitates those applications that need low latency and high speed for transferring the data. Valuable Features:Speed (IOPS/second) – It is most vital for applications that need low latency and high speed for transferring the data.We have some large databases that are accessed at the same time by more than 10,000 users. In the past, it was on 15K disks. After we migrated them under the IBM Flash Array, the overall IOPS rate has increased by 30% and its latency is lower. The customers are very happy with the new solution.Improvements to My Organization:The interface management is simple and intuitive. It has been replaced with other arrays successfully, that were larger in size but more slow. We were able to reduce the footprint of space used in GDCS and also the power consumption.Room for Improvement:The storage size vs the storage price needs to improve. The total storage capacity vs price is still quite high for the IBM Flash Array. It will sound better in the following years, as and when the price will be more accessible/economical.Use of Solution:I have used the solution as follows:* IBM FlashSystem 840 – 1 Year* IBM FlashSystem 900 – 1 MonthDeployment Issues:Till now, we didn’t encounter any major issues with this array. It was stable and performed well in all conditions.Previous Solutions:In our environment we also have the XtremIO All-Flash Storage Array, but it has some scalability issues. That was the main reason why we focused on buying more IBM Flash Arrays.We also use ServiceNow and SNIA Protocol; it’s present and working good with all the IBM products.Initial Setup:Since we have multiple IBM equipment in use, the installation process was straight forward.Implementation Team:Usually IBM doesn't sell the product directly, so each installation is carried out either with the vendor or via the GDC technicians. We as storage admins configure the storage system.Other Advice:This product has the best quality, performance and cost.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-03-11
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