How the latest IBM Q4 promotion can deliver the lowest cost per TB for Tier 0 Flash.
Cost per TB. How low can you go? The bad news is that the question is a little misleading and there is no definitive answer. The good news is, you are in charge of the price per TB if you use this IBM promotion to your advantage. I should imagine that any of our customers looking to commit funds to a storage purchase will have the cost case and benefits all set out before them. However, if you need a little something to help strengthen the cost case then I think this particular promotion could be of interest.
A Better Way to Grow – IBM FlashSystem 7200 Promo
First, let’s remind ourselves of where the IBM FS7200 with Flash Core Modules is positioned in terms of storage performance. If we group the different storage offerings in to tiers then we get the following result: –
Storage Class Memory – performance leading offering
Tier 0 flash – IBM Flash Core Modules
Tier 1 flash – Solid State Drives
Tier 2 Enterprise disks – 15K/10K spinning disk
From the above we can see the purchase we are looking to make is at the higher end of the Storage performance offerings and, as such, it’s going to cost a little more than a typical flash system offering (I’m referring to commodity SSD here). So how can we drive down the cost per TB of the FS7200 and make a credible case for purchase?
This is where the promotion really helps us out. Buy a IBM FlashSystem 7200 with minimum of 8 x FCM Drives and be enabled to use Spectrum Virtualise with up to 2 non-IBM Arrays for 3 years. I personally think the virtualisation offering is the least understood within the Spectrum portfolio and the benefits it will deliver are outstanding.
This is how it will drive down the cost per TB: –
I purchase the IBM Flashsystem 7200 as in the offering. It’s going to cost me circa £65,000 and will deliver 46TB of usable storage using the hardware compression feature of the Flash Core Modules. The maths on this tells me this is going to cost me £1,413 per TB, so really not the cheapest solution. However, once we begin to utilise the virtualisation feature being provided for free, we can really drive this cost per TB in the right direction.
Let us suppose my existing non-IBM arrays consist of 70TB usable storage. I virtualise this under the IBM Flashsystem 7200 and now have a single pool of storage comprising of my FS7200 with Flash Core Modules and the non-IBM array, all being managed through a single interface to make life a little easier. The FS7200 now has 116TB of usable storage (46TB FCM and 70TB non-IBM) so the resulting cost per TB is now looking a little more favourable, £65,000 / 116TB = £560 per TB.
‘Hang on’ I hear you say, ‘I still have the old non-IBM array so I can’t include that in my cost case’. Well, because of storage virtualisation I think you can. The older storage now benefits from the following: –
Storage pooling and automated allocation with thin provisioning
IBM Easy Tier automated tiering
Sophisticated data reduction, enabling storing up to five times as much data
Software encryption to improve data security
IBM FlashCopy and remote mirror for local and remote replication
Support for using cloud storage to complement on-premises storage
IBM HyperSwap for nondisruptive application and data mobility between data centres
Support for virtualized server environments including VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, IBM PowerVM, Kubernetes and Docker
Not only do we have the latest technology with the FS7200 and Flash Core Modules running Spectrum Virtualise we also allow the existing storage to make use of this technology which in turn will
Maximise existing storage investments
Provide AI driven data placement across all storage
Simplify storage management
Ease any required data migration
So, in answer to the initial question of ‘How low can you go?’ you really are in charge. The more you virtualise under the FS7200 the better your cost case. The scenario above does not even explore the use of Data Reduction Pools which will further enhance available storage, but I think you get the idea.
Finally, to make things even better, why not consider financing the purchase through IBM Global Finance with a 3-month holiday period so you do not have to begin to pay for the investment until March 2021.
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