IBM Systems Storage

PDF version of this report
You must have Adobe Acrobat reader to view, save, or print PDF files. The reader
is available for free

Systems Storage

by Brady Hicks

Docid: 00011536

Publication Date: 2102

Publication Type: PRODUCT


IBM offers its Systems Storage portfolio to serve data-rich and data-reliant
clients. These offerings include hardware systems for small- to medium-sized businesses as well as large
enterprises. IBM’s entry into the modern storage infrastructure market – which
encompasses multiple product and service categories – includes Flash, Hybrid,
Tape, and SAN (storage area network) storage options. This report details IBM’s
Systems Storage portfolio.

Report Contents:


[return to
of this report]

In the 1970s and early 1980s when IBM mainframes were dominant, storage was
measured in megabytes. Over the following decades, radical
improvements in processing power and storage capacity enabled the development of
gigabyte devices. Today, of course, high-end enterprise storage systems
are capable of housing terabytes – and even petabytes – of data.

IBM Company Profile

Even more remarkably, these breakthroughs in storage technology are
barely keeping pace with escalating demands, whether from social media
sources, sensors, mobile devices, cloud platforms, or, most recently, Big Data and IoT (Internet of Things).
In addition to developing large data repositories and deploying the
tools necessary to analyze such data, enterprise planners must ensure data
stores are secure, readily available, and that “legacy” data is backed up. Data,
after all, is the currency of the Information Age and modern storage
systems are the banks.


Name: International Business Machines (IBM)
1 New Orchard Road
Armonk, NY 10504-1722
Phone: (800) 426-4968
Type of Vendor: Computer and Communications Hardware, Software, and
Founded: 1914
Service Areas: Global
Stock Symbol: IBM (NYSE)

At one time, the subject of storage boiled down to two options: disk or
tape. Today, storage has evolved into a complex infrastructure and
includes concepts such as Flash storage, NAS (network-attached storage), virtual storage,
and data deduplication (a technique for improving storage efficiency by
eliminating redundant data blocks), among dozens of other types. To serve the
increasingly data-rich and data-reliant client, major infrastructure
providers such as IBM have established extensive storage portfolios that feature hardware systems, software, and services with solutions for
large enterprises and SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) alike.

IBM’s Systems Storage portfolio includes offerings such as:

  • All-Flash
  • Hybrid
  • Tape
  • SANs (Storage Area Networks)

Flash Storage

IBM’s Flash Storage is engineered to help meet high-performance storage
requirements while offering low latency, operational efficiency, and
mission-critical reliability. The portfolio’s various coverage areas and capacities are compared in Table 1.

Table 1. Flash Storage
Offering Category Maximum Capacity
FlashSystem 5000 All-Flash 30TB
FlashSystem 5200 All-Flash 1.7PB
FlashSystem 7200 All-Flash 38.4TB
FlashSystem 9200 All-Flash 38.4TB
FlashSystem 9200R All-Flash 38.4TB
DS8900F Mainframe and Open System Contact IBM
Elastic Storage Server Scale-Out File and Object 4.6PB
Elastic Storage System Scale-Out File and Object 370TB

Hybrid Flash Storage

IBM’s hybrid storage solutions are designed to deliver performance to
optimize storage media. The portfolio’s coverage areas and capacities are compared in Table

Table 2. Hybrid Storage
Offering Category Maximum Capacity
FlashSystem 5000H Hybrid Flash 30TB
FlashSystem 5200H with NVMe Hybrid Flash Contact IBM
FlashSystem 7200H Hybrid Flash 38.4TB

Figure 1 shows the three products.

Figure 1. FlashSystem Hybrid Storage

Figure 1. FlashSystem Hybrid Storage

Source: IBM

Tape Storage

IBM offers Tape-based and Tape virtualization offerings for "long-term" data
protection and retention. These products are detailed in Table 3.

Table 3. Tape Storage
Offering Category Maximum Capacity
TS7770 Virtual Tape 2.4PB
TS4500 Cloud 351PB
TS4300 LTO Tape 3.4PB
TS2900 LTO Tape 108TB
TS2280 LTO Tape 12TB
TS2270 LTO Tape 6TB
TS2260 LTO Tape 2.5TB
7226 Multimedia Storage Enclosure 30TB
TS1160 Tape Drive 20TB
TS1150 Tape Drive 10TB

Storage Area Networks

IBM offers both b-type and c-type SAN technology.

b-type Family
FC (fiber channel) switches, directors, and
extension appliances

  • SAN512B7 and SAN256B-7 – Mission-critical
  • SAN512B-6 and SAN256B-6 – Increased capacity needs
  • SAN64B-7 – Data growth and data center consolidation
  • SAN128B-6 – Optimizing NVMe storage and automating SANs
  • SAN96B-5 – SAN infrastructure
  • SAN64B-6 – Hyper-scale virtualization, larger cloud-based
    infrastructure, and Flash-based storage
  • SAN24B-6 – Entry SAN
  • SAN18B-6 – Extension switch
  • SAN42B-R – Disaster recovery

c-type Family
SAN directors, mid-range switches, and SAN
technology for cloud-scale applications

  • SAN768C-6 – Virtualized data center storage
  • SAN384C-6 – Large-scale storage networks
  • SAN192C-6 – Small to midsized storage networks
  • SAN96C-6 and SAN48C-6 – Fabric switch
  • SAN32C-6 – Switch for cloud-scale application deployment
  • SAN50C-R – Extension switch


[return to
of this report]

The IBM Systems Storage portfolio is positioned to satisfy all enterprise
demands including cloud-based, hybrid, Flash, and tape storage as well as SANs
and software-defined storage. In
addition, IBM Systems Storage offerings are suitable for all industry
including aerospace and defense,
automotive, banking, chemicals and petroleum, consumer products,
electronics, energy and utilities, financial, government, healthcare and
sciences, industrial products, insurance, media and entertainment,
telecommunications, and travel and transportation.


[return to
of this report]

IBM Systems Storage runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and
IBM AIX. The portfolio provides a range of products and services for
all clients, whether enterprise, midrange, or entry-level.


[return to
of this report]

IBM provides post-warranty storage hardware maintenance. Clients can choose from a variety of flexible
support options and service levels designed to address a multi-vendor environment
and meet
specific business needs including remote support, predictive and
preventive support, depot repair, and onsite support. Maintenance
offerings include:

  • A variety of service levels and coverage options for both parts and labor.
  • Single call accountability for both IBM and non-IBM products.
  • A global support capability with more than 6,500 service technicians and an
    extensive parts network with 125 major locations throughout the US.
  • A variety of service levels designed to meet specific needs, from 24×7 same day
    service to 9-to-5 next business day service to depot repair service.
  • Warranty upgrade options to enhance original base warranties.
  • Automatic problem submission and a customized electronic support Web-based
    portal using

    IBM Electronic Services


[return to
of this report]

learn more about IBM Systems Storage offerings, including pricing, clients are
encouraged to contact their IBM representative or IBM Business Partner. Options
include contacting IBM by calling (877) 426-4264 (priority code:
); chatting online via the IBM Web site; or reaching out via

online form


[return to
of this report]

IBM’s Storage Systems competitors include Dell, Fujitsu, HPE,
Hitachi Vantara, NetApp, and Oracle, among others.

[return to top of this report]

About the Author

[return to
of this report]

Brady Hicks is an
editor with Faulkner Information Services. He writes about computer and
networking hardware, software, communications networks and equipment, and the

[return to
of this report]