IBM Unveils All-Flash Storage for Cognitive Workloads

Solid-state storage specifically designed for high-end applications requiring high availability, continuous uptime and high performance at all times.

Purpose-built servers, applications, mobile devices, networks—even uninterruptible backup power supplies—are commonplace in the IT business. But it isn't often that one hears about genre-specific storage. Data is data, storage is storage, no matter what the use case. Right?

Perhaps, but IBM is thinking along different lines. On Jan. 12, Big Blue launched new, all-flash storage packages for midrange and large enterprises that are aimed directly at systems that deploy big data analytics for cognitive-computing applications.

These, of course, are high-end applications requiring high availability, continuous uptime and high performance at all times. In these cases, it's all or nothing: speed, availability and plenty of storage to catch all that data, or don't do it at all.

IBM said its new solid-state storage packages are built to provide the speed and reliability needed for workloads ranging from enterprise resource planning (ERP) and financial transactions to cognitive applications that include machine learning and natural language processing. They are designed to support cognitive workloads that clients use to uncover trends and patterns to improve decision-making, customer service and, eventually, return on investment.

Integrated Servers and Storage on Backend

Engineered integration between IBM Storage and IBM z Systems, including co-developed software that provides data protection and remote replication, is embedded in these new systems, IBM said. This advanced microcode is designed for cognitive workloads on z Systems and Power Systems requiring high availability and system reliability.

The DS8880 all-flash lineup consists of:

--Business Class Storage: IBM DS8884F is aimed at conventional applications such as ERP, order processing, database transactions, customer relationship management and human resources information systems. IBM contends that this has the lowest entry cost for midrange enterprises with 256 GB Cache (DRAM) and between 6.4-154 TB of Flash Capacity.

--Enterprise Class Storage: The new system has been engineered for high-speed transactional operations, such as high-performance online transaction processing, high-speed commercial data processing, high-performance data warehouse and data mining and critical financial transaction systems. It provides users 2 TB Cache (DRAM) and between 6.4-614.4 TB of Flash Capacity.

--Analytics Class Storage: Lastly, IBM DS8888F is designed for predictive analytics, real time optimization, machine learning and cognitive systems, natural language speech and video processing. To support this, it delivers 2 TB Cache (DRAM) and between 6.4 TB-1.22 PB of Flash Capacity providing superior performance and capacity able to address the most demanding business workload requirements.

The DS8880 all-flash data systems will be available worldwide beginning Jan. 20 from IBM and through IBM Business Partners. Go here for more information.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...