Mark III Systems Blog

The NEW IBM FlashSystem A9000/A9000R: Best of ALL worlds!


IBM announced a significant expansion of the highly successful FlashSystems portfolio last week, with 3 new all-flash models, including the FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R.

FlashSystem A9000

For the purposes of this blog entry, I'll focus mostly on the FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R, although the all-flash DS8888 is pretty intriguing by itself.

The FlashSystem A9000 (pod-based) and A9000R (rack-based) are all-flash systems that pull together all the best parts of the IBM Storage portfolio, quite literally giving you the best of all worlds.  I won't necessarily go into models/speeds/feeds, but I will touch on the parts of the announcement that I think are the most compelling:

  • Extreme Capacity Efficiency:  The A9000/A9000R both feature inline Pattern Removal, Deduplication, and Compression, which basically means that you should get the best data reduction/efficiency ratios in the industry, all without impacting performance.
  • Self-optimzing, self-healing grid architecture:  Much like the XIV and Spectrum Accelerate grid architecture that many clients love, the FlashSystem A9000/A9000R also feature a similar unique grid architecture that eliminates the need for users to tune their workloads and maximizes uptime by minimizing rebuild times.  As additional "pods" (A9000) or racks (A9000R) are added, the architecture automatically self-optimizes without user intervention to maximize performance and utilization.
  • Integration with multiple tech stacks:  Whether you're looking for VMware, Microsoft, a REST API, or OpenStack, the FlashSystem A9000/A9000R features co-development and integrations to optimize the user experience with existing current application stacks and also position enterprises to operate optimized digital on-premise and hybrid clouds in the future
  • Simple to manage:  Created by IBM Design and backed by 15 patents, the UI/UX experience of the FlashSystem A9000/A9000R is incredibly intuitive and designed to increase the productivity of administrators, while lowering the risk of human error.
  • Hyperscale:  IBM Hyperscale Manager enables a user to manage over 100+ of these systems from one management pane, which is likely more than any of our enterprise or service provider clients will ever need
  • Proven and reliable:  The FlashSystem A9000/A9000R still uses all the proven FlashCore/MicroLatency technology as its predecessors, so we can still count on the very robust reliability of the FlashSystem line in the field.  Also, utilizing the same custom engineered Flash module advantages of the FlashSystem line helps to ensure that the FlashSystem A9000/A9000R will continue to sport flash with the lowest latency in the industry.


A9000 UI


All in all, we're incredibly excited to talk to enterprises and service providers about the FlashSystem A9000/A9000R and really do think that it represents a very unique all-flash platform out in the market today, especially for those that are looking for extreme performance and simplicity, all without breaking the bank.  For those looking to move to an all-Flash datacenter strategy, the A9000/A9000R are really solid platforms to serve as the foundation for that strategy for both existing applications and digital cloud infrastructures of the future.  If you're interested in continuing the conversation or hearing about any of our other perspectives, just let us know!