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IBM Storwize V7000

The new Storwize V7000 is IBM’s first mid-range storage virtualisation platform that’s entirely its own creation. It brings together the best bits from its SVC software plus its XIV and DS8000 products. We put it through its paces to see if this really is a perfect marriage.

In addition to the 22 300GB hard disks, our review system also came equipped with a pair of 300GB STEC SAS SSDs designed specifically for server use, but they cost a breathtaking 21,427 each. Fortunately, you can confirm the benefits of Easy Tier before purchasing any SSDs as the V7000 can simulate the process and produce a report showing what data would have been migrated.

IBM has installation down to a fine art as you plug the supplied USB flash drive into a workstation and run the initialisation utility on it. All you need provide is a management IP address after which you plug the drive into a USB port on one of the controllers. On insertion the utility automatically configures the management port which only takes a few minutes. Now you can point a browser at it where you'll be greeted by a very smart web interface.

The interface kicks off with a wizard which guides you through storage configuration. We opted for the default settings where it created three RAID-5 arrays for the hard disks and a mirrored array for the two SSDs.

The arrays are called MDisks (managed disks) which are then allocated to storage pools used to present virtual volumes to host systems. During creation, you can choose from standard, mirrored, thin provisioned and mirrored thin provisioned volumes.

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