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IBM unbuttons its DCS3700 NetApp-based box

Big Blue hard equipment can pump mighty streams

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IBM has put its big data array on the table, the DCS3700, OEMed from NetApp and based on the Engenio E5400 box.

The DCS3700 is intended for scalable, data streaming applications in the high performance computing (HPC) – classic big data stuff for advanced engineering and design, oil and gas research, financial market applications, media streaming, and life sciences.

There is a 4U, dual active controller base unit containing 60 3.5-inch nearline 2TB SAS drives. There are four 6Gbit/s SAS host interfaces, two per controller, and optionally eight 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel ports.

The controller can have up to two, SAS-linked, expansion units, both 4U, 60-drive enclosures, taking total capacity to 360TB. IBM supplies the DS Storage Manager software along with Flash Copy for quick, logical, point-in-time copies of physical volumes, Volume Copy for physical copies of volumes, and Remote Mirroring.

The DCS3700 supports RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5, 6 and 10. The controllers have mirrored cache and there are redundant, hot-swappable components in the arrays, plus energy efficiency features like variable speed fans.

A couple of weeks ago, NetApp launched its E5400 – and this is the same product as IBM's. NetApp didn't mention expansion units at the time, but it did say the product provides up to 8GB/sec of throughput, has "five nines" availability and is managed by its SANtricity software.

IBM's announcement letter says: "It is IBM's current plan and intent to offer additional drive options for the DCS3700 in second half 2011, including high-performance disk drives." That could mean 10K drives.

The DCS3700 product is available from 27 May. IBM hasn't published pricing information yet. ®

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