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IBM stuffs XIV array with flash tech

Big Blue puts pedal to the metal

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IBM has pressed the gas pedal to the floor with its third generation XIV array and given it up to 6TB of solid state drive cache storage.

The XIV array is a single tier device and this is a flash cache, an SSD Caching option, not a separate tier of storage. IBM provides no performance boost numbers, saying instead: "The storing and retrieving of data is accomplished with virtually no latency, speeding data access by orders of magnitude..." (threefold in fact).

This is a bit old hat, Big Blue; your filer supplier partner, NetApp, had this facility – its FlashCache – back in August 2009.

IBM also announced the ability to mirror data between previous versions of XIV and XIV Gen3 systems, saying this "will ease data migration and help give customers the flexibility to repurpose their XIV models as disaster recovery backup systems".

In the barely-useful-but-nice-eye-candy department, IBM announced an XIV Mobile Dashboard for the iPhone, which lets iPhone users monitor their XIV systems from the Jesus phone's screen. The XIV monitoring app will be available as a free download in Apple's app store by the end of this month. There's already an XIV Mobile Dashboard for the fondleslab Apple iPad.

The caching option should provide a real boost in XIV array performance. It needs to be matched by IBM providing a server flash cache product as well. No doubt it will and it will be good. ®

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