IBM System Storage DS8000 Series OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM System Storage DS8000 Series is the #3 ranked solution in top Frame-Based Disk Arrays. PeerSpot users give IBM System Storage DS8000 Series an average rating of 10.0 out of 10. IBM System Storage DS8000 Series is most commonly compared to Dell SC Series: IBM System Storage DS8000 Series vs Dell SC Series. IBM System Storage DS8000 Series is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 70% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 22% of all views.
What is IBM System Storage DS8000 Series?
IBM System Storage DS8000 series is a high-performance, high-capacity series of disk storage that supports continuous operations. The DS8000 series includes the DS8800 (Models 951 and 95E) and the DS8700 (Models 941 and 94E).

IBM System Storage DS8000 Series was previously known as System Storage DS8000.

IBM System Storage DS8000 Series Customers
Renfe, Park Nicollet Health Services, Ricoh Americas Corporation, SK Energy, SWK STADTWERKE KREFELD AG
IBM System Storage DS8000 Series Video

Archived IBM System Storage DS8000 Series Reviews (more than two years old)

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Solution Architect; Senior Manager Mainframe Technical Service at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Great Global Copy and Global Mirror features with an easy initial setup
Pros and Cons
  • "The Global Copy and Global Mirror features are the solution's most valuable aspects."
  • "The solution should embedded replication switches into the hardware instead of using them externally."

What is our primary use case?

We offer it as a Cloud solution to our shared clients and we share these devices between multiple clients. That's how we primarily use the solution.

I use it for storing mainframe data. It's used throughout the mainframe applications and the flash copies for DR, as well as replication utilities, to move data from one facility to another. We use just about all the features on it.

What is most valuable?

The Global Copy and Global Mirror features are the solution's most valuable aspects.

IBM's been making strides, improving, allowing you to do safeguard copies for banking industries, which is another version of a DR copy. However, it's not accessible from any host and not immune. It's just more difficult for hackers or malicious attempts within it. They're not accessible to the normal user. It's a nice new feature that they've come up with.

The initial setup is easy.

What needs improvement?

The pricing of the solution is difficult to deal with. Lower pricing would be preferred. 

The solution should embedded replication switches into the hardware instead of using them externally.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. There aren't any problems there at all. It doesn't have bugs or glitches and doesn't crash or freeze. We've found it to be very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

While the solution scales and can grow, it's just the pricing for the capacity that grows with it. Organizations need to be aware that the costs will go up as they expand the solution out. The bigger you go, the more you pay.

Currently, we have about 200 users on the solution right now. They just handle setup and management.

The solution is always growing and we're always expanding it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've used HDS in the past. I've used EMC Storage Tech, which was bought by Dell at one point. I've used Dell, EMC, Hitachi, etc. All the major players have been used.

How was the initial setup?

We've handled implementation multiple times at this point and we've yet to find the setup complex. It's quite straightforward.

From the receipt of the equipment, the deployment takes probably about three weeks to a month. It doesn't take too long. After that, everything is ready to go.

We have multiple employees that are on the solution handling maintenance.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Right now, the solution bases the pricing on capacity. It can get expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We always look at the competition and do pricing before we ultimately choose which solution we use. That was the case with this product as well. We always look at all the major players in the space.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a business relationship with the company.

I'm an outsourcing service provider and I've had a lot of experience using the solution. 

We have everything from DS8100 disc storage, all the way up to 8990s.

I'd advise new users to read the implementation installation guide. Most of the questions are answered in there. People just tend to skim over it and don't get into the details. However, it's important in making everything run smoothly and understanding the solution. That's probably the best advice I've actually heard from anybody. At the end of the day, don't be someone who skips the instructions, and all of a sudden you have a pile of parts.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user672408 - PeerSpot reviewer
Associate engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
You don't need to manage it often. Administration is less.

What is most valuable?

It has redundancy and is user-friendly.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefits are that you don't need to manage it very often, administration is less.

What needs improvement?

We need the GUI feature to be improved. If the GUI is good. then it is easier to manage with just the clicks, rather than going in with CLI and commands to do the stuff.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable and we don't have many issues. You get time to recover, i.e., if you feel something you have time to recover. For example, if you want to add more extra disks, we have time. So, it's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable.

What other advice do I have?

I really recommend the IBM DS8000 solution as it is the most advanced technology available for storage solutions.

Whilst looking for a vendor, it is important for us that both the product and support should be reliable.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user674253 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Technical Consultant for Storage with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Gave us an end-to-end solution for high availability and disaster recovery.

What is most valuable?

There are a lot of valuable features, but the primary one is that it gave us an end-to-end solution for high availability and disaster recovery. Performance was a big factor, but the reliability of HyperSwap for disaster recovery, using Global Mirror, was the best fit for our company.

How has it helped my organization?

The high availability and having HyperSwap has taken us beyond five nines for reliability. Our CTO said that we have now reached 100%. We have had no outages now for literally six years and that's really impressive.

We are a very large company and have a huge workload that is really spiky. Previously, when we were on a different vendor's disk, their replication for our data recovery (DR) would fail and we’d have these long outages to DR.

Now, with Global Mirror, if we get an inordinate amount of data, the RPO elongates and then goes right back down. I like to refer to this like an accordion. It kind of stretches and then comes right back down. We have two to five second recoverability.

Besides the performance, those were some of our biggest issues. There are a lot of other features that have been really important to us. We are a huge DB2 shop and IBM has developed many different products to work with DB2 to help speed it up. Other vendors cannot offer this.

What needs improvement?

I think things are going in a great direction right now. It's been very, very reliable. I think everybody in customer service tries to do more with less. It comes down to the number of people you have and everything else. It’s difficult to get to the higher level of Level-2, PFEs, or development. There are only so many people. Sometimes when we do encounter problems, but not a complete system shutdown, that gets a little bit frustrating. It takes a little bit longer than what my boss thinks is acceptable. But it's the nature of how things work nowadays.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The other vendor's solution was no longer meeting our requirements to provide disaster recovery. The actual response times and the performance to the host were okay, but the DR solution was not. We needed an end-to-end solution and that's what we have now.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is complex, but they have a very, very good team to reach out to who were available to assist us in the beginning. After our initial setup, we were able to migrate multiple times to a newer technology. It's been fantastic. It's complex because it's complex work, but we've done it so many times that we make it appear easy now.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were using one of the major vendors and we looked at the other two. It was, quite frankly, a very easy decision when we compared. It's a big investment to switch to GDPS. However, once we saw everything that it can provide, and now once it's all installed, it would be hard to even look at anything else now.

What other advice do I have?

The overall performance of the product is unparalleled. If you're looking for an end-to-end solution, there is no better choice.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user674232 - PeerSpot reviewer
Storage Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The main benefits are recovery time and being able to replicate data.

What is most valuable?

The disk replication, the high availability, the performance, and the speed are the valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

The main benefit is from the standpoint of recovery; recovery time and being able to quickly replicate data. We've had a lot of success and it's taken us a long way to get to where we've come from. There were a lot longer times that it took us to recover in the past. From a disaster recovery and availability aspect, it's brought us a long way. And we certainly are able to do a lot more in much less time, as far as recovery objectives.

What needs improvement?

I would like it to be easier to use. Some of it is so complex that we've got a lot of scripts and automation and things tied around it. I would like a way to simplify any of that. It will help with debugging too. When you do have a problem, things are pretty complex. Sometimes it takes a long time to pinpoint the actual error.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had some challenges with it hardware-wise. There have been some issues with reliability and part failures. But all in all, we've still been able to recover from them and not have any outage or downtime. There were some single-point-of-failure occurrences and some concerns from a redundancy standpoint. But, as far as actually being able to recover, and for the maintenance guys to be able to actually fix things without outages or downtime, that's been good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is fine. We have not had any issues there. We're a pretty big shop, so we buy everything pretty big in the beginning. Occasionally, we'll upgrade some frames, but normally, that's not a problem either. We've done that to add storage.

How are customer service and technical support?

I use technical support all the time. They're wonderful. The PFE side is really good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Obviously, support is huge. You have to have really good support and reliability overall. All the big vendors normally offer customer service, valued added for what the product provides and supports. Support is huge. Performance is huge. Cost, I'm sure is huge. I don't deal with those aspect too much, but I'm sure that's important to a lot of people who have to pay the bill.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the setup a little bit. I've done a couple different sides of it. I was involved from a storage side, but not so much from the hardware side. It's pretty complex, but that's probably just our environment, as well. It's not necessarily their setup, but it's how we configure it too. It's a combined effort to set up the configuration, but it is pretty complex.

What other advice do I have?

You have to have a lot of testing time and a lot of understanding of the product. Obviously, support from the vendor is huge. It's just a long process. It takes a long time to implement and manage a big tool and a big piece of work like this. You have just got to work with your vendor.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user672402 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Storage Manager at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Some of the features are global mirror and replication for DR.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features for us are the box itself, the controller, and the DS 8800s. You are able to store more data on them. They have the neat little features that we use these days. These are global mirror and replication for DR, which allow us to do a lot of DR testing.

We do monthly DR testing. So they're very, very fast. So there are fewer footprints, which mean that fewer boxes are needed. These boxes can actually hold much more than the others.

How has it helped my organization?

You have fewer boxes to maintain. The throughput increases, and the features are the same, just better.

What needs improvement?

When it comes to the 8800s, other than capacity and speed and then, of course, continuing to use the same features that they have today. It's important to have replications. It's important to have flash copy. Those are things that are required to improve upon.

These days, every company needs a disaster recovery plan. If they are in trouble, these boxes, these controllers, the 8800, allow you to provide this plan in different flavors.

There are different types of replication, depending on your company's needs. Nowadays, a financial company, actually any large company, has to have these types of boxes with these capabilities so they can do disaster recovery.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't encountered any issues with stability. So far, so good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to work with and to configure. On the mainframe side, once you're configured everything, it is straight up. On the open system side, it's a little different. At least from the mainframe perspective, it's easy.

How are customer service and technical support?

Regarding technical support, the boxes are new, but the only thing that we've had to do, was in the DDMs. These are the disk drives that go bad from time to time. That's something that's normal. It doesn't hurt anything, because the way the box is designed is that if one of them fails, it has spares. It tells us, "This has failed", it calls IBM and IBM comes and replaces them. It's all pretty much automatic.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't have a previous solution. It's like anything, in that hardware gets improved. We were using 8800s and the 8870s. Now we just went into the 8886s. Again, hardware changes and we had to change with it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. Actually, I designed the setup when it comes to how it's going to be implemented in our shop. I then worked with an IBM representative to double-check everything and to help me CARP, i.e., what we call "configuring the box to our needs".

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don't know about alternative solutions considered. I don't do procurement. We're pretty much an IBM shop, so everything in there is IBM.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise them to look into it. See if it matches what they want to do. Most vendors provide these features. If they want to sell their boxes, then they have to have these features. Otherwise, why would you want a box that doesn't have the features that you need for disaster recovery? Other vendors offer similar features, but this is the one we chose.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user