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IBM XIV OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM XIV is #10 ranked solution in top Modular SAN (Storage Area Network) tools. PeerSpot users give IBM XIV an average rating of 7.0 out of 10. IBM XIV is most commonly compared to IBM FlashSystem: IBM XIV vs IBM FlashSystem.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Modular SAN (Storage Area Network) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is IBM XIV?

IBM XIV is a high-end, grid-scale storage system that excels in tuning-free consistent performance, ease of use and exceptional data economics, including inline, and IBM Real-time Compression. IBM XIV is ideal for hybrid cloud, offering predictable service levels for dynamic workloads, simplified scale management, including in multi-tenant environments, flexible consumption models — and robust cloud automation and orchestration through OpenStack, RESTful API and VMware. It offers security and data protection through hot encryption, advanced mirroring and self-healing and investment protection with perpetual licensing.

IBM XIV was previously known as XIV.

IBM XIV Customers

Celero, NaviSite, Technische Universit_t Mªnchen, Netflix Inc., Muhr und Bender KG, Pelephone Communications

IBM XIV Video

Archived IBM XIV Reviews (more than two years old)

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it_user649086 - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. System Administrator at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Streamlines report production, enables easy and fast provisioning and Remote mirroring
Pros and Cons
  • "Very easy to produce reporting data (Snaps). Very easy and fast for provisioning devices and Remote mirroring."
  • "Installation is amazingly easy."
  • "The change form synchronous mirroring to asynchronous (and vice versa) without reconfiguration from scratch would be helpful."
  • "I encountered stability (performance) issues during enclosure or disk rebuild. Also some power supply issues due to malfunctions of ​circuits. Sometimes "internal" Snap sessions hang and consume pool capacity."

How has it helped my organization?

Very easy to produce reporting data (Snaps). Very easy and fast for provisioning devices and Remote mirroring.

What is most valuable?

Implementing Remote mirroring and local Snaps is very easy. The ROW (Redirect-On-Write) of Snaps has no impact on production data.

What needs improvement?

  • Copies
  • The power supplies
  • Expansion
  • Some Snap operations, regarding consistency groups
  • The change form synchronous mirroring to asynchronous (and vice versa) without reconfiguration from scratch

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Buyer's Guide
Modular SAN (Storage Area Network)
September 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell Technologies and others in Modular SAN (Storage Area Network). Updated: September 2022.
632,779 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I encountered stability (performance) issues during enclosure or disk rebuild. Also some power supply issues due to malfunctions of circuits. Sometimes "internal" Snap sessions hang and consume pool capacity.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The active front-end ports are according to the ordered capacity, and new ports are activated when you order extra. The number of usable ports in a full capacity configuration (excluding for Remote mirroring) are so low compared to high-end storages. If I remember correctly, it was six modules of four ports, minus at least four for mirroring. The queue per port was 1400 (may have changed).

How are customer service and support?

Very good.

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

Working with VMAX. Company changed due to economic reasons. (They still use multi-vendor storages).

How was the initial setup?

It was amazingly easy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

EMC VMAX 10K, 3PAR, DS.

What other advice do I have?

I see XIV as a mid-range (not high-end) storage. Easy to install, small size factor/capacity, easy to use, quick to provision. Not for heavy load, especially sequential due to wide/mirror stripping. Smallest provisioned capacity is 17GB (increments by 17GB), has easy CLI, and alerting.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Systems Engineer II at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Needs to add an SSD tier to improve the latency demand. It can be a good fit for nonproduction environments like test, dev, uat, and cat.
Pros and Cons
  • "As it spreads, a chuck of 1MB across the board means using all available spindles on the backend."
  • "This product was not a good fit for our organization as we have a ton of latency sensitive applications and XIV was not able to keep up with IO + latency demand."

What is most valuable?

Data availability: As it spreads, a chuck of 1MB across the board means using all available spindles on the backend.

What needs improvement?

This product was not a good fit for our organization as we have a ton of latency sensitive applications and XIV was not able to keep up with IO + latency demand.

Adding an SSD tier to improve the latency demand as this product was sold as being a Tier 1.5 array, but it is far from that.

For how long have I used the solution?

Seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Nope.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Nope.

How are customer service and technical support?

Good.

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

We switched to XIV as it was marketed as being almost a high-end array.

How was the initial setup?

XIV setup is very straightforward and easy to configure.

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

Licensing is straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, as we were moving away from our old CX3 Clariion arrays.

What other advice do I have?

Don't use it for heavy workloads and latency sensitive workloads. It can be a good fit for nonproduction environments like test, dev, uat, and cat.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Modular SAN (Storage Area Network)
September 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell Technologies and others in Modular SAN (Storage Area Network). Updated: September 2022.
632,779 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user736191 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Storage Engineer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Just pay once and forget about licenses; Performance and robustness of the systems are very good
Pros and Cons
  • "The performance and robustness of the systems are very good."
  • "Until the drive is replaced, the pool_resizing is locked."

What is most valuable?

No-license-required policy, unlike others where you need a license for everything. Just pay once and forget about licenses.

How has it helped my organization?

The XIVs here are only being used for non-production and dev systems, but still the performance and robustness of the systems are very good.

What needs improvement?

There are a few. One that comes to my mind is the pool resize restriction in the case of drive failure. Until the drive is replaced, the pool_resizing is locked. This has been an issue a lot of times, especially when the contract says IBM will not replace disks until three drives fail. (Single drive replacement can be requested as well in severe cases).

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to four years, in this project.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, so far there have been no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Average. There is IBM support on this product, but sometimes it’s hard to get support from them.

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

No, DS8K or SVC has always been the primary solution for this customer. For all my customers, XIV has always been a backend storage.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was done before I joined.

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

Excellent.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am not the direct customer. We can only recommend various solutions to the customer.

What other advice do I have?

The product is good but only if you have a small datacenter.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user735234 - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems Engineer V, Enterprise Storage Systems at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
This is the easiest storage platform on the market to manage
Pros and Cons
  • "Hands down, this is the easiest storage platform on the market to manage."
  • "I would rather have a web GUI served directly from the unit, and a CLI accessible directly through SSH."

What is most valuable?

Ease of operation. Hands down, this is the easiest storage platform on the market to manage. It's essentially a fire-and-forget sort of solution. In our situation, we have these behind-the-scenes storage brokers (SVC), so we really never touch them at all, except for having support do code updates.

How has it helped my organization?

It does not improve function as much as it doesn't hinder function it. Since it is so reliable and easy to use, we spend almost zero time managing it.

What needs improvement?

Management accessibility. Both the GUI and the CLI require installation of a Java-based thick client, which is ridiculous, plus a drain on resources. Also, if you have a large complex version of XIV, the GUI must contact and load each one of the units before the GUI is available for use. This is frustrating.

I would rather have a web GUI served directly from the unit, and a CLI accessible directly through SSH. For multi-system management, it might be useful to have a thick client, or a hub of some sort, but there is almost no reason to have a GUI that requires communication with all of your units at once just to make a volume or mapping.

For how long have I used the solution?

Almost five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had one FC port on one of the 17 units that we have had which has given us particular consistency issues. We suspect an issue in the XIV module itself, but given that there are 24 ports on each unit, it's not a giant concern.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Historically, there has been no way to expand beyond the maximum provided in a single rack, so using SVC was required.

How are customer service and technical support?

Good, though not much tech support has been needed.

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

DS8000 and ESS. Cost was significantly higher on the DS platform, and the management was much more complex.

How was the initial setup?

Provided power and networking connections are in existence prior to equipment arrival, we can have one of these units receiving data within a couple hours of placement on the datacenter floor.

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

Never pay face value. There is always a discount. Also, if you are a mostly-blue shop, the discounts get super deep. If you are going to use the product behind an SVC, IBM will price the units lower, since you are likely not to use any of the advanced copy services.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were pretty tied to IBM, so only DS units. Lately, we have been considering the V-series units, as well.

What other advice do I have?

The product is exceptionally reliable and very easy to manage.

It's a solid, mature product. However, there are indications that IBM is not looking to extend the product range, but rather is pushing people toward its new A9000 platforms, which can be tied together with XIV-like functionality.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user523104 - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Systems Programmer at Sharp
Vendor
Using it behind the SAN volume controller, latency is predictable and it is reliable.

What is most valuable?

For us, the XIV is pretty much set-it-and-forget-it storage. We use it behind the SAN volume controller. Having presented that storage to the SAN, we find that the latency is very predictable, the capacity is excellent and the reliability is fabulous. I have been very happy with the XIVs we have here. We have had them for about three years and (KNOCK KNOCK) they have yet to fail a single drive (I think this might be because the system is optimized to use RAM, “flash assist” (800G flash unit per XIV shelf), and 4G disk drives for the things that each do best).

How has it helped my organization?

It saved a lot of time. We haven't had any outages and outages in the healthcare industry are terrible. They're like earthquakes that have repercussions for years afterwards.

What needs improvement?

It could be cheaper, but considering they give you a rack of 325 TB usable, if you buy a fully loaded system, it's really not that expensive. As part of the base package, it comes with a lot of value-add (snapshots,etc...) too, so those things need to be considered when comparing to other systems which do not include this.

I guess we'd like to see the XIV keep pace with how storage is going in terms of speed and latency. Basically, what you would buy at this point is the A9000R and that's probably the fastest system on the planet right now. They're basically doing what I'd like to see.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's really stable. We haven't had any outages. We haven't even had any failed drives since we've installed it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It gives you 325 TB usable per rack, so it's very scalable. Since we're using it behind the SVC, we could just bring in five more, if we had the money, and just completely scale it behind the SVC without any difficulty whatsoever.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have an arrangement with IBM. They come out and they do the disk drive replacement, which they haven't have to do yet. They basically won't come out until there are three failed drives because that's the way the model works. They have done a couple of firmware upgrades and disk drive firmware upgrades, on the frame itself and the drives. That's all handled really well by their support center.

We have really good tech support from IBM; really good contacts. They're sort of our personal liaison.

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

I used 3PAR, sort of, in a test mode, NetApp in a test mode, and the SVC. All three of those we tested in-house. We didn't test the EMC in-house.

The 3PAR was actually OK. In my opinion, it was the best of the other ones that we looked at, but the GUI was a little bit difficult to use. The IBM GUI is much easier to use and the SVC provides a lot of features that just aren't in the 3PAR. You could use anything behind the SVC and the SVC would make it easy.

I found the NetApp fairly cumbersome. We use OpenVMS and that was another problem with the NetApp: trying to use that with VMS.

The most important criteria for me when selecting a vendor to work with are reliability; ease of use in managing the storage because we manage it a lot, we have a lot of changes to make; and interoperability with the systems that we have in house, such as OpenVMS.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was pretty straightforward. We're really used to setting up arrays there. It has six ports per fabric; that's what we’re using. We just set up the cabling, did the zoning, and followed the recommended procedures; there were no problems, whatsoever. There were no unexpected surprises.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I didn't pick out XIV personally, but we looked at a bunch of different storage vendors. The technical people really wanted to go with IBM compared to the other vendors, mostly because we had already been familiar with it, but we did several in-house PoCs for other vendors too. The IBM just worked much better with the stuff we had. The GUI was much better. The CLI was better. For us, it was much better.

For our stuff, we looked at 3PAR, NetApp and EMC.

What other advice do I have?

We have had no problems with it and it exceeded expectations as far as speed, latency and reliability.

If it starts out being perfect and then there are problems, the rating would go down. But so far there haven't been any problems.

The interface is fine. We don't use it that much because we just take big chunks of it and present it as MDisks to the IVM.

This system, for us, is actually a set and forgot type of system. We have presented the array to San volume controller, and manage it from there, and we are also using flashsystem 900 for our super fast storage (we are very lucky to have this storage architecture – it’s really good).

As you are probably aware, they have since come out with the a9000 and a9000r which pair the XIV architecture with the flashsystem 900 flash backend, including compression and dedupe. I’m sure we will be looking at this when it is time to refresh. I don’t think anyone yet has a system that truly competes for speed with the flashsystem 900. emc now has a one new system (very expensive) and pure storage (I think it’s the flashblade system but don’t quote me on it) – they are way late to the game and all the others are even further behind still using “SSD” form factor. All the devices (basically all, except the aforementioned) that use what is basically a disk interface (e.g. SAS) are slowing down their flash.

Probably for absolute MAX performance, one would still use standalone flashsystem 900, but the a9000r will give great performance while reducing the price quite a bit by using the compression and dedupe.


Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Modular SAN (Storage Area Network) Report and find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell Technologies, and more!
Updated: September 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Modular SAN (Storage Area Network) Report and find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell Technologies, and more!