How the IBM FlashSystem 5200 Supports Digital Transformations in the Mid-Market

Smaller and younger organizations don’t want to have to administer and manage and think about storage too much. They tend to strive for simplicity. The IBM FlashSystem 5200 meets those needs.

Mid-market companies today are pulling in huge amounts of data, often from the edge. They’re starting to do inventory tracking and a range of other interesting work tied to leveraging data. But the amount of data they are accumulating and the number of places they are sharing that data are both growing. These smaller and younger organizations don’t want to have to administer and manage and think about storage too much. They tend to strive for simplicity. The IBM FlashSystem 5200 meets those needs.

Too many organizations still don’t see IBM as a player in the mid-market space. When they think of IBM, they envision big boxes, Watson, cloud IT, and so on. And they believe that if they do get something from IBM meant to suit a smaller company’s needs, it will be a product with its guts stripped out and cut down to the bare minimum to squeeze it into the right price bracket. The 5200 isn’t that at all. It is a brand-new offering designed from scratch to meet the needs of the mid-market space, not a watered-down version of a giant box.

The key business-level benefits of the FlashSystem 5200 include:

Density without compromise.

As a 1U storage system, the 5200 can serve as the centerpiece for a consolidated storage infrastructure. Thanks to the system’s Easy Tier capabilities and its integrations with VMware and Red Hat OpenShift, organizations can consolidate multiple applications on the FlashSystem 5200 while ensuring performance and availability.

Cost-effective performance.

The 5200 offers the latest in advanced performance (i.e., proprietary NVMe IBM storage technology that is more advanced, denser, and more capable than off-the-shelf SSDs). Such performance ensures that mid-sized organizations can consolidate their application environments without negatively impacting performance, while also maintaining headroom to support future growth. Essentially, the 5200 is a viable, cost-effective alternative to SAS-based all-flash arrays that makes NVMe-level speed affordable at the entry level.

Future-proof scale and flexibility.

The 5200 can scale up and scale out. Scale is not only about capacity, but also about adding performance as business demands grow. Digital-centric mid-sized and younger organizations often grow at a faster rate, and they need greater flexibility in terms of scale.

Transformational simplicity that allows organizations to do more with less.

It is possible to transform an entire data center with Spectrum Virtualize software, integrated as part of the 5200. Leveraging Spectrum Virtualize, the 5200 can virtualize and consolidate any pre-existing storage systems in an environment under one common set of management features. As a result, the FlashSystem 5200 enables mid-market organizations to embrace the latest technology while also integrating their existing storage assets (rather than ripping them out and replacing them).

These days, the ability to be agile and do things such as use AI capabilities to manage applications is compelling. Mid-sized organizations should not be held down by legacy infrastructure. They need a modern, open storage infrastructure environment that gives them a competitive advantage. Instead of buying 20 boxes, they can buy just one that possesses an incredible level of density and consistent management features that will enable them to easily support their applications. The FlashSystem 5200 gives smaller and younger organizations one less thing to worry about as they go forward and grow.

The IBM FlashSystem 5200 is a system built from the ground up to offer the latest integrated technical advances in a form-factor optimized for younger enterprises, mid-sized organizations, and edge deployments. It is powerful enough to stand alone, while also able to fit seamlessly into a larger IBM ecosystem. The IBM FlashSystem 5200 includes the following advanced functions, benefits, and capabilities:

  • Bring NVMe-accelerated storage performance and new levels of affordability starting small and growing as your business requires.
  • Flexible drive support including FCM and SCM drives.
  • Deploy cost-efficient, high-performance, compact 1U IBM FlashSystem for any workload.
  • Leverage the power of IBM Spectrum® Virtualize for rich enterprise data services. Extend wide-ranging data services across hundreds of external systems.
  • FCM 2.0 using IBM QLC technology with latency as low as 70 μs which helps remove bottlenecks in client ́s workloads and gives the possibility to combine capacity up to 38.4TB per FCM with durability up to 7 years with FlashWatch guarantee.

The FlashSystem 5200 offers capacities starting at 38.4 TB and supports four-way clustering to scale capacity and performance. Notably, this is a 1U system, which is much easier for one person to install than heavier 2U systems. That feature should appeal to smaller companies that don’t have a lot of available IT staff. It is also a pertinent advantage for deployments in edge environments, where just one IT admin would be needed onsite to perform the installation.

With the latest advancements in high-performance storage technology, such as NVMe-based IBM FlashCore and storage-class memory (SCM), the FlashSystem 5200 also supports all-flash and hybrid flash configurations. According to IBM, the FlashSystem 5200 offers 66% more performance than predecessor systems: 1.5 million IOPS per system and 40% more throughput — 21GB/sec per system.

The FlashSystem 5200 also offers essential enterprise-level data protection and security capabilities, with six-nines availability, high-availability configurations (with high availability, an organization can arrange to receive a 100% data availability guarantee), multi-site replication, data reduction and encryption, and integration with VMware and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

As part of the FlashSystem family, the 5200 offers a common management approach and API. It comes with integrated IBM Spectrum Virtualize software to virtualize heterogeneous storage environments. That means data center and edge locations all use the same storage software—they’re just different-sized systems that all work the same way. The 5200 also integrates with IBM Storage Insights for AI-based monitoring, predictive analytics, and proactive support.

The digital economy is having an impact on organizations of every size, requiring even young, small, or mid-sized businesses to maximize the value of their data. The IBM FlashSystem 5200 is a system tailored from the ground up just for these businesses. It can deliver a potentially transformational level of value to address the storage needs of mid-sized businesses, young enterprises, and edge locations.

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