IBM Storwize Offers Improved Performance, Lower TCO and Better Data Protection

By Jane Clabby, Clabby Analytics

The IBM Storwize family includes three new entry and mid-range storage offerings: the V5010, the V5020, and the V5030. IBM reports that these 2nd generation V5000 Storwize solutions provide up to 2x better performance, 5x greater data capacity in the same footprint, and enterprise-class encryption capabilities. As a result, customers can lower both capital expenses (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx)—lowering overall total cost of ownership (TCO) while speeding application/workload processing times and protecting critical data. IBM also announced future (Q4) plans for a non-disruptive upgrade path for V5000 models with a model upgrade in place that preserves both serial numbers and software licenses.


Storwize was first introduced in 2010 as a mid-range storage solution. Since then IBM has: (1) expanded the Storwize family at both ends, maintaining a consistent GUI across the product family (2) added new IBM Spectrum Virtualize capabilities including FlashCopy, replication, Real-time Compression (RTC), and Easy Tier, and (3) integrated Storwize with IBM Spectrum Scale. This evolution provides new price points, improves flexibility and choice, and allows customers to start small and scale as their needs grow, while still having access to enterprise-level functionality such as high availability, high performance, and data protection.  Since the 2010 introduction of the Storwize, IBM has shipped over 110,000 Storwize systems and over 250,000 expansion units to customers in a range of industries.

IBM Storwize V5000 2nd Gen – A Closer Look

The single easily upgradeable architecture spans the three new V5000 models and supports all-flash or hybrid configurations. The new Storwize family supports up to 4x more cache than the previous StorwizeV5000, performs at 2x the speed (12Gbps SAS and 16Gbps Fibre Channel), is scalable up to 20 expansion enclosures, and can provide up to a 4PB in a single clustered system.

The many features of IBM Spectrum Virtualize software provide enterprise-level functionality to the Storwize V5000 including:

    • External virtualization (V5030 only) enables customers to take advantage of new features using older technology to derive more value longer-term and ease migration;
    • Easy Tier improves storage economics. By configuring just a few solid-state drives (SSDs), intelligent algorithms determine data placement that can provide up to 3x performance improvements (source: IBM);
    • RTC (V5030 only) provides from 5x to 7x of space savings using industry leading compression algorithms (source: IBM);
    • HyperSwap (V5030 only) provides fully redundant non-disruptive failover;
    • FlashCopy creates point-in-time snapshot copies of entire logical volumes or data sets; and
    • Replication with remote mirroring is available over FC or IP networks providing customers with flexibility and choice


IBM Storwize 2nd Gen V5000 Models Feature Overview


-Up to 264 drives

-Internal Virtualization

-Thin Provisioning


-Easy Tier

-Remote Mirror

-Distributed RAID

-VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V support


-All of the V5010 +

-Higher performance

-Encryption ( including future support                 for  IBM Security  Key  Lifecycle  Manager as an option)




-All of the V5020 +

-Up to 1008 drives

-Clustering  (2)

-Higher Scalability

-Higher performance


-External virtualization



Customer Examples/Use Cases

As always, IBM provided numerous examples of how customers are using Storwize. Here are a several that illustrate the range of industries and applications that are served by IBM Storwize.

Server Consolidation

A publisher in Mexico City reduces its server footprint by more than 50 percent, reduces server complexity, and decreases maintenance costs when it consolidates its server environment by implementing IBM Storwize V5000 and VMWare technology.


A major footwear retailer headquartered in Germany dramatically improved data analytics speed and enabled near-instant insight into market trends while simplifying the SAP deployment by migrating to SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems technology and centralized IBM Storwize V5000 storage.

Mixed Use Workloads

A manufacturer of beauty appliances in China reduced energy consumption by 300 percent and decreased the amount of physical space used by its systems by 100 percent when it deployed IBM Storwize V5000 storage as a centralized data repository.

Summary Observations

Clabby Analytics has been following Storwize since its introduction in 2010. In that time, we have seen the Storwize family evolve consistently to provide higher performance, improved economics and better data protection. IBM’s strength in software defined storage has resulted in many software capabilities being integrated into the Storwize platform. Features that were previously only available to high-end enterprise customers are now available at the entry-level and mid-range, making it even easier for customers to use Storwize for a range of use cases across industries. This most recent announcement continues that trend—adding encryption functionality, offering an entry-level solution that scales up to 1,008 drives and 4PB, and improving TCO with the functionality of Spectrum Virtualize.

The consistent easy-to-use GUI across the Storwize models simplifies training requirements and makes it easy for customers to scale with growth. The planned V5000 “upgrade in place” will enable customers to upgrade directly from the V5010 to the V5020 or the V5010 to the V5030, preserving both software licenses and serial numbers, allowing for much quicker and simpler deployment and administration.

With IBM’s strength in hardware technology and leadership in software defined storage, customers who are looking for a flexible, scalable, feature-rich storage platform should take a close look at the new IBM Storwize V5000.




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