New IBM Storwize V3700 Takes IBM Deeper Into SMB Storage

Longtime EMC executive B.J. Jenkins has left the storage vendor to take over as president and CEO of Barracuda Networks

The IBM Storwize V3700 includes the same code stack as the company's higher-end Storwize V7000 and its SAN Volume Controller (SVC) storage virtualization technology, said Ed Walsh, vice president of marketing and strategy for IBM storage.

That includes all the same features like replication, thin provisioning, self-optimized flash tier and Cloud Agile, which is the ability to take advantage of cloud storage technology for replication and recovery of data, all in an array that lists starting at under $11,000, Walsh said.

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"There are no compromises," he said. "In a lot of cases, you need compromises at this price point. We don't. It was easy to do -- we just brought our enterprise code to the new array."

The Storwize V3700, with the same robust technology found in the V7000 and the IBM SVC, will drive great technology at the price point, said Lief Morin, president of Key Information Systems, a Woodland Hills, Calif.-based solution provider and IBM partner.

"It's a winner for IBM," Morin said.

The IBM Storwize V3700 packs up to 12 3.5-inch or 24 2.5-inch hard drives in a 2U chassis complete with one or two controllers, 4 GB to 8 GB of cache per controller and support for either 1-Gbps iSCSI, 10-Gbps iSCSI or 8-Gbit Fibre Channel connectivity.

Because of its shared code base with the SVC, the Storwize 3700 is a low-cost way to provide seamless migration of storage to the IBM line, Walsh said. "With the SVC virtualization we have had for years, you can put the V3700 in a new environment and easily migrate storage to it without disrupting operations," he said.

About 80 percent of IBM's midrange storage revenue comes from indirect sales channels, and that will likely be the case with the Storwize 3700, he said.

General availability is slated for sometime later this month, he said.

With the introduction of the Storwize V3700, IBM now has three different storage arrays targeting the entry-level midrange storage market, including the DS3500, which is based on the Engenio platform acquired by NetApp, and a member of the N-series, which is IBM's OEM version of NetApp's FAS Filer family.

All three storage arrays use dissimilar codes, making them incompatible with each other, a situation that IBM's Walsh said is not an issue with customers.

"We don't believe one product fits all markets and customer sets," he said. "When we launched the V7000, we saw our DS5000 sales grow."

Key's Morin agreed that IBM is meeting different parts of the market with its multiple product lines.

"There may be some overlap between the V3700 and the DS3500, but the customer will drive the choice," he said. "And IBM will build on that choice in the future."

While the V3700 and DS3500 are priced similarly, some customers prefer the simplicity of the DS3500, whereas others already have the DS family in their data centers and will stay with that line, Morin said.

"But if a net new customer comes to IBM, features and functions will drive the purchasing decision," he said. "And the V3700 is an impressive offering."