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IBM XIV Storage


Hi all,

Has anyone had any experience with the new IBM XIV Storage Subsystem. Anyone running TSM Storage pools or DB's on them (or any application on them for that matter).

I keep hearing lots of good things BUT I would like to hear an opinion on this product from someone other than an IBM salesperson. Seems a bit too good to be true. EMC (for obvious reasons) is slamming as not being Tier 1 storage.

Just wondering if anyone out there actually has one installed and running. Any gotchas? I would love to have a unbiased, user-based, non-salesperson opinion on it.
IBM XIV is a real entrprise Storage Array

You can trust the good things you've already read about the IBM XIV product.

There are many happy enterprise customers here in Israel like : Walla, Netvision, Bank Leumi and more -
some with many systems like Bank Leumi - one of the largest Bank in Israel with 7 IBM XIV systems installed
including DRP site.
Those systems replaces EMC DMX systems !

Does IBM XIV is sufficient for you ?
It depends on the project requirements and if you wish I could discuss further by mail.
Just send me a message to : [email protected].

best regards,



ADSM.ORG Senior Member
HI GregE.

We looked at XIV but ended up getting an Axiom 600 from Pillar instead. Us being a huge IBM shop (ds8300, ds8100, ds4700s and ds5300s), IBM kinda figured they were already installing an XIV when they realized our DS4700 were end of lease and we would not be replacing/buying them. We started looking at a new approach (XIV, Pillar, EMC etc) and for the price, performance, physical installation (power, AC), SAN config we ended up getting an Axiom 600 with 200TB of disk space. REALLY happy with our purchase.

We run some Oracle DBs, Exchange, Fileservers and TSM on the Axiom without any problems whatsoever. A mix of Linux, ESX, OVM, AIX and Windows run all happily on the unit.

We liked it so much, that we replaced our DS8100 with an Axiom earlier this year. Performance is right up there with the DS8100, for much cheaper and more usable diskspace.



We migrated one of our TSM servers to it about a week ago and are holding off migrating our other servers. Backing up sequential disk volumes and migrating from disk to tape is not doing so well in terms of throughput. It seems the max we can do in backing up the sequential disks is around 80 MB/s while running 4 processes.


We found a solution to our problem of poor throughput with the XIV. The solution had to do with TSM server using DIRECT I/O when using JFS2 file systems. An undocumented command called "DIRECTIO NO" can be placed in the dsmserv.opt file which tells the TSM server not to use DIRECT I/O. Our I/O throughput improved four times what it was and now the same four processes are reading from 300 to 350 MBs, which is better than the throughput we were getting on our DS4800.


Hi i'd personally stay away from XIV they are awful, the command line has very few commands that hinder your ability to see whats happening on them. The GUI looks good but is pretty awful to work with. Also you have to over allocate storage as for 1gb you have to allocate 17gb. There's also some feeling around that if 2 disks fail in 1 tray you lose the whole array. Could be scare mongering though....
The commandline is like every other system specific commandline, it takes some learning. I've written some scripts that leverage it, and you can do absolutely anything the GUI can do if you take the time to learn it. I use the GUI, and I have to say it's a LOT better than the web based DS8000 GUI. Our admin's like it better than the DS4k GUI too. As for resilience, we have never lost any data with it. We've had an entire tray go down (bad motherboard) and it keeps right on going. IBM called to tell us they were coming onsite before we knew anything was wrong.
We love ours. We have 2 half populated units and are right now doubling their capacity. It's as fast or faster than our DS8100s, and a lot cheaper. We've had one complete storage node fail and it didn't cause any interruption. We've had the usual drive failures too, with no problems. We like the GUI, but to each his own. The trick to XIV seems to be that they're using cheaper SAS drives, front-ending it with a whack of cache RAM, and have a pretty good block placement scheme. The drives are cheap, RAM is cheap, and the chassis are cheap. BTW, IBM doesn't actually make these, they're working with a company is Isreal on it. One thing that did bite us, you have to keep up with the interoperability matrixes. We had some servers that the software vendor didn't want us to upgrade, and fell off the matrix. After a XIV code upgrade one of them lost their path redundancy until we could upgrade the Host Attachment Kit.

I put TSM on it's own DS4ks. I tweak our servers pretty hard, and I'm afraid that I would blow through the cache with TSM and performance for other hosts would suffer.

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The Spectrum Protect TLA (Three-Letter Acronym): ISP or something else?

  • Every product needs a TLA, Let's call it ISP (IBM Spectrum Protect).

    Votes: 18 19.6%
  • Keep using TSM for Spectrum Protect.

    Votes: 57 62.0%
  • Let's be formal and just say Spectrum Protect

    Votes: 10 10.9%
  • Other (please comement)

    Votes: 7 7.6%

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