IBM System Storage DS8870 With Easy Tier Enhancements

Enabling more flash optimization choices
This is a Press Release edited by on 2013.06.11

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System Storage DS8870 systems (machine types 2421, 2422, 2423, and 2424) from IBM Corp. are now available with fifth-generation Easy Tier enhancements that enable more flash optimization choices with the DS8870, and include advanced features for improved resiliency in z/OS environments.


New options include:

Fifth-generation Easy Tier enhancements

  • Easy Tier Server is a unified storage caching and tiering capability that can be used when attaching to AIX servers with any supported direct attached flash. Easy Tier can manage the data placement across direct attached flash within scale-out servers and DS8870 storage tiers by placing a copy of the 'hottest' data on the direct attached flash, while maintaining the persistent copy of data on DS8870 and supporting DS8870 advanced functions.
  • Easy Tier Application is an application-aware storage API to help deploy storage more efficiently through enabling applications and middleware to direct more optimal placement of data by communicating important information about current workload activity and application performance requirements. In this release, the new Easy Tier Application feature also enables clients to assign distinct application volumes to a particular tier in the Easy Tier pool, disregarding Easy Tier's advanced data migration function. This provides a flexible option for clients that want certain applications to remain on a particular tier to meet performance and cost requirements.
  • Easy Tier Heat Map Transfer is able to provide whatever the data placement algorithm is on the Metro Mirror/Global Copy/Global Mirror (MM/GC/GM) primary site and reapply it on the MM/GC/GM secondary site through the Easy Tier Heat Map Transfer utility. With this capability, DS8000 systems can maintain application-level performance at an application secondary site when it takes over in supporting a workload after a failover from the primary to secondary site.

Resiliency improvements

  • Improved FlashCopy handling of volume reserves provides the capability to detect and ignore a volume reservation of a FlashCopy target volume that was inadvertently left reserved.
  • Prevention of accidental loss of data when initializing a z/OS volume with ICKDSF INIT or REFORMAT.
  • Ability to determine what z/OS Systems a volume is online to.
  • Ability to invoke a nondisruptive statesave via a z/OS command. Diagnostic data is gathered by the DS8870 without causing a warmstart during the data collection.
  • Simplified management of synchronous and asynchronous replication in four-site configuration using the Global Mirror Pause technology.
  • Ability to prevent accessing of data from the old primary PPRC site with z/OS Soft Fence when an unplanned recovery occurs.
  • Timestamp synchronization for Sysplex and DS8000 allows consistency between Global Mirror timestamp and Sysplex timestamp.


  • Support for WRITE SAME command to zero out virtual disk space or LUNs.
  • Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.1 supports reprotect and failback with vSphere Replication.
  • IBM Storage Management Console for VMware vCenter enables VMware administrators to manage the DS8870 the within the VMware management environment.

Support for IBM i variable LUN sizes

  • Adds flexibility for volume sizes and can increase capacity utilization for IBM i environments.
  • Clients are allowed to add LUN sizes by increments of 1 GB, in the range of 1GB up to 2TB.

Support for Symantec space reclamation (RPQ only)

  • Symantec Storage Foundation provides the ability to reclaim unused space on thin-provisioned arrays. The unused space is released back into the DS8000 storage pool and can be used for other volumes, which increases capacity efficiency.
  • Symantec Storage Foundation provides a user interface to trigger reclamation at a disk, disk group, or enclosure granularity.

Low cost entry class configuration options
The DS8870 will provide a low cost entry class configuration option in addition to the business and enterprise.
The low cost entry class option allows a system to be configured with more drives per device adapter, reducing configuration cost and increasing adapter utilization.

The field model conversion from DS8800 to DS8870 is available for existing customers.

Key prerequisites
All announced features and functions are supported on the DS8000 series and require Licensed Machine Code (LMC) 7.7.10.xx.xx (bundle version, or later.

Planned availability date

  • June 7, 2013: All features and conversions, except feature number 0601
  • September 30, 2013: Low-cost Entry Class configuration offering (feature number 0601)