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Big Blue aims to bring high-end storage to smaller enterprises.

IBM this week augmented its storage portfolio with the launch of FlashSystem 5200. This new product aims to support hybrid cloud, remote offices and edge compute.

The launch is part of IBM’s plan to simplify its storage portfolio with the same software and features across the product line.

All FlashSystem arrays are hybrid cloud-capable, with connectivity to public clouds for data tiering, migration, replication and snapshots possible. That functionality comes as part of IBM’s Spectrum Virtualize, which all these products include.

Bringing NVMe to the small scale footprint

The 1U 5200 comes with up to 12 NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) flash drives and Fibre Channel NVMe-over-fabric (NVMeoF) connectivity to hosts with bandwidth of 16/32Gbps. It also sports two 8-core Intel Skylake CPUs and up to 512GB of cache.

Use cases IBM has in mind for the 5200 are edge deployments like the branches of retailers that need high performance in a compact form factor, according to IBM’s CMO Eric Herzog. The product would also work well in core datacentres that want to consolidate lots of existing multi-vendor storage to one platform, via Spectrum Virtualize.

Herzog said: “Every storage vendor has got NVMe and so has every server vendor. Here in the midrange, it’s an industry standard, it’s ubiquitous. You don’t pay a premium any more for NVMe.”

Supporting container ops up with Azure and AWS

Herzog also said the FlashSystem portfolio is container and hybrid cloud centric and optimal for digital transformation projects. For example, FlashSystem 5200 can connect to Microsoft Azure as well as AWS.

“The FlashSystem 5200 brings high end features to smaller enterprises, remote offices and edge computing,” said Herzog. He added that the aim of the FlashSystem family is to simplify buying and give customers big, medium and small system sizes of integrated systems.

The IBM Flashsystem 5200 supports Red Hat OpenShift, Container Storage Interface for Kubernetes, Ansible and Kubernetes and VMware.

According to IBM, the FlashSystem 5200 includes IBM Storage Insights as well as IBM Spectrum Virtualize and IBM Hyperswap. The management tools are help to manage and consolidate storage.