Lowering risk, reducing costs, and accelerating time to value are more critical today than ever before for your data driven company.

While delivering new technologies is important, it is just as essential that clients have the confidence to deploy these new technologies in their production data driven, multi-cloud environments. That is why IBM has developed the IBM FlashWatch programs that support FlashSystem 9100 and are designed to help lower your organization’s risks and also help reduce your costs, while helping you gain competitive advantage through leading-edge storage systems solutions.

The IBM FlashWatch programs demonstrate the confidence that IBM has in FlashSystem 9100:
1. A data reduction program designed to help reduce planning risks and help lower storage costs by meeting baseline levels of data reduction effectiveness with FlashSystem 9100.
2. A controller upgrade program designed to help enable users of IBM FlashSystem 9100 to reduce costs, while maintaining leading-edge controller technology for essentially the cost of ongoing system maintenance.
3. A high-availability program designed to help enterprises avoid the costs and risks related to business downtime by offering the availability of business-critical data and storage systems for your company.
4. An option to acquire 24×7 support for up to seven years.
5. A flash endurance assurance program intended to help address concerns associated with using even the most demanding workloads with IBM flash technology.
6. Built-in no-charge migration capability to help you move data from existing storage quickly and easily.

Data Reduction
Storage cost remains a primary consideration for many users and key approach for reducing cost is leveraging data reduction technology, which enables storing more data in the same amount of physical storage capacity.

IBM FlashSystem 9100 supports a comprehensive range of data reduction and efficiency capabilities including compression, deduplication, thin provisioning, compaction, SCSI unmap, and space-efficient snapshots that can be coordinated with IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management software.

IBM FlashSystem 9100 can also apply data reduction to existing storage: over 440 different systems from IBM and others. This approach can help extend the life of existing assets and may delay the need to purchase more storage, both of which can potentially help reduce your CAPEX and OPEX expenditures.

Data reduction reduces the physical capacity required to store data, but the actual reduction varies among workloads. This variability can lead to uncertainty about the proper amount of physical capacity to acquire.

Deploying IBM FlashSystem 9100 under the Data Reduction Guarantee gives organizations two options for how to leverage the program’s advantages. The IBM Flexible Data Reduction Guarantee option provides capacity savings of up to 5:1 based on analyzing the data to be stored to determine the data reduction rates that are possible. If that analysis is not feasible, the IBM Estimate Free Data Reduction Guarantee option provides an effortless 2:1 capacity savings without collecting data and generating reports. There is no charge for these guarantees and users can select the option that works best for them[1].

Controller Upgrades
Upgrading to deploy new technology often means making additional capital investments. But now it doesn’t have to. Imagine making the capital investment in a solution only once. Imagine gaining all the ongoing advantages of innovation—but with potentially less ongoing capital investment.

This is the idea behind the Controller Upgrade Program. Under this program, IBM clients make a one-time investment in FlashSystem 9100, then after three years the client can choose to purchase an upgrade of the controllers in these arrays to equivalent next-generation technology at the time of upgrade for only the cost of ongoing hardware and software maintenance[2].

As a result, flash storage array upgrade costs can be reduced. IBM helps clients move some of their precious business investments away from basic IT infrastructure and, instead, toward creating new business opportunities or capturing and keeping competitive advantage.

Ninety days before the warranty for the original equipment purchase expires, the organization simply alerts its IBM representative if it wants to participate. There is no charge for having this option available and the choice is the client’s—as it should be[2].

High Availability

Over 160,000 systems built with IBM Spectrum Virtualize have been deployed in business-critical environments around the planet. This gives IBM first-hand experience solving the problems associated with scheduled and unscheduled IT systems downtime. IBM has taken the quest to reduce downtime a step further by offering an all-flash array High-Availability Guarantee, designed to essentially eliminate IBM storage system downtime worries for enterprises deploying IBM FlashSystem 9100 solutions.

Under this program, when deploying a high-availability configuration utilizing IBM HyperSwap, IBM offers zero interruption to data availability protection during the guarantee period[3]. The HyperSwap implementation must be performed by IBM Lab Services[4], and the guarantee is valid only for eligible, newly purchased IBM storage systems.

The implications for IBM clients are significant. IBM FlashSystem 9100 offers a wide range of capabilities and price points. The High Availability Guarantee is not limited to only a few organizations that can afford complex and expensive storage solutions. Instead, thanks to the cost-efficiency inherent in these solutions, enterprises with many different storage requirements and budget constraints can participate.

Perhaps most important, with this high-availability program, IBM offers zero storage system downtime protection for high-availability program participants. For IBM clients who adhere to the program guidelines, business risks can be reduced, and costs associated with traditional high-availability architectures can be lowered by streamlining system redundancies.

“In the digital era organizations worldwide are grappling with insurmountable data growth. As per our research, managing infrastructure costs and ensuring application and data availability are consistent top priorities for infrastructure professionals,” said Ritu Jyoti, Research Director for IDC’s Enterprise Storage, Server and Infrastructure software team. “Data reduction technologies such as compression and deduplication are important tools to help reduce cost, but their effectiveness is subject to the workload/s deployed. IBM’s capacity guarantee can help customers eliminate the guesswork and risk of buying storage with assumed data reduction. Similarly, IBM’s data availability guarantee with IBM implementation services can help customers ensure that their deployments are configured right for mission-critical workloads.”


Comprehensive support is a crucial part of assuring complete satisfaction with any new storage system. For IBM FlashSystem 9100, IBM Storage Insights provides no-charge web-based monitoring coupled with streamlined capability for managing support tickets and pro-active support from IBM technicians. In addition, IBM offers the option to upgrade the level of on-site service provided during the warranty period and also the option to acquire in advance hardware maintenance for compete flexibility[5].

Flash Endurance
All flash storage is susceptible to “flash wear”: the flash cells used to store data support a limited number of erase/write cycles. Although IBM flash storage contains sophisticated algorithms to minimize the impact of this process, as announced IBM FlashSystem 9100 is backed by a flash wear guarantee through the applicable warranty period, plus up to six years of optional post-warranty hardware maintenance. Should flash drives fail because of flash wear while under warranty or a hardware maintenance agreement, IBM will replace the affected drives at no additional charge[5].

Data Migration
Migrating data from older storage can be one of the most time consuming and disruptive aspects of deploying new storage. IBM FlashSystem 9100 includes the capability to migrate data from over 440 different storage systems from IBM and others. After a brief outage for reconfiguration, the process is designed to be non-disruptive to applications and can be performed concurrently with normal operation. A data migration “wizard” facilitates the process[6].

Separately, these six programs each offer many potential benefits. But when combined as part of an IBM FlashSystem 9100 solution, the power of all six to help lower costs, reduce business risk and maintain the most current technologies can be even more significant: confidence, and peace of mind. IBM understands that real solutions include more than simply great engineering.

To learn more about the today’s announcements, please read the Core of the Data-driven Multi-Cloud Enterprise blog. Watch our on-demand announcement webcast.

[1] The Data Reduction Guarantee requires a contract specifying the terms and limitations of the guarantee. Savings rates greater than 50% or including already compressed or encrypted data require workload analysis using IBM tools. In the unlikely event that you don’t get the guaranteed compression savings, IBM will provide the hardware and authorizations subject to contract terms to match the savings and performance at no charge. Contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner for complete details.
[2] The option to initiate this upgrade guarantee must occur within the final 90 days of the initial 3-year warranty and expires at the end of the 3-year warranty. IBM will replace (with trade-in) controllers on eligible all-flash arrays purchased between 3/31/2017 and 3/31/2019 with equivalent next-generation controllers including NVMe if available. The price will not exceed the published list price of 3 years hardware maintenance and 3 years software maintenance on the associated hardware control enclosure at that time. See program agreement for complete details.
[3] Interruption to data availability does not include any interruptions due to a temporary I/O hold during a planned or unplanned HyperSwap. In the event a customer doesn’t achieve zero interruption to data availability and subject to the terms of the associated guarantee agreement, IBM provides up to 40 hours of IBM Systems Lab Services consultation and support at no charge. The guarantee period ends upon the sooner of the following two occurrences: (i) customer submits a claim and obtains the above-mentioned 40 hours of consultation and support; or (ii) the expiration of the initial three (3) year hardware warranty on the eligible machine.
[4] Customer will execute a contract for the IBM Systems Lab Services implementation of IBM HyperSwap; terms and conditions (including pricing) set forth therein.
[5] Clients may purchase the post-warranty hardware maintenance either at the time of system purchase or up until IBM announces withdrawal from marketing or withdrawal from service. IBM also may offer warranty service upgrades that provide additional services during the warranty period. Service levels are response-time objectives and are not guaranteed. IBM reserves the right to modify or withdraw this or any other offerings at any time. Other terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Consult with your advisors about the appropriate financial treatment for this offering. Not available in all countries. Contact your sales representative for more information.
[6] Data migration function uses the external storage virtualization capability of IBM FlashSystem 9100. This capability is available at no charge for migrations that complete within 45 days for each storage system being migrated. Use of the storage virtualization capability beyond this time requires an appropriate license.

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