Lenovo boosts low end all-flash array with end-to-end NVMe

Lenovo DM5100F all-flash array in 2RU x 24-slot chassis

Lenovo has juiced up its entry level all-flash array with NVMe SSDs, NVMe/FC access and faster Fibre Channel support. The company said the new ThinkSystems DM5100F array is suitable for analytics and AI workloads.

Lenovo teamed up with NetApp in August to produce the all-flash ThinkSystem DM Series. According to the company, the new system delivers 45 per cent higher performance than its precursor, the DM5000, which uses SAS SSDs and 16Gbit/s FC access.

DM arrays use NetApp ONTAP software, while the hybrid flash/disk DE Series use SAN OS, NetApp’s software for its E-Series arrays.

The DM5100F scales out to 48 NVMe SSDs, with capacity topping out at 737.28TB. This is less than the DM5000 which holds 144 SAS SSDs for a maximum 2.2PB capacity.

The DM5100F’s maximum controller memory is 128GB, twice that of the DM5000F’s 64GB. The new model also has 16GB of NVRAM – double the DM5000F’s 8GB. The increases reflect the greater burden on the DM5100F controller from the NVMe SSDs, NVMe/FC access and overall increased IOPS performance. 

Lenovo’s new array requires ONTAP 9.8, which is also available for the other DM Series models. 

Lenovo ThinkSystem DM5100F array’s 2RU x 24-slot controller chassis

All the DM Series arrays now get S3 object access support, adding to existing block and file access protocols (FC, iSCSI, NFS, pNFS, SMB, NVMe/FC). There is transparent failover and management of object storage. Customers can add cold-data tiering from the SSDs to the cloud, or replicate data to the cloud.

A new DB720S Fibre Channel switch links servers to the DM and DE Series arrays, and it adds 64Gbit/s Fibre Channel speed plus lower access latency to the existing 32Gbit/s and 16Gbit/s switches in Lenovo’s product locker. (This is an OEMed version Broadcom G720 switch.)

Cloud-based management 

Lenovo has released Intelligent Monitoring 2.0, an update of its cloud-based management tool for the DM and DE Series arrays. This enables customers to monitor and manage storage capacity and performance for multiple locations from a single cloud-based interface. V2.0 improves the analytics and adds AI-based prescriptive guidance.