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Always-on storage operations with the new IBM FlashSystem A9000 & IBM FlashSystem A9000R HyperSwap®

By Archive User posted Tue May 16, 2017 02:55 PM

Yesterday IBM announced a new software version for our all-flash IBM FlashSystem A9000 and IBM FlashSystem A9000R offerings. I'm happy to follow-up and share with you information about a new major capability, named HyperSwap.

Here's a small piece of information, about unplanned IT system downtime, to put things in context:

  • Downtime costs can equal up to 16% of revenue[1]

  • Even as little as four hours of downtime can be severely damaging for 32% of organizations[2]

It's nota secret that IBM FlashSystem A9000 and IBM FlashSystem A9000R are deployed by industry-leading, prominent organizations. For such organizations, the above might be an understatement.

That makes the new software release announced this week very important for enterprises that already use, or are planning to deploy IBM FlashSystem A9000 and IBM FlashSystem A9000R. I'll dare say, those who don't, now have a very good reason to reconsider: Version 12.1 allows customers to go above and beyond the system's built-in five-nines high-availability, with cross-system, cross-data center, active-active storage, without extra licensing or special hardware. Note that final phrase again: No extra licensing, no special software, no special hardware.

With HyperSwap, protected workloads are not disrupted through most storage, network, server, application, and site failures and disasters. HyperSwap enables enterprise IT systems to autonomously fail over within seconds, without human intervention and without mind-boggling automation masterpieces, using a metro-distance A9000/A9000R stretch-cluster, to protect against loss of access to mission-critical data. This capability is now available across the IBM storage portfolio.

HyperSwap also supports live migration of virtual machines using VMware Storage vMotion across vCenter servers and across data centers, supporting VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) configurations and VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 6.1 and up.

The following screen snippet is taken from the Hyper-Scale Manager – the FlashSystem A9000/R management software. It shows the configuration and status of a single volume that is stretched across two A9000/R systems. If you already know FlashSystem A9000/R, or just curious enough to spend more minutes and check the awesome management experience we dressed HyperSwap with, check this video (credit goes to Moshe Weiss and Andrew Greenfield).

Update: For more information about FlashSystem A9000 & A9000R HyperSwap, check this post


As always, the new software version is pre-installed and shipped with new FlashSystem A9000 and FlashSystem A9000R systems. Arrays with previous versions can be upgraded to leverage the new capability at no additional cost. Part of the built-in service offering.

HyperSwap extends the already-rich IBM FlashSystem A9000/A9000R feature set that enables IBM customers to:

  • Integrate the performance of IBM FlashCore technology with a highly parallel grid-scale architecture to provide inherent load balancing and eliminate tedious system tuning practices and risky fire-drills

  • Scale resources linearly to meet cloud, analytics, and cognitive business requirements.

  • Optimize all-flash storage economics with deduplication, compression, and pattern removal,

  • Support multi-tenant, mixed workload clouds with enterprise-grade high availability, security, and quality-of-service features that prevent "noisy neighbors" in mixed-workload environments

  • Simplify storage administration with an innovative new Hyper-Scale Manager user interface, to manage a multitude of FlashSystem A9000 & A9000R, XIV Gen3 and Spectrum Accelerate software-defined-storage systems, within a single pane of glass.

  • Easily integrate with VMware, OpenStack, Linux, and Microsoft platforms


IBM FlashSystem A9000 and FlashSystem A9000R provides a comprehensive, evolving solution to more and more data storage challenges faced by 21st century digital enterprises. Evolve with IBM FlashSystem A9000 and FlashSystem A9000R solutions to step up your high-availability, using the new Hyperswap® capability.


[1] Infonetics Research, The Costs of Enterprise Downtime: North American Vertical Markets 2005, Rob Dearborn and others, January 2005
[2] IDC: Driving Market Awareness: Strategies for IT High Availability With New Server Architectures, May 2014; also Continuity Central, “Business Continuity Unwrapped,” 2006,

You can find more information here.



Tue June 13, 2017 09:12 AM

Hi Jaswinder. Thanks for reviewing this post. I have published more information in my recent post.

Wed May 31, 2017 06:13 AM

Hi Yossi,

This is a great article and would be using it in the near future, Would it be possible to get a guide or procedure to implement Hyperswap on A9000R as the next step
as it would be very handy...
Also do let me know where i could be helpful, i am currently leading A9000R projects in India