Posted By:
Edward Carter
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IBM have recently announced the next generation of their ahead of its time FlashCore Module storage, the FCM4; but why should you care about that? The addition of the FCM4 brings two main features, on-disk threat detection and improved on-disk data reduction, as well as improvements to existing FlashCore Module features.

Headline Features:

• On-disk real-time threat detection processing
• On-disk data reduction processing
• Improved hardware durability
• Increased capacity

Let’s take a deeper dive into these features and discover what this means in the real world and how they can benefit your organisation.

Threat Detection

The addition of on-disk real-time threat detection processing removes the overhead from your FlashSystem controllers allowing for near zero storage performance impact, improving efficiency and thus performance longevity of your storage investment, whilst giving you additional peace of mind that your storage is being monitored in real-time for any malicious activity.

Pairing your FlashSystem equipped with FMC4 storage with IBM Storage Insights Pro gives you AI powered threat detection which is constantly learning your storage trends and being updated with threats from around the world. Over time the AI model is constantly improving, reducing both false positives and negatives, making the threat detection even more effective and giving the assurance that your data is safe and being efficiently monitored.

Data Reduction

FlashCore module storage has always boasted impressive data reduction capabilities, 3:1 reduction depending on the type of data. The FCM4 improves upon this with the additional on-disk processing capability, reducing the overhead on the storage controllers by moving all the compression and deduplication processing to the FCM itself. This feature allows for near zero performance impact on the array.

We have found that some workloads, such as IBMi can achieve far greater compression when using FCM storage and we are seeing a ratio typically of around 4:1.

Hardware Durability

With traditional SSDs, wear begins to occur over time for the cells within the SSD responsible for storing the data. This causes errors to occur in the data as the cells degrade, which are eventually retired from the storage. This reduces the drive’s ability to store data correctly and eventually reducing the effective capacity, thus reducing the overall lifespan of the drive.

To counteract this inherent issue with solid state storage, the IBM FlashCore Module continuously monitors every flash cell within the drive and implements techniques such as dynamic read level shifting and integrated variable voltage technology for cells to help deliver the longest possible lifespan and to reduce data errors.

Increased Capacity

Since the introduction of the IBM FlashCore Module, capacity for the largest available drive has risen from 19.2TB raw with 2:1 inline compression, to 38.4TB raw with 3:1 inline compression. This now means with inline compression enabled on the FCM4, you have the ability to store up to 115TB per module, providing the data can be compressed.

This makes the FCM4 incredibly storage dense, particularly with an array such as the IBM FlashSystem 5300, a 12 drive, 1U system, which has the ability to store 1PB+ of data. This makes the FS5300, equipped with FCM4s, the most capacity dense storage solution on the market at the time of writing.


The IBM FlashCore Module 4, giving you unmatched storage density, with up to 115TB per disk and peace of mind with AI enhanced, real-time on-disk threat detection processing. All with near zero performance overhead on the storage array.

Combine your FlashSystem equipped with FCM4 with SafeGuarded Copy, IBM Storage Defender and Meridian’s 24/7 SOC for continual proactive monitoring and your storage will be your fortress.

If this blog entry has piqued your interest, please contact your Meridian IT Client Director, or myself ([email protected]), for a chat.

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