IBM Systems and Technology
Data Sheet
System Storage
IBM System Storage
DS3500 Express
Affordable performance and flexibility with
greater scalability, efficiency and ease of use
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Deliver mid-range performance and
scalability at entry-level prices with
6 Gbps SAS systems
Leverage built-in management expertise
in intuitive and powerful storage management software
Deliver simplified data protection
management and automated recovery
with Dynamic Disk Pooling
IBM® System Storage® DS3500 Express® combines best-of-breed
development with leading 6 Gbps host interface and drive technology.
With its simple, efficient and flexible approach to storage, the
DS3500 Express is a cost-effective, fully integrated complement to
IBM System x® servers, IBM BladeCenter® and IBM Power Systems™.
By offering substantial improvements at a price that fits most budgets, the
DS3500 Express delivers superior price/performance ratios, functionality,
scalability and ease of use for the entry-level storage user.
The DS3500 Express offers:
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Support Enhanced Global Mirroring over
IP and/or Fibre Channel
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Deliver continuous data security with
full disk encryption and support highperforming solid-state drives (SSDs)
Comply with Network Equipment
Building System (NEBS) and European
Telecommunication Standards Institute
(ETSI) and support 48 V DC power
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Scalability to mid-range performance and features starting at
entry-level prices
Efficiency to help reduce annual energy expenditures and environmental footprints
Simplicity that does not sacrifice control with the perfect combination
of robustness and ease of use
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Delivers mid-range performance and scalability
Building on the solid foundation of 3 Gbps SAS technology, 6 Gbps
SAS is the enterprise version of SAS. This 6 Gbps SAS offers increased
performance, scalability and reliability enhancements to support the everincreasing reliance on information, while delivering the outstanding value
that organizations demand.
IBM Systems and Technology
Data Sheet
System Storage
Delivering solid input and output per second (IOPS) and
throughput, the DS3500 Express controllers offer balanced and
sustainable performance. With up to 4,000 megabytes (MB) per
second and 40,000 IOPS in sustained drive reads, the DS3500
Express is equally adept at delivering throughput to bandwidthintensive applications and IOPS to databases and Microsoft
The DS3500 Express has enhanced scalability of up to
576 terabytes (TB) when fully expanded up to 192 drives.
By dynamically adding drive enclosures (up to 15 EXP3512,
7 EXP3524 expansion enclosures or a mix of the two) with virtually no downtime, you can quickly and seamlessly respond to
growing capacity demands. This scalability also improves overall system performance by distributing the server’s I/O requests
across a greater number of drives.
In addition to DDP, DS Storage Manager has fully integrated
features that allow administrators to choose the method that
best meets their data utilization and protection requirements:
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Provides intuitive storage management
without sacrificing control
IBM System Storage DS Storage Manager software has
combined robustness with ease-of-use—two attributes not
commonly found together in entry to mid-range storage systems. The graphical user interface used by DS Storage Manager
is ideally suited for full-time storage administrators who want
complete control over their storage configurations as well as
part-time system administrators who need an intuitive interface
that helps them ensure optimal storage utilization. And with
its industry-unique dynamic capabilities, administrators can
support on-the-fly reconfigurations without interrupting
storage system input/output (I/O). New Dynamic Disk Pooling
(DDP) technology dramatically simplifies data-protection
setup and can virtually eliminate the need for unscheduled
drive maintenance. DDP is a self-healing data-protection technology that negates the need for complex RAID calculations,
fully utilizes all of the disk drives in the array and delivers
consistent system performance.
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IBM Enhanced FlashCopy® creates near-instantaneous,
capacity-efficient, point-in-time volume images that provide
logical volume for uses such as file restoration and backup
Volume Copy creates a complete physical copy—or clone—of
a volume within a storage system; this unique entity can be
assigned to any host and used for application testing or
development, information analysis or data mining
Thin provisioning with DDP helps to create the appearance
of more disk space than is actually available, which helps to
consume less space; it also offers the flexibility to increase
space as data grows
Optional premium features deliver enhanced capabilities for the
DS3500 Express system.
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Disaster Recovery option—Provides 16 Enhanced Remote
Mirrors and 32 Enhanced Global Mirrors; also offers multiple options for disaster-recovery deployment and supports
replication over Fibre Channel or IP for the DS3500 system
IBM Systems and Technology
Data Sheet
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System Storage
Backup and Restore option—Allows 512 Enhanced
FlashCopy images on the DS3500 system; Enhanced
FlashCopy technology delivers easier setup of shared versus
dedicated repositories and reduces capacity requirements and
copy-on-write capacity consumption
Performance Read Cache option—Utilizes SSDs as a leveltwo data cache, significantly improving read performance
from spinning media; Performance Read Cache is extremely
easy to set up and, once implemented, it automatically identifies the data that is read most frequently and copies it into
cache for fast access
Super Key option—Combines all of the features into one
single key for easy deployment and management
drives and enable twice as many drives to reside in the same
2U of rack space. These drives also deliver impressive IOPS
performance in a small form factor with minimal impact on
power consumption or heat dissipation.
Supports VMware and heterogeneous
operating systems
The DCS3500 Express offers the scalability, availability and
integration necessary to power VMware implementations of all
sizes. Its heterogeneous operating system support provides flexibility to manage a wide range of storage needs. It also includes
support for VMware vSphere application programming interface (API) for Array Integration. And two application-aware
plug-ins enable vCenter and Storage Replication Adapter (SRA)
for efficient management.
Energy-efficient power supplies help ensure just that—energy
efficiency. By efficiently converting AC power from electric
utilities into DC power used by the storage system, the DS3500
Express power supplies ensure that overall annual expenditures
are lower than other, less-efficient implementations. And with
low heat dissipation, the DS3500 Express serves a key role in an
overall energy-saving and green solution.
Enables energy-saving implementations
With a DC-powered model for 24-drive enclosures with
NEBS and ETSI compliance, the DS3500 Express offers savings in energy expenses, meets standard telecommunications
requirements and minimizes risk in harsh environments.
With rising energy expenses and IT space constraints, efforts
to reduce power consumption in a small IT footprint have
quickly come to the forefront as hot-button IT issues for many
organizations. To respond to these challenges, IBM has made
great strides in energy-efficient implementations with the
DS3500 Express, which introduces power-saving features
designed to have virtually no impact on performance, scalability
or functionality.
The DS3500 Express continues the tradition of superior disk
use that enables users to achieve maximum return on investment (ROI) on their storage investments. The DS series can
deliver up to two times the disk use of leading competitors,
enabling organizations to achieve maximum performance with
fewer drives and less energy consumption.
Smaller form-factor 2.5-inch SAS drives, one of multiple drives
supported by the DS3500 Express, provide up to three times
more IOPS per watt in power consumption than 3.5-inch
IBM Systems and Technology
Data Sheet
System Storage
Enables IBM DB2 Administration Server
and SAN tiering
Fully integrated into the DS Storage Manager as a premium
feature upgrade, local key management provides the necessary
management and protection of self-encrypting disk (SED)
drives by using a single authorization scheme, or lock key,
which can be set and applied to all SED drives in the
DS3500 Express. The DS Storage Manager maintains and
controls the key linkage and communications with the SED
drives, secures user-selected logical drive groups and initiates
the instant secure erase feature for users desiring even more
peace of mind when servicing, decommissioning or repurposing
drives. With local encryption services, FDE key management is
transparent to day-to-day storage administration, making SED
drives as easy to manage as traditional drives.
Administrators can now benefit from tiered IBM DB2®
Administration Server and storage area network (SAN)
implementations with multiprotocol host connectivity. The
DS3500 Express supports intermixing four 1 Gbps iSCSI,
two 10 Gbps iSCSI—dual-ported—or four 8 Gbps Fibre
Channel host ports with its native 6 Gbps SAS interfaces.
This f lexible and multipurpose dual-protocol approach enables
organizations to implement a single storage system to support
all of their shared storage requirements and helps improve productivity, reliability and cost savings. These implementations
offer additional benefits, as well:
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Enables uptime all the time
Low-cost, high-speed SAS delivers the best value and
performance for direct-attached storage implementations.
Data centers with existing IP networks or Fibre Channel
SAN infrastructures can cost-effectively implement these
additional host interfaces as required; 1 Gbps iSCSI is ideal
for low-cost implementations for secondary servers, and
Fibre Channel is well positioned for high-performance and
robust deployments.
Future-proof storage provides seamless integration to an
existing 1 Gbps iSCSI infrastructure and is ready for the
inevitable move to 10 Gbps iSCSI.
The DS3500 Express ensures continuous access to data. It carries on the IBM legacy of high-availability system design with
redundant components, automated path failover and extensive
online administration capabilities that maximize computational
efficiency and productivity, ensuring there is virtually no single
point of failure. This design helps keep these environments
universally productive. New DDP technology is standard on
the DS3500 Express and virtually eliminates maintenance
worries by self tuning, rebalancing data and maintaining
consistent performance even during drive failures.
Supports capacity needs with tiered
Offers continuous data security
In the lifecycle of a hard drive, it will, at some point, be out of
the user’s control either through theft, offsite service, repair or
disposal. The DS3500 Express combines local key management
and drive-level encryption for comprehensive data security
designed to protect data throughout the life of the drive without sacrificing storage system performance or ease of use.
The DS3500 Express can cost-effectively support an organization’s complete range of data capacity requirements—from
nearline static data to highly used applications—through support for mixed drive types in a single storage system. The
DS3500 Express accomplishes this with support for highperformance SAS drives, nearline SAS drives, SSDs and SED
drives. Nearline SAS drives are also the clear replacement of
SATA drives. Competitively priced to SATA drives, nearline
SAS drives significantly outperform SATA and do so with
greater reliability.
Full disk encryption (FDE) provides data security at the most
basic level—the hard drive. FDE protects against many exposures and vulnerabilities all at once. This drive-level encryption
helps ensure data security in the event of a drive loss, theft or
retirement. The FDE engine performs encryption without a
performance penalty, which gives you the highest levels of data
security while retaining optimal performance.
IBM Systems and Technology
Data Sheet
System Storage
Now you can address even more granular and specific requirements for your application needs, whether they include security
for data at rest, leading performance or energy efficiency. This
exciting capability maximizes storage density and provides a
more efficient use of enclosures when implementing a tiered
storage solution.
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Centralizes storage device management
IBM Tivoli® Storage Productivity Center for Disk Select
V4.2.2 is designed to provide storage device configuration,
performance monitoring and management of SAN-attached
devices from a single console. In addition, it includes performance-monitoring capabilities for the DS3500 Express.
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Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Disk Select V4.2.2
provides the following features:
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Continuous real-time monitoring and fault identification to
improve SAN availability
Performance reporting across multiple arrays from a single
Monitoring of metrics such as throughput, I/O, data rates and
cache use
Reception of timely alerts that can enable event action based
on policies when thresholds are exceeded
Improved storage ROI by helping to keep SANs up and
Reduced storage administration costs by simplifying the management of complex SANs
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Handles key applications and workloads
The DS3500 Express offers these additional capabilities:
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Consolidation and virtualization: Balanced performance, lowcost consolidation and unparalleled configuration flexibility
make the DS3500 Express ideally suited for smaller consolidation and virtualization implementations in which an
individual storage system supports diverse workloads and
application requirements.
Departmental and remote sites: The DS3500 Express offers
the right amount of performance, simplicity and functionality
that a part-time administrator can use at a price that won’t
break an organization’s budget, allowing multiple sites to be
Transactional workloads: Efficient IOPS make the
DS3500 Express well suited for transactional workloads—
including online transaction processing, databases and
email—that are the core of every organization’s critical
Data warehousing: Solid throughput, 6 Gbps SAS, 8 Gbps
Fibre Channel and 10 Gbps iSCSI interfaces make the
DS3500 Express well suited for data-warehousing environments in which an individual storage system must process
large amounts of data.
Business-critical applications: With bullet-proof reliability,
support for SED drives and exceptional uptime, the
DS3500 Express supports business-critical applications where
data must be protected and available when needed.
Secondary storage: Support for redundant array of independent disks (RAID) 6, DDP and native language SAS drives
means the DS3500 Express can store large amounts of data
cost effectively, with confidence that it is fully protected.
Clustered topologies: SAS-based shared storage and Fibre
Channel or iSCSI SAN implementations are ideal for
clustering solutions such as Microsoft Cluster Server and
Oracle Real Application Clusters when transitioning from a
direct-attached storage implementation.
Streaming video: Large-block I/O applications, such as
world-class broadcasting, rich-media storage networks,
content creation, modeling and publishing benefit from the
additional bandwidth that the DS3500 Express series offers.
Data mining: With Fibre Channel and SAS host connectivity,
organizations can accelerate and scale simulation, visualization, modeling and rendering applications easily to accelerate
large dataset I/O rates, as well as cost-effectively scale and
share information across the organization for high-level
IBM Systems and Technology
Data Sheet
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System Storage
Backup and restore: With the ability to mirror data between
storage systems over IP and/or Fibre Channel host ports,
the DS3500 Express can support short backup windows and
recovery times for high productivity.
Storage solution: The DS3500 Express offers enhanced
Tivoli Storage FlashCopy services, thin provisioning and
advanced software features for small and mid-size businesses.
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Data protection: The DS3500 Express offers simplified
provisioning, improved rebuild times and more consistent
performance under failure via selectable disk pooling.
Campus area replication: When replicating data across a
high-speed Fibre Channel SAN or IP networks, data can be
mirrored synchronously, ensuring that remote sites have the
exact same data as the local site at all times.
IBM System Storage DS3500 Express at a glance
Part number
1746A2S DS3512 Express Single Controller Storage System
1746A2D DS3512 Express Dual Controller Storage System
1746A4S DS3524 Express Single Controller Storage System
1746A4D DS3524 Express Dual Controller Storage System
1746T4D DS3524 Express DC Dual Controller Storage System
RAID controller
Single or dual active, hot-swappable controllers
1 gigabyte (GB) cache per controller with 2 GB upgrade (battery-backed)
Host interface
Four options:
Four or eight 6 Gbps SAS ports
Eight 8 Gbps Fibre Channel ports and four 6 Gbps SAS ports
Eight 1 Gbps iSCSI ports and four 6 Gbps SAS ports
Four 10 Gbps iSCSI ports and four 6 Gbps SAS ports
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Drive interface
Single controller subsystem: One 6 Gb SAS drive port
Dual controller subsystem: Two 6 Gb SAS drive ports
Supported drives
6 Gbps SAS 3.5-inch drives:
300 GB 15k rpm
450 GB 15k rpm
600 GB 15k rpm
2 TB 7.2k rpm nearline
3 TB 7.2k rpm nearline
600 GB 15k rpm SED
6 Gbps SAS 2.5-inch drives:
300 GB 10k rpm
600 GB 10k rpm
900 GB 10k rpm
500 GB 7.2k rpm nearline
300 GB 10k rpm SED
1 TB 7.2k rpm nearline
Solid-state SAS 2.5-inch drives:*
200 GB SSD
400 GB SSD
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IBM Systems and Technology
Data Sheet
System Storage
IBM System Storage DS3500 Express at a glance
Data protection levels
RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 10 and/or DDP
Software features
Thin provisioning with DDP, 128 storage partitions, 32 Enhanced FlashCopy images, host-attachment support for
Microsoft Windows and Linux on Intel with firmware 7.84 and higher
Maximum drives supported
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Up to 192 drives—high-performance SAS drives, nearline SAS drives, SSDs and SED SAS drives
EXP3512 (2U 12 3.5-inch drives) and EXP3524 (2U 24 2.5-inch drives) enclosures, which can be intermixed
behind a DS3500 Express enclosure
Fans and power supplies
Dual redundant, hot-swappable
Rack support
2U, 19-inch, industry-standard rack
Management software
IBM System Storage DS Storage Manager
SAN support
Supported Fibre Channel switches and directors, and IP switches
Three-year parts and labor warranty, 9x5 next business day, upgradable to 24x7 with four-hour response
Physical characteristics
Dimensions (H × W × D)
DS3512: 86.16 mm × 482.47 mm × 551.60 mm (3.39 in. × 18.99 in. × 21.72 in.)
DS3524: 88.07 mm × 482.10 mm × 497.93 mm (3.47 in. × 18.98 in. × 19.60 in.)
Supported systems
For a list of currently supported servers, operating systems, host bus adapters, clustering applications and SAN
switches and directors, refer to the DS3500 Express Interoperability Matrix.
Model description
Model includes
Drive enclosure
6 Gb SAS
External security manager-embedded
Relative humidity (no
EXP3512/EXP3524 drive enclosure
Operating range
20% – 80%
Storage range
10% – 90%
Maximum dew point
26°C (79°F)
Maximum gradient
10% per hour
Altitude ranges
30.5 m below sea level to 3,048 m above sea level (100 ft below to 10,000 ft above)
30.5 m below sea level to 3,048 m above sea level (100 ft below to 10,000 ft above)
30.5 m below sea level to 12,000 m above sea level (100 ft below to 40,000 ft above)
The tabulated power and heat dissipation values are the maximum measured operating power.
Acoustic noise
EXP3512/EXP3524 drive enclosure
Sound power
6.5 bel
Sound pressure
65 dBA
Power input
EXP3512/EXP3524 drive enclosure
Nominal voltage range
90 – 264 V ac
Frequency range
50 – 60 Hz
Maximum operating current
3.90 A at 115 V ac
2.06 A at 230 V ac
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