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4 minute read3 Ways to Add Capacity to Your IBM Storage System

So you’ve been working with your certified IBM business partner for 15 years, and it’s been a very pleasant relationship. After all, IBM VARs are great for consulting you through a project, providing the necessary hardware and software, helping you implement the solution, and supporting that solution afterwards.

However, on this particular occasion, you just want to add some capacity to one of your existing storage systems without having to pay the typical premiums associated with that level of service. You need it quickly, and you don’t think it should be a big ordeal.

Fortunately, you’re already on the right track. Here are three easy ways to add capacity without the budgetary pains of services and additional maintenance.

1. Fill Out A Tray With Used Or New-Overstock Drives

This is as easy as it gets.

IBM support or maintenance costs are associated with the storage system itself and the number of enclosures (aka shelves, drawers, trays, expansions) attached to it–not the number of drives. Suppose you own a DS5100 of DS5300 with four fully populated EXP5000s (meaning all 16 slots in each enclosure are filled with drives) and one EXP5000 with just eight 300GB 15K fibre channel drives in it. You can buy up to eight more new or used IBM drives from Reliant at a significant cost savings, and the only price you’ll see is the price of the new hardware. Best of all, the drives will instantly be supported under your existing contract (this is because you’re already paying the support cost for the enclosure and everything in it). Just pop in the drives yourself, and you’ve avoided all fees associated with the upgrade–except for what you really needed.

2. Swap Out Small Drives For Large Drives

Your DS4700 used to be production storage, but not anymore. The controller is internally holding 16 small fibre channel spindles, and you have three EXP810s attached that are also filled with small spindles. If only you could somehow find a use for it. There’s good news: You can!

Again, you’re already paying for support on the system and its enclosures. Why not just swap out the drives? In the case of the DS4700 and DS4800, the systems can support fibre channel or SATA capacity without an additional license. With 2TB SATA drives now more affordable than ever, make the swap and increase your capacity dramatically. Your maintenance costs won’t increase, and you might even get some trade-in value for your old drives.

3. Add Another Tray

Granted, it’s not quite as simple as the first two options, but it’s definitely not complicated enough to warrant the pricey services of your IBM VAR.

Reliant can add an enclosure with drives to any existing storage system in the DS3000, DS4000, DS5000, or DS8000 line. For installation, you have the do-it-yourself option if internal expertise allows. If not, you can use your IBM business partner or use Reliant at a reduced rate. Regardless of which you choose, it’s still worth saving money on the hardware.

In some cases, Reliant can even provide enclosures with years of IBM warranty remaining. Otherwise, you’ll have no problem adding the additional hardware to your current support contract. Reliant storage consultants can even walk you through the process.


Remember: IBM VARs are great resources, but they’re not necessary for every project. Reliant is there to keep capacity upgrades simple and affordable.

Need help planning or additional information? Talk to a dedicated Reliant Storage Specialist today to get expert adviceand ensure you have the storage you need at a price you can afford.

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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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About Reliant Technology

As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.