Purchase Guide: IBM DCS3700 System Storage – Specifications and Reviews

After the debut of IBM System Storage DCS3700, IBM added a new variant to its DS family having the features of both entry-level and mid-range storage systems. 

 DCS stands for Deep Computing Storage. IBM System Storage DCS3700 is the perfect match for the entry-level and mid-range Storage Area Network (SAN). For having a mutual shared Storage Manager by DS3000 and DS5000 storage subsystems, it serves as a hybrid between DS3000 and DS5000 lineup of storage subsystems, with remote mirroring and copy services utility being incorporated in both platforms. 

IBM System Storage DCS3700 – Introduction

Modern times require efficient computing with massive amounts of data and faster data access. Low-latency application performance in platforms that are intended for the medical field, real-time analytics, seismic processing, weather forecasting, telecommunications, and stock markets demand high-end storage modules. Apart from this, enterprises are desperately in search of improved ways to ensure operational efficiency in parallel with quality of service (QoS), high durability, and 24/7 availability.

The IBM System Storage DCS3700 addresses enterprise-level requirements in terms of performance and capacity within their dimensional limitations. Introduced for applications with high-end live streams of data, the DCS3700 ensures rich storage space, low TDP, and promising performance. Organizations can now capitalize on enormous storage solutions by improving their storage density, reduce operational costs, and not compromising on productivity.

The DCS3700 is intended to provide highly scalable computing environments for high-end data streaming applications. IBM offers IBM System Storage DCS9900 for enterprise-level workloads and capacity issues, so the smaller DCS3700 is introduced for the entry-level or mid-range deployments. Having one of the best file systems namely IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS), the DCS3700 storage subsystem assists businesses in optimizing their workflow structure and handling massive data while ensuring ease of access for the stored data. With GPFS clustered file management, DCS3700 features a highly scalable and dense storage facility.

The DCS3700 is considered to be the first dual-active storage subsystem in the entry-level or mid-range segment, for having two intelligent array controllers and rich space for 180 or 360 drives along with Performance Controllers. DCS3700 storage subsystem has machine type 1818-80C and its expansion unit has machine type 1818-80E. The DCS3700 storage system provides a variety of modern capabilities such as the latest firmware Version –

  • The DCS3700 features connectivity interfaces for SAS and Fibre Channel.
  • DCS3700 incorporates the storage managers and firmware versions of DS3000, DCS3700, and DS5000, providing a mutual management platform to lift the entry-level and mid-range DS families.  
  • The Dynamic Disk Pooling facility ensures easy configuration and trouble-free storage, which reduces maintenance cycles and costs.
  • The 6 GB/s SAS interface for the host and drive connectivity and 8 GB/s Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) allow the DCS3700 to be managed via IBM’s SAN Volume Controller and Storwize V7000.
  • Solve capacity issues by offering the latest, high-capacity SAS drives interfaces.
  • Compatibility for low-power, much durable, and high-speed solid-state drives (SSDs).

IBM DCS3700 – Components & Utilities

The DCS3700 storage server comes with 4U rack-mountable casing, possessing two RAID controllers, two power supply units (PSUs), and space for around 60 storage modules within. A minimum of 20 drives can be stored in each enclosure. 

RAID controllers

DCS3700 offers two different RAID modules:

  • Dual-active, intelligent array controllers with 2 GB (upgradeable to 4 GB), providing 8 GB of cache for the subsystem and support up to 180 disk drives in three enclosures.
  • Performance Module Controllers, dual-active, intelligent array controllers with up to 24 GB, providing 48 GB of total cache for the subsystem and support up to 360 disk drives in six enclosures. 

Dual controller configurations are the only compatible configuration on IBM DCS3700. Dual controller configurations provide redundant access to disk storage. In case of any controller or I/O path failure, the other controller establishes access to disk drives and ensures continuity of the process.

Power supply 

IBM DCS3700 incorporates a power supply unit (PSU) with a 1755 watt DC output. It is auto-ranging and only supports 200V to 240V AC input. 

Disk drives

The primary benefit of the DCS3700 store case is that it supports up to 60 drives in 4U form factor. The disk drives are stored at the front on five shelves. 


To ensure high density (more storage in less space), the DCS3700 Storage System offers up to 180 TB of physical capacity in a slim, 4U space. By integrating up to two DCS3700 Expansion Units, the physical storage volume can be increased to 540 TB, all within a 12U (3x 4U expansion) form. Additionally, using the Performance Modules option, integration of up to 5 DCS3700 Expansion units provides scalability up to 1 PB within (6x 4U expansion) 24U space.