Purchase Guide: IBM System Storage DCS3700 – Specifications and Reviews

After the debut of IBM System Storage DCS3700, IBM added a new variant to its DS family with features for entry-level and mid-range storage systems. DCS stands for Deep Computing Storage. IBM System Storage DCS3700 perfectly matches the entry-level and mid-range Storage Area Network (SAN). Having a mutually shared Storage Manager by DS3000 and DS5000 storage subsystems is a hybrid between the DS3000 and DS5000 storage subsystems, with remote mirroring and copy services utility incorporated in both platforms.

Modern times require efficient computing with massive amounts of data and faster access. Low-latency application performance in platforms intended for the medical field, real-time analytics, seismic processing, weather forecasting, telecommunications, and stock markets demand high-end storage modules. In addition, enterprises are desperately searching for 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 regarding performance and capacity within their dimensional limitations. Introduced for applications with high-end live data streams, the DCS3700 ensures rich storage space, low TDP, and promising performance. Organizations can now capitalize on enormous storage solutions by improving their storage density, reducing operational costs, and not compromising 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 entry-level or mid-range deployments. With one of the best file systems, the IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS), the DCS3700 storage subsystem assists businesses in optimizing their workflow structure and handling massive amounts of data while ensuring easy access to the stored data. With GPFS clustered file management, DCS3700 features a highly scalable and dense storage facility.

The DCS3700 is considered the first dual-active storage subsystem in the entry-level or mid-range segment because it has two intelligent array controllers, rich space for 180 or 360 drives, and Performance Controllers. The DCS3700 storage subsystem has machine type 1818-80C, and its expansion unit has 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 drive interfaces.
  • Compatibility for low-power, durable, and high-speed solid-state drives (SSDs).

IBM DCS3700 – Components & Utilities

The DCS3700 storage server has a 4U rack-mountable casing, two RAID controllers, two power supply units (PSUs), and space for around 60 storage modules. Each enclosure can store a minimum of 20 drives.

RAID controllers

DCS3700 offers two different RAID modules:

  • Dual-active, intelligent array controllers with 2 GB (upgradeable to 4 GB) provide 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. They 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 process continuity.

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 a 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. Integrating up to two DCS3700 Expansion Units can increase the physical storage volume 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.