IBM FlashSystem 5045 Arrives With Enhanced Data Resilience Capabilities

The Announcement

IBM releases its new entry-level FlashSystem 5045, replacing the existing FlashSystem 5035. In doing so, IBM extends its advanced data protection capabilities into its entry-level space. This brings data protection feature parity across every segment covered by the IBM FlashSystem portfolio.

IBM FlashSystem 5045 Details

Central to the new IBM FlashSystem 5045 release are a broad set of features that bring enhanced data protection and cyber-resiliency into IBM’s entry-level flash storage space. These new capabilities help IT organizations reduce the risk of disruption in the face of a data corruption issue, whether accidental or malicious.

Data protection begins with solid business practices and policies that limit the ability of a bad actor to cause harm. At the same time, security policies are only as strong as the mechanisms that enforce them. With this in mind, IBM brings multi-factor authentication (MFA), role-based access control (RBAC), and two-person integrity to its FlashSystem 5045.

MFA and RBAC are well-understood concepts in enterprise IT, and including these capabilities in the updated FlashSystem makes sense. IBM’s Two-Person Integrity is less common in storage products. Two-Person Integrity is an option that allows an IT administrator to require two independent users to agree when executing critical data functions such as deletion, encryption, or data copying. I like this feature.

Immutable snapshots are central to modern data protection, enabling storage administrators to create copies of data that can’t be altered. IBM brings immutable copies to the FlashSystem 5045 with Safeguarded Copy (SGC). SGC enables immutable and isolated copies of your data that are hidden and non-addressable. They cannot be altered, encrypted, or deleted. This allows for rapid restoration in the event of an attack or data corruption event.

IBM’s Safeguarded Copy allows the FlashSystem 5045 to take advantage of IBM’s FlashSystem Cyber Vault offering. IBM’s FlashSystem Cyber Vault automatically scans the data protected by SGC for signs of data corruption that may be introduced by malware or ransomware. Beyond identifying an attack, Cyber Vault helps determine which data copies have not been impacted. Given that the Safeguarded copies are resident on the array, FlashSystem Cyber Vault helps reduce recovery time from days to hours. The combination of Safeguarded Copy and FlashSystem Cyber Vault is a power capability.

Beyond these new features, IBM also includes FlashCopy 2.0, Remote Mirroring, Easy Tier, and data-at-rest encryption in the base system price. IBM also makes its IBM Storage Expert Care support tiers available on the FlashSystem 5045.


Data protection is often an afterthought in entry-level storage products. Vendors often up-sell software to supplement the capability gaps, creating unnecessary costs and complexity for IT administrators.

It’s nice to see IBM bringing the advanced data protection and cyber-resiliency features of its FlashSystem portfolio into the entry-level space. The new offering helps reduce the risk of disruption and financial losses due to user errors, malicious destruction, or ransomware attacks. In a time where the threat of a cyber-attack is among the top concerns of IT administrators in every organization, this is a win.

Disclosure: The author is an industry analyst, and NAND Research an industry analyst firm, that engages in, or has engaged in, research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, which may include those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.