IBM launches new storage server for AI workloads

ESS 3500 is up to 12% faster than previous generation.

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

May 24, 2022

1 Min Read

ESS 3500 is up to 12% faster than previous generation.

IBM has unveiled the ESS 3500 – a new storage server designed specifically for AI training work.

The new unit houses 24 drive bays and has a maximum raw capacity of 368TB.

Making use of Spectrum Scale, IBM’s high-performance software, the ESS 3500 can achieve up to 91GB/s of throughput performance.

The system is designed to "break performance barriers" for AI – with its increased power keeping GPUs active to solve AI problems faster.

The new offering can be combined with other IBM storage units – including previous generations in the ESS line. It is also compatible with non-IBM storage. Given its improvements to GPU output, it could be paired with Nvidia DGX A100 systems – which are GPU-focused but lack storage.

The solution comes with Spectrum Scale installed on a pre-configured system, with updates delivered at speed by containerized software.

ESS 3500 key specs

System features

  • Dual 1-socket Storage Controllers, Active/Active

  • 1024 GB memory

  • De-Clustered RAID supporting erasure coding schemas: 3-way replication, 4-way replication, 4+2P, 4+3P, 8+2P, 8+3P


  • AMD 7642 48 core processor

  • Sequential read performance up to 91GB/S


  • Four x16 PCIe Gen4 adapter slots

Drive support

  • 12 or 24 NVMe SSDs (3.84TB, 7.68 TB or 15.36 TB)


  • ESS software

  • IBM Spectrum Scale for ESS

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4

Full specifications can be found here.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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