Data centers across enterprises are witnessing unprecedented data growth, which translates to increased costs and management complexity. One of the leading analyst groups, the Evaluator Group, has analyzed the storage resource management (SRM) software space and created a detailed insight report to outline how the SRM segment is evolving, and why it is important that storage managers need to have a storage strategy aided with a comprehensive tool such as IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center to better manage future challenges.
Download this report here, compliments of IBM.
What's more? In addition to simplified management of capacity, performance and provisioning of storage infrastructure, Tivoli Storage Productivity Center V5.1 also enables comprehensive storage replication management.
In many enterprises today, storage replication is riddled with manual errors and/or poorly written in-house scripts that often provide no view of overall copy environment status. Additionally, setup and ongoing management of large-scale copy services is increasingly becoming cumbersome.
To learn more about TPC's advanced replication management capabilities, tune into the upcoming webinar "Simplified storage replication for high data availability" through Tivoli User Community on Nov 13, 2012 at 11AM ET. Click here to register for this event.
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In many organizations today, storage replication is riddled with manual errors and/or poorly written in-house scripts that often provide no view of overall copy environment status. Additionally, setup and ongoing management of large-scale copy services is increasingly becoming cumbersome. Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC) enables simplified yet comprehensive control over replication process. With the release of TPC v5.1 in June 2012, the replication management capabilities are now well integrated into the TPC core license.
TPC extends support for FlashCopy, Metro Mirror, Global Mirror, and Metro Global Mirror sessions. While providing central view of the replication environment, TPC provides end-to-end management and tracking of copy services, including both planned and unplanned disaster recovery procedures. In addition, TPC enables practice volume sessions that allow storage managers to test their DR environment without interfering with daily DR operations.
The following new capabilities were added to TPC v5.1:
Failover operations that are managed by other applications
Applications such as the IBM Series i Toolkit, VMware Site Recovery Manager, and Veritas Cluster Server manage failover operations for certain session types and storage systems. If an application completes a failover operation for a session, the ‘Severe’ status is displayed for the session. An error message is also generated for the role pairs for which the failover occurred.
Additional support for space-efficient volumes in remote copy sessions
You can use extent space-efficient volumes as copy set volumes for the following IBM System Storage® DS8000® session types:
• FlashCopy® (System Storage DS8000 6.2 or later)
• Metro Mirror (System Storage DS8000 6.3 or later)
• Global Mirror or Metro Global Mirror (System Storage DS8000 6.3 or later)
Reflash After Recover option for Global Mirror Failover/Failback with Practice sessions
You can use the Reflash After Recover option with System Storage DS8000 version 4.2 or later. Use this option to create a FlashCopy replication between the I2 and J2 volumes after the recovery of a Global Mirror Failover/Failback with Practice session. If you do not use this option, a FlashCopy replication is created only between the I2 and H2 volumes.
No Copy option for Global Mirror with Practice and Metro Global Mirror with Practice sessions
You can use the No Copy option with System Storage DS8000 version 4.2 or later. Use this option if you do not want the hardware to write the background copy until the source track is written to. Data is not copied to the I2 volume until the blocks or tracks of the H2 volume are modified.
Recovery Point Objective Alerts option for Global Mirror sessions
You can use the Recovery Point Objective Alerts option with IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server® Model 800, System Storage DS8000, and System Storage DS6000™. Use this option to specify the length of time that you want to set for the recovery point objective (RPO) thresholds. The values determine whether a Warning or Severe alert is generated when the RPO threshold is exceeded for a role pair. The RPO represents the length of time in seconds of data exposure that is acceptable in the event of a disaster.
Learn about these enhancements and more here.
For more information on TPC, visit ibm.com. Download the 2012 Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Storage Resource Management and SAN Management Software, compliments of IBM, here.
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Watch IBM CIO talk about IBM's data management challenges, and how Tivoli Storage Solutions enable data protection, improved capacity utilization and cost optimization.
For more information, visit ibm.com.
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Mike Griese, TPC Product Manager, presented Tivoli Storage Productivity Center v5.1 to a huge gathering at IBM Edge on the opening day. The video is now available on Youtube.
To view more videos from IBM Edge, visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/IBMEDGE2012
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Posted on behalf of Martine Wedlake, Ph.D., Storage UI Architect, IBM Software Group
From talking with customers, we know that it's really important that you find what you need quickly and easily. The original navigation structure for IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC) was built around a resource explorer model -- very much like a windows file explorer. This unfortunately, means you can have a ton of entries in the navigation that you'll need to hunt through to find anything.
For example, I took a look at one of our TPC deployments in the lab and started counting the number of clickable entries in the navigation -- I stopped counting once I got to 1000. Based on how far I got through, I'd say that there were about 1500 or so. I should point out, that this is not a particularly large deployment -- 25 storage systems, 7 servers, 4 hypervisors, 5 fabrics with 46 switches. You can expect a much larger set of entries on larger deployments.
So, we knew pretty early on that we needed to improve the navigation. To do that we switched from a resource explorer view to a by-category view. This allowed us to dramatically simplify the navigation to only 13 high-level categories and no more than two levels deep. No more hunting and pecking to find what you want!
We also made it possible to directly link to the things you want without having to go through the navigation at all. For example, for an SVC storage system's detail page you can link directly to the set of backend controllers in your environment consuming the storage. You don't need to go back out to the navigation menu and then try to track down the servers all over again. Here’s a picture:
The overall concept is whenever you see something interesting; you should be able to drill-down into it. In addition to the navigation of the product, we've spent considerable effort to make the content of the user interface easier and more intuitive; and to make it consistent with the work we had done previously on the Storwize V7000 and SAN Volume Controller user interfaces – if you've seen one of our GUIs, you'll be able to get up to speed quickly on any of the others.
To that end, we borrowed significantly from the Storwize V7000 GUI, for example: configurable tables, visual theme, embedded help system, charting and general icons. Here’s a screenshot of Storwize V7000 GUI to help show the similarities:
Beyond these cosmetic enhancements, we spent a lot of time working with our stakeholders to deliver the content in an intuitive and simplified way. Knowing what to put on the pages and how to simplify the pages involved a dramatic shift in our development process. But, before I move on to that, I really need to highlight the improvements made with reporting.
In this release, we've embraced the Tivoli Common Reporting which includes IBM Cognos. This is a huge step forward for improving your ability to view and create reports for TPC.
To start with, you will not need to know SQL or database schema to create reports -- the drag and drop interface allows you to simply incorporate the data columns you wish to show and Cognos already understands the relationships between the entities. For example, let's say you want to show the volumes connected to a given server. In Cognos, you simply add columns for the Server Name and the Storage Volume into the canvas. The tool already understands the relationships between these entities and will automatically join the data appropriately to show which volumes are mapped to which servers.
Of course, we also provide upwards of 45 or so reports out of the box for those who don't wish to create reports themselves. Another neat feature is that the reports included with TPC can be copied and edited by the built-in editor tool within Cognos, so you can take one of our reports and modify it to your liking. Here are some of the reports that are included with TPC:
Working with our customers is part of the most rewarding aspects of my work here at IBM. For this release of TPC, we employed a radically different development model from what we have done in the past. We like many in the industry used to develop in a methodology called waterfall where requirements are captured and approved at the beginning of the project which leads to a phase of high-level and low-level designs, leading eventually to development, test and delivery to customer. For this release of TPC, we wanted to include customer input throughout the development cycle -- not just at the beginning when collecting requirements.
As such, we hosted 17 sessions with 34 customers, 7 business partners and 4 internal customers spread throughout the development cycle (held monthly). We also sent developers and GUI designers out into the field to talk directly with 7 customers. From these combined sessions, we captured 261 distinct requirements and were able to contain 188 of them within the first phase of development, with 47 being deferred into the second phase. That means that 72% of the requirements are already implemented in the first phase alone, and 90% of the requirements are expected to be implemented by the second phase. This is very impressive, as compared against traditional waterfall development.
The best part of an iterative, agile approach is that we are constantly evaluating the effectiveness of the solutions. We learn right away if something isn't quite hitting the mark, and have plenty of time to make changes to improve it.
As a quick plug, it is not too late to participate in our Early Adopter Program for the next phase of TPC. Please feel free to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to participate. We would love to work with you to make TPC even better.
To learn more about TPC, visit: ibm.com/storage/software/center
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Today (June 4), IBM announces an enhanced Tivoli Storage Productivity Center v5.1 (TPC) that offers superb usability, unmatched reporting and integrated packaging like no other. Customers, sellers and partners are all excited, quite expectedly.
When we previewed the new user interface in Pulse’12, there were many in the audience who wanted to get access to it right away. The new user interface is in line with IBM’s strategy to offer consistent user experience across its major storage offerings – look and feel is great, navigation is breeze and most importantly, quick access to any information from the main dashboard is simply terrific.
With v5.1, you can access your TPC management console through web. The dashboard not only shows you the capacity and connectivity information, but also details on event alerts, with criticality info, if any.
Entity based views are quite refreshing too. Refer to the sample image below – it shows the overview of a Storwize V7000 system. From this overview screen, you can understand the utilization, activities, data throughput, among many other things.
Click here to watch a short video on ‘TPC’s new user interface’.TPC is now integrated with IBM Cognos - industry-leading business intelligence software capabilities are now brought to you to manage your storage environment more easily and efficiently. Cognos allows you to simply drag and drop metrics for you to assemble meaningful insights – and interestingly, these do not require advanced skills or writing SQL codes.
A sample report created through Cognos…
Well, now the wait is over. To get access to the new user interface and the Cognos-based reporting, talk to your IBM sales representative or IBM business partner today.
Download TPC data sheet. View the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Storage Resource Management and SAN Management Software, compliments of IBM, here.
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Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for SRM and SAN Management software is one of the leading industry publications that provides competitive benchmarking across storage management capabilities and helps support decision making for investments in storage management software. In its latest edition, Gartner positions IBM in the ‘Leader’ quadrant.
IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC) is a clear leader in the SRM market; many enterprises are using TPC today to manage their ever-growing, complex and highly critical storage environments.
TPC is designed to provide comprehensive device management capabilities that include automated system discovery, provisioning, configuration, performance monitoring and replication for storage systems and storage networks. TPC provides storage administrators a simple yet effective way to conduct storage management for multiple storage arrays and SAN fabric components from a single integrated management console.
TPC edges out all other vendors in terms of comprehensively achieving the vision for SRM. TPC provides storage management capabilities that allow administrators to efficiently simplify, centralize, optimize and automate storage management tasks. View the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Storage Resource Management and SAN Management Software, compliments of IBM, here.
If you haven’t unleashed the potential of TPC, watch out for the upcoming version 5.1 release – slated to be announced on June 4, 2012 at the IBM Edge2012.
To learn more, please register for IBM's premier storage conference: IBM Edge2012 being held June 4-8 in Orlando, Florida. This is a 4.5 day conference, 100% focused on IBM storage solutions - with many TPC 5.1 and IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center sessions and customer speakers. Tivoli speakers will be featured throughout the conference and more than 30 sessions will be focused exclusively on Tivoli’s entire suite of products, taught by IBM Distinguished Engineers, leading product experts, clients and partners. Special registration discount applies to all Pulse 2012 attendees! Register here.
Note: This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available here http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1A16V0B&ct=120405&st=sb
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose
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Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC) now enables enterprise-wide management of IBM Storwize V7000, a new and innovative midrange storage system that is ideal for customers who seek to virtualize and integrate storage systems, both IBM and non-IBM.
In addition to device-level management software that comes packaged with Storwize V7000, TPC offers incremental benefits that are included its latest version 4.2.1. TPC for Disk Midrange Edition (MRE), announced earlier this year, is ideally suited and recommended for use with Storwize V7000.
Simplified deployment and visibility
TPC for DISK MRE supports Storwize V7000 during discovery as a new device type with different types of managed disks. TPC’s quick discovery and configuration capabilities enables you to attach the storage device with ease and helps you to configure efficiently – i.e. plan for replication while provisioning the device. Disk MRE also enables Launch in Context and Single Sign-on, significantly reducing the burden on storage administrators.
TPC’s topology viewer offers a collective view that includes Storwize V7000, helps differentiate between external array-based disk and local disk, and displays tiering information. TPC for Disk MRE also extends thin provisioning support for Storwize V7000, enabling increased utilization and lowered costs.
Storwize V7000 offers unmatched performance and availability among midrange disk systems. Adding TPC for Disk MRE enhances performance monitoring by capturing metrics such as input and output (I/O) and data rates, and cache utilization from a single console. TPC helps establish threshold levels based on business priorities and alerts when these levels are breached. This helps administrators to avoid the ‘knee curves’, while proactively managing performance and service levels by tracking historical information.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Replication enables Storwize V7000 with superior disaster recovery (DR) management providing central control of the replication environment, and helps establish Flash Copy, Metro and Global Mirror relationships.
TPC for Disk MRE offers detailed metrics that include performance data for storage subsystem, controller, cache, I/O, array, disk group and port. These performance statistics can be stored in database tables for later use, so that storage administrators can track and measure service levels.
TPC for Disk MRE also provides information on Easy TierTM, a function that significantly enhances performance with automatic migration of data assets to high-performing solid state drives (SSD).
TPC Standard Edition offers performance metrics-based recommendations for provisioning, including SAN planning (and DR planning with TPC for Replication). TPC’s new ‘Disk Magic’ model helps identify ‘hot spots’, improving storage optimization for Storwize V7000.
Gartner in its 2010 Magic Quadrant for SRM and SAN Management Software rates TPC in the ‘leaders’ quadrant with an enhanced rating, highlighting IBM’s continued investment in product engineering and innovation. In case you have not viewed the report, click here.
Note: The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.