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.
IBM Systems Storage Software Blog
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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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Often data center managers find it difficult to accommodate data growth, while maintaining high levels of storage service and availability. In addition to these challenges, new IT initiatives such as virtualization and cloud services introduce additional complexity to already stressed out administrative staff.environment.
IBM's Integrated Service Management solutions can help organizations realize the full potential of their business by providing a holistic approach to delivering and managing IT services. Specifically, IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center is designed to equip today’s IT organizations with critical capabilities for visibility, control and automation in the storage
Download and read the latest white paper "Gain visibility, control and automation in your storage environment"
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In my earlier post – Eliminate management inefficiencies and complexities associated with your cloud foray – I briefly touched upon ‘storage tiering reports’. Now these reports are available as part of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center v4.2.2 announcement this week. In one of the latest Storage Wave studies by The InfoPro, it points out to ‘Tiered Storage Build Out’ as one of the top 3 initiatives among storage managers. Yet in a complex, virtualized environment, having complete visibility and control over storage tiering can be challenging.
• Are the backend subsystems optimally utilized
• Does moving a certain workload to low cost storage impact service levels
• How to level out performance in a certain pool
• Which data groups can be moved to an alternate tier of storage
Image: Sample tiering distribution report
To read more about Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, click here.
IBM announces Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Select - a comprehensive storage management software that offers advanced provisioning, performance management, capacity optimization and reporting capabilities. Select includes all key capabilities of Basic Edition, Disk and Data modules of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center family, and is conveniently packaged for ‘per enclosure’ licensing.
Learn more about Select. Download Select data sheet.
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In continuation to my earlier post – Eliminate management inefficiencies and complexities associated with your cloud foray, I would like to go ahead and call out some of the advanced capabilities that Tivoli Storage Productivity Center offers.
Ron’s recent post on choosing the right storage hypervisor points out to ‘comprehensive performance monitoring’ as one of the key capabilities you need to successfully deploy cloud storage. This thought reinforces the need for sophisticated tools that can help you significantly reduce the burden on storage configuring (think of best practices) and performance monitoring.
Bottle neck analysis
It’s no longer the network administrator – when the system response is poor, it’s the storage administrator who gets the call. Especially in a virtualized environment, it is essential to have performance monitoring tools that provide a quick yet comprehensive view of the data path – to ascertain any bottlenecks. With Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, you will be able to see where the bottlenecks have occurred, for example one storage subsystem may be over utilized while another is underutilized.
Data Path Explorer offers detailed view of all the storage entities and their connectivity. It provides you performance information across the entire data path – from host to array – and allows to drill down and view performance metrics at the port-level. Standard Edition, the advanced module within Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, offers advanced reporting capabilities on bottleneck analysis.
According to a storage manager at a leading medical university, “With Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, I can quickly determine if there exists a bottleneck in the SAN infrastructure. Earlier it could take me days or sometimes weeks to figure that out. Now, I can do it in minutes”.
If you have recently deployed Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, make use of IBM’s Value Pack service offerings, which provide analysis of disk subsystem performance bottlenecks using native product tools. Talk to your IBM sales representative or IBM business partner for more information.
Configure your SAN the best practices way
I touched upon the SAN Planner topic briefly in my previous post – and would like to delve little deeper in this one. As mentioned earlier, SAN Planner is a wizard-based tool that assists storage administrators in end-to-end planning involving all storage components and related networks. SAN Planner helps implement best practices pertaining to replication relationships; it utilizes current and historical performance metrics to recommend the best configuration while commissioning new storage systems.
There are three planners associated with recommending storage configuration changes, which are based on current workloads, capacity utilization and best practices:Volume Planner – helps administrators in provisioning storage based on capacity, compression, RAID levels, etc. It includes replication planning as well, supporting sessions such as Metro Mirror, Global Mirror and FlashCopy.
Zone Planner – provides zoning and LUN masking configuration support.
Path Planner – assists in planning and implementing storage provisioning for hosts and storage systems with mutilpath support in fabrics.
All the three planners can be invoked separately or together in an integrated manner from Tivoli Storage Productivity Center console. Learn more about these planners and their capabilities: download the latest Redbooks.
As you can see, configuring SAN with Tivoli Storage Productivity Center is a child’s play, isn’t it? But can you check whether current SAN configuration conforms to best practices? Yes you can!
SAN Configuration Analyzer provides end-to-end check for configuration policies, ensures the correctness of storage network configurations, such as zoning, multipathing and replication. In addition, the tool sends alerts to administrators when the best practices are violated.
Storage networks are undergoing significant changes more often to accommodate changes in business policies and the ever growing data. Administrators are challenged to track configuration changes for problem determination, change management or auditing purposes. Tivoli Storage Productivity Center offers SAN Configuration History Viewer to provide a historic view of changes and eliminate time gap in determining problem areas associated with configuration changes.
To learn more about the IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Select Series, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit ibm.com.
Click here to join the virtual dialogue on Storage Hypervisor; share your thoughts and concerns in our group chat on October 7, 2011 from 12 noon to 1pm Eastern Time. You can log in now for a preview of topics.
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While storage on cloud is a promising thought, the ensuing complexity associated with monitoring, managing and reporting the storage sprawl acts as a significant deterrent. Organizations need to equip their environment with robust storage resource management application that can withstand business demands, offer comprehensive visibility across the data path, and scale as their storage network expands. Fellow IBMer Ron Riffe in his recent blog on Storage Hypervisor wrote about the importance of management controls and highlighted some of the key capabilities of IBM’s storage resource management offering - Tivoli Storage Productivity Center.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center supports both IBM and other-vendor storage devices that are compliant with SMI-S standards, and offers integrated storage infrastructure management capabilities that simplifies, automates, and optimizes the management of storage devices, storage networks, and capacity utilization of file systems and databases.
I am going to highlight the 4 key capabilities administrators would require should they pursue to put their storage on cloud…
Self service provisioningTivoli Storage Productivity Center enables automated discovery and wizard-based provisioning of storage systems, enabling administrators to effectively provision new storage through best-practice methods, often including disaster recovery planning while provisioning.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center offers the SAN Planner that assists the administrator in end-to-end planning involving fabrics, hosts, storage controllers, storage pools, volumes, paths, ports, zones, zone sets, storage resource groups (SRGs), and replication The SAN Planner provides recommendations for creating and provisioning VDisks with the recommended I/O group and preferred node for each VDisk.
Combining Tivoli Storage Productivity Center with Tivoli Provisioning Manager, storage administrators have a powerful way to simplify the provisioning of storage. Automated work flows can be created that can utilize custom scripts and customer processes, including storage administrator and/or systems administrator sign off. The Tivoli Storage Productivity Center-Tivoli Provisioning Manager native integration enables storage administrators to allow application owners to procure and provision the storage space they need, the type of storage they need, the throughput that is expected and the price specifications to suit their business priorities.
To read more about SAN Planner, click here.
Storage tiering reports (to be announced on Oct 14, 2011)Storage tiering reports was developed by IBM Systems Lab Services under the larger theme known as STAR – Storage Tiering Activity Reporter, which provides decision support for data placement, and enables administrators to optimize resource utilization in terms of capacity and throughput.
Storage tiering reports help administrators to leverage storage virtualization and insights from Tivoli Storage Productivity Center to
• Identify data that could be moved to an alternate tier of storage or less active Managed Disk Group
• Identify the hottest and coolest Managed Disk Groups and Virtual Disks based on performance to assist in up tiering, down tiering and re-tiering decisions
• Provides capability to make “proactive” volume placement decisions
• Understand the performance stress on the hardware in comparison to its capability
A large European Telecommunications giant benefited from a 45% decline in storage acquisition cost in the first deployment translating into 55% discounted cash flow saving for a 4 year TCO evaluation.
Ensuring storage service levelsContinuous performance monitoring and reporting is key to business continuity and maintaining service levels in a cloud environment. Tivoli Storage Productivity Center provides end-to-end visibility to administrators from a single management console, including detailed performance metrics, data path and system connectivity, impact analysis and historical trending.
Administrators can ensure storage devices, storage networks and attached devices are performing in an optimized state, by setting different levels of thresholds for different storage entities based on the criticality of the asset. Alerts are generated when these thresholds are exceeded, duly notifying administers of potential impact and downtime. Tivoli Storage Productivity Center also offers policy-based event action that is based on performance values and business policies.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center provides storage utilization insights from raw performance data against proven models to predict the utilization of components within the subsystem. This feature provides a unique “heat map” style of display that makes it easier for administrators to narrow in on storage “hot spots”, and thus more easily identify risks and discover both under- and over-utilized areas of the storage infrastructure.
To learn more about Storage Optimizer, click here.
ChargebackIn a cloud environment, administrators are challenges to create and manage shared storage services that can be charged back to users based on consumption. When usage varies between departments or businesses, storage administrators require chargeback capabilities in order to simplify departmental allocation and manage capacity utilization.
Through integration with Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager, Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Data enables storage administrators to understand storage usage and perform cost allocation or chargeback users of storage. These solutions help support storage administrators in their efforts to track, allocate and bill different departments and lines of business based on multiple usage metrics. As a result, the organization can better align the storage infrastructure with overall business objectives and be better prepared to meet future requirements.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Data supports multi-tenancy requirements, allowing cloud storage administrators to manage and track storage usage for multiple clients simultaneously. Advanced multi-customer support capabilities enable organizations to charge in different currencies and to charge different rates for the same service, as well as providing cloud consumers with price breakdowns for resources used and resources reserved for future use. The solution supports large data centers as well as public and hybrid cloud environments.
Click here to download the white paper ‘Optimizing capacity and management of file systems and databases’.
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IT managers are broadly exploiting virtual server infrastructures -- hypervisors -- to improve efficiency, provide for transparent mobility, and give common manageability and capabilities regardless of type of server hardware being used. These same robust benefits are now available for virtual storage infrastructures with the IBM storage hypervisor (System Storage SAN Volume Controller and its management console the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center).
Listen to the webcast to understand how the IBM storage hypervisor can be a complimentary next step in the overall IT environment virtualization process.
Click and learn more about IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller and IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center. Please reach out to IBM sales or IBM business partners to understand how IBM storage hypervisor solution can benefit your organization's effort to virtualize and efficiently manage storage.
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Now available! A video that showcases the ease of installing Tivoli Storage Productivity Center suite on to a Windows server. The video, created by Mike Griese, captures some key developments as part of version 4.2:
- No need for Common Agent Manager
- Fewer values to enter on setup screens
- Faster overall installation time
The video takes you through a step-by-step, wizard-based installation of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, Tivoli Integrated Portal and Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Replication.
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Tivoli announces the availability of two white papers for Tivoli Storage Productivity Center.
To access more related white papers, click here.
Tier 1 analyst report places IBM in the ‘Leader’ quadrant in the evaluation of the storage resource management software market
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In the 2010 Magic Quadrant for Storage Resource Management and SAN Management Software, Gartner positions IBM in the ‘Leader’ quadrant.
The report reflects the enhancements IBM has delivered in the recently announced Tivoli Storage Productivity Center version 4.2. The new version comes packed with enhancements that include superior management control, expanded storage device support, and automated end-to-end storage provisioning.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center offers open, standards-based, scalable management capability for heterogeneous physical and virtual storage environments, enabling you to achieve the three tenets of effective storage management. Simplify storage deployment and management by reducing implementation time and operational complexities. Optimize storage performance and utilization to significantly improve uptime of mission-critical applications. Centralize end-to-end storage management of IBM, and non-IBM systems that comply with SMI-S standards.
Gartner’s 'Leader' rating of IBM’s TPC validates…
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center suite includes products to specifically manage Data, Disk and Replication. For more information on TPC, visit ibm.com. To download the 2010 Gartner report, click here.
Note: The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.
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I have been working in storage and storage management my entire career (which has been more years than I want to admit) and I was recently advised by a wise co-worker to start writing about it. Although blogging has been around for quite some time and has certainly increased in popularity in recent years, this is the first time I have braved this form of communication. I stared at a blank blinking cursor for inspiration and decided to write about one of my favorite storage products, the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center.
Several weeks ago IBM announced the new 4.2 release of Tivoli Storage Productivity Center. This release includes some interesting enhancements that I am excited to see in the product. One feature that has received a lot of buzz is the lightweight storage resource agents. TPC started down the path of lighter agents when they introduced a slimmer, but not completely lightweight version of the agents by moving from Java to C for enhanced performance. These new agents were limited to Windows, AIX, and Linux. The new 4.2 release added HP-UX and Solaris support as well as support for file and database-level management. The new release is backward compatible meaning that customers who want to continue using agents they set up previously can do so. New customers are no longer required to use the Common Agent Manager.
TPC 4.2 has introduced full support for XIV devices. TPC 4.1 did have toleration support for XIV (basic discovery and capacity information), but the new release you can provision, get performance information, and use the data path explorer for your XIV machine.
If you have TPC deployed on a System Storage Productivity Center (SSPC) can upgrade at any time. Customers buying a new SSPC machine after September 3, 2010 will automatically have TPC 4.2 pre-installed on the machine.
I could say a lot more about the new TPC 4.2 release, but instead I am going to point you to a wonderful blog entry that my colleague, Tony Pearson, wrote when the new release was announced. He provides some great insights about the new features in TPC 4.2.
Wow - I made it to the end of my first blog and I am beginning to understand why blogging has become so popular. I am starting to wonder why it took me so long to write my first blog?