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 provisioning
Tivoli 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 levels
Continuous 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
In 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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