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Converged infrastructure and data management

Optimize storage
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automated monitoring
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members, disks, volumes and volume collections.

resilience in case of a disk failure, enabling

This data is then aggrega...
Special
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Converged infrastructure and data management

Stepping up to
enterprise-class support
To maintain the per...
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Optimize Storage Performance with Automated Monitoring and Diagnostics

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In-depth monitoring and analysis are essential to effective storage management. Dell™ EqualLogic™ SAN Headquarters version 2.6 with Dell SupportAssist is designed to improve these capabilities and accelerate problem resolution for EqualLogic storage.

By Dylan Locsin, Achmad Chadran and Marc Keating

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Optimize Storage Performance with Automated Monitoring and Diagnostics

  1. 1. Special section Converged infrastructure and data management Optimize storage performance with automated monitoring and diagnostics By Dylan Locsin, Achmad Chadran and Marc Keating In-depth monitoring and analysis are essential to effective storage management. Dell™ EqualLogic™ SAN Headquarters version 2.6 with Dell SupportAssist is designed to improve these capabilities and accelerate problem resolution for EqualLogic storage. S torage uptime and availability and accelerate time to resolution. play a crucial role in optimizing SAN HQ version 2.6 with SupportAssist IT service effectiveness and technology helps simplify storage organizational productivity. To management, optimize performance help keep their Dell EqualLogic storage and boost efficiency. Also, SAN HQ area networks (SANs) running optimally, version 2.6 adds support for administrators can take advantage Microsoft® Windows Server® 2012 of the robust analytical capabilities and Windows 8 operating systems. and comprehensive monitoring and management functionality of Integrating multigroup monitoring EqualLogic SAN Headquarters SAN HQ integrates the monitoring (SAN HQ). Part of the powerful of EqualLogic PS Series storage EqualLogic portfolio of advanced deployments across multiple sites and storage management and data geographies to enhance operational protection software, the SAN HQ awareness and facilitate performance monitoring and reporting tool is optimization and capacity planning. To provided at no additional cost with support ongoing operations planning, EqualLogic PS Series storage arrays.1 trend analysis and troubleshooting, The recently released version 2.6 SAN HQ gathers and displays of SAN HQ extends administrators’ performance, utilization and event data capabilities with Dell SupportAssist, across multiple groups of EqualLogic an automated proactive support PS series arrays. Data is gathered at technology that helps identify faults multiple levels, including groups, pools, 1 For 18 “ AN HQ version 2.6 S with SupportAssist technology helps simplify storage management, optimize performance and boost efficiency.” arrays with valid support contracts, Dell EqualLogic SAN HQ can be downloaded at eqlsupport.dell.com. 2013 Issue 03 | Dell.com/powersolutions Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2013 Issue 3. Copyright © 2013 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. members, disks, volumes and volume collections. resilience in case of a disk failure, enabling This data is then aggregated into a centralized, easy- administrators to analyze the overall reliability and to-use console designed to provide administrators effectiveness of current RAID policies. with a single-pane-of-glass view of their entire RAID Evaluator is also designed to EqualLogic storage environment, including forecast performance and reliability impacts performance, capacity and alert information. This from potential RAID policy changes. Using ready access to integrated system intelligence information from RAID Evaluator, administrators and storage operations information allows can apply different RAID policies to individual administrators to view system health at a glance. members in a group or pool and evaluate The Live View feature captures and displays both the performance benefits and the impact detailed, near-real-time diagnostics information on reliability for each choice. This capability to accelerate problem diagnosis and resolution. helps administrators choose the RAID policies Administrators can run one or more Live View that are most appropriate for specific usage sessions, each of which can monitor either a requirements (see figure). single member or a single volume. A rapid polling In addition, SAN HQ version 2.6 includes the rate enables Live View to establish a baseline Experimental Analysis function, which estimates and capture performance spikes that deliver an the maximum theoretical I/Os per second extremely detailed view of member or volume (IOPS) for a particular storage configuration. The status. For a view of storage arrays during normal function uses historical workload information to operations, Normalized View Reporting — also determine the potential performance headroom called 95th-percentile reporting — factors out available for growth. These analyses help data spikes; these spikes occur infrequently, often administrators obtain directional indications about comprise the top 5 percent of data I/O and do not how much additional workload their existing pool reflect most typical I/O patterns. structures can handle. Based on these indications, To help administrators assess current system administrators can determine if any changes are performance and reliability, as well as plan for necessary to support new requirements, such as future capacity requirements, SAN HQ includes rebalancing workloads across pools or adding advanced analytical and predictive capabilities. hardware to an existing pool. For example, version 2.6 of SAN HQ enhances To facilitate the analysis of performance metrics, the utility’s RAID Evaluator feature with RAID SAN HQ can archive existing storage performance reliability reporting capabilities. The updated data to be accessed offline. Administrators can RAID Evaluator calculates a RAID policy reliability combine this storage performance data with score that indicates the current configuration’s server and application performance data collected RAID Evaluator assesses the performance and reliability of different RAID levels to aid in RAID policy configuration. Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2013 Issue 3. Copyright © 2013 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. Dell.com/powersolutions | 2013 Issue 03 19
  3. 3. Special section Converged infrastructure and data management Stepping up to enterprise-class support To maintain the performance and and stability of their critical systems, as availability of Dell EqualLogic storage well as maximize their workload availability. arrays, administrators need to stay ahead Key additional features of ProSupport Plus of problems that can put daily operations include the following: at risk. A feature of EqualLogic SAN Headquarters (SAN HQ) version 2.6, • A dedicated technical account manager Dell SupportAssist provides problem as a single point of contact for enterprise- identification and automatic case creation class support for EqualLogic arrays covered by the Dell ProSupport service offering. In addition, SupportAssist enables advanced reporting and recommendations for customer • Immediate access to elite ProSupport Plus engineers for quick and efficient resolutions • Monthly contract and support-history organizations as part of the Dell reporting to aid in budgeting, planning ProSupport Plus service. and recommendations based on ProSupport Plus offers levels of support and service beyond those already trends and best practices across the Dell customer base enjoyed by ProSupport customers. This comprehensive offering is designed to help For more information about ProSupport Plus, organizations improve the performance visit Dell.com/prosupportplus. by the Dell Performance Analysis Collection Kit issues and create support cases without manual (DPACK).2 Using SAN HQ in conjunction with intervention. (For more information about Dell DPACK enables administrators to compare ProSupport Plus, see the sidebar, “Stepping up to server segments and storage segments within enterprise-class support.”) their environments. They can then use this In a traditional support scenario, resolving comprehensive, systemwide view of performance technical problems often includes time- to assess current usage, diagnose bottlenecks, consuming, back-and-forth communication identify trends and plan for future requirements. between the organization and the technology Administrators can share SAN HQ and DPACK vendor. For example, if a component such as a archives with Dell service and sales support experts hard disk should malfunction, the administrator for additional analytical and planning expertise. typically notifies the vendor of the failure. After the vendor verifies support entitlement Automating problem resolution and creates a case, the administrator uploads Version 2.6 of SAN HQ introduces the configuration and diagnostic information and implementation of the SupportAssist automated communicates with the vendor by phone proactive support capability for EqualLogic or email to troubleshoot the issue until it is storage. Available as part of the Dell ProSupport resolved. This process can involve considerable and ProSupport Plus service offerings, time and distract IT administrative resources SupportAssist is designed to proactively identify from value-added initiatives. 2 For more information on DPACK, see “Fine-tuning IT infrastructure through rapid system assessment,” by Sam Kirchoff and Joanna Norling, in Dell Power Solutions, 2011 Issue 4, qrs.ly/k33gwq3. 20 2013 Issue 03 | Dell.com/powersolutions Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2013 Issue 3. Copyright © 2013 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Hardware devices Servers Storage Networking Dell PowerEdge Dell PowerVault™ Dell EqualLogic Dell Networking Management consoles with SupportAssist Dell OpenManage Essentials Converged Monitoring and data collection Dell EqualLogic SAN Headquarters Secure transport Case creation and proactive resolution Support customer relationship management (CRM) integration Analysis and trending SupportAssist intelligence engine Enhanced performance Recommendations and reporting Part of a broad support initiative, Dell SupportAssist provides integrated, automated support across the Dell enterprise portfolio to streamline problem identification and resolution. To streamline problem resolution, To help ensure security, SupportAssist, via SAN SupportAssist helps remove the need for HQ, interacts with the EqualLogic arrays exclusively administrators to initiate certain support cases. through a read-only administrator account. When an administrator enables SupportAssist SupportAssist encrypts communications between through SAN HQ for EqualLogic storage the EqualLogic array and Dell and scrubs user groups, SupportAssist automatically collects passwords prior to upload; any transmissions to select configuration, diagnostic and capacity Dell are documented in the SAN HQ activity logs. data and uploads that information to a secure SupportAssist automated proactive Dell Support web server. SupportAssist has technology is also available for a wide range an intelligence engine that analyzes this data of Dell enterprise devices, including Dell for critical events and conditions. When an PowerEdge™ servers and Dell Networking issue arises, SupportAssist notifies both Dell integrates with management consoles such as Dylan Locsin is a product manager for Dell Storage, with more than 13 years of experience in marketing for enterprise storage, networking and software. Follow Dylan on Twitter @TechDylan. Achmad Chadran is an infrastructure solution specialist in the Dell Enterprise Solution Group. Follow Achmad on Twitter @a_SAN_a. offerings (see figure). In addition, SupportAssist Support teams and the customer organization. Authors OpenManage™ To minimize impact on performance and Dell resources, SupportAssist is designed for fast remote monitoring capabilities. Essentials to provide added deployment, rapid data collection and minimal data transmission. In a proactive support scenario of a disk Marc Keating is an enterprise technologist at Dell, with more than 15 years of experience working with storage, networking and virtualization technologies. Boosting the bottom line Manageability and ease of support can greatly failure, SupportAssist would detect the fault affect IT service effectiveness and return on automatically. SupportAssist then sends investment (ROI). The Dell vision is to enhance diagnostic and configuration information effectiveness through robust management to Dell over a secure connection and capabilities combined with proactive technology creates a Dell Support case so that support and support service offerings. Dell EqualLogic engineers can review the data and proactively SAN HQ and SupportAssist technology integrate begin work on the case. SupportAssist also storage management with automated problem emails the customer’s administrator with resolution. By using SAN HQ in concert with the information about the newly opened case. This Dell ProSupport and ProSupport Plus service streamlined path to problem resolution helps offerings, administrators can streamline storage eliminate time-consuming communication, management and boost the uptime and efficiency improve system uptime and minimize burden of their EqualLogic storage deployments — on IT resources. Learn more enhancing the bottom line. Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2013 Issue 3. Copyright © 2013 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. Dell EqualLogic software: Dell.com/equallogicsoftware Dell SupportAssist: Dell.com/supportassist Dell ProSupport Plus: Dell.com/prosupportplus Dell.com/powersolutions | 2013 Issue 03 21

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