Brocade Performance Management Solutions


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Brocade Performance Management Solutions

  1. 1. WHITE PAPER SOLUTIONS Brocade Performance Management Solutions Brocade performance management solutions enable a simpler, proactive management approach that reduces risk in mainframe environments.
  2. 2. In an effort to fully optimize their mainframe storage environments and make intelligent business decisions, IT organizations need reliable access to real-time information, analytics, and modeling to accurately identify and quickly resolve potential problems before they become major issues. Brocade® performance management solutions powered by IntelliMagic software provide organizations with transparency throughout their mainframe storage environments, helping them implement a preventative, proactive management approach. This paper describes: • The challenges organizations face when managing mainframe storage environments • The need for transparency throughout these environments • The Brocade performance management solutions that rely on powerful IntelliMagic analytic and modeling software • A customer success story about mitigating risk 2
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION Armed with detailed information and careful analysis, any organization can make quick, informed decisions concerning their IT environment, making sure business needs are being met and day-to-day operations continue unabated. Unfortunately, many organizations are finding that they lack the transparency needed throughout their mainframe storage environments. Important decisions such as capacity planning, workload balancing, equipment upgrades, and other architectural changes are often made in good faith rather than being based on reliable information. In addition, much of the decision-making responsibility is given to outside consultants unfamiliar with the environment or to the mainframe storage vendors themselves. With the continuing demands put on IT by unprecedented data growth, data protection requirements, and the need for improved operational efficiency, organizations need complete and transparent visibility into their mainframe storage environments. Moreover, they need additional information about their data center infrastructures. Brocade performance management solutions provide this visibility with the analytic tools and information to make critical decisions in real time. Through real-time monitoring and predictive expert analysis of proposed architectural changes, Brocade performance management solutions can identify potential performance bottlenecks before they occur and model the impact of proposed architectural changes before a commitment is made. This powerful analysis helps organizations optimize mainframe storage performance, ensure 24×7 application availability, and reduce overall risk. MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITY Storage today is fluid, constantly changing to meet the dynamic needs of the business, and organizations are all too often running alongside, addressing bottlenecks and performance issues as they occur in real time. Storage administrators simply can’t be everywhere at once, nor are they fortune tellers, able to predict where the next bottleneck will occur and why. All too often, administrators are consumed with troubleshooting and break-fix operations rather than being proactive in recognizing potential performance problems before they become major issues. Once freed from the break-fix model, administrators could have the time and resources to focus on a proactive, dynamic infrastructure management approach that supports business growth. The general lack of transparency often forces organizations to rely on their vendors to tell them when and how to upgrade their mainframe storage environment. Unfortunately, this approach gives control over deployment strategies to another company—even though the mainframe environment supports mission-critical business applications and is typically the most expensive line item on the IT budget. Moreover, many organizations are not even able to validate the vendor recommendations prior to making a decision. Not only does this situation lead to operational inefficiency, it puts additional strain on the budget and staffing resources, negatively affects application performance and availability, and is often extremely risky. Organizations simply lack the detailed information and analysis they need to maintain optimal performance in their mainframe storage environment—despite investing millions of dollars in the powerful, mission-critical systems. Many organizations attempt to solve this problem simply by “throwing” more disk or tape hardware at it, hoping that additional capacity solves their performance and availability issues. A more accurate and cost-effective solution would be to use detailed analytics to identify and attack the real problem—implementing a strategic long-term solution rather than a one-time, short-term patch. Unfortunately, traditional mainframe monitoring tools do not provide the level of transparency or detail required for organizations to fully and quickly analyze the situation and take an accurate, intelligent course of action. 3
  4. 4. THE NEED FOR GREATER TRANSPARENCY The good news is that there is a lot of data available in mainframe environments that organizations can use to optimize application performance—from system utilization to bandwidth usage and data rates. However, the information first needs to be mined, then collected in a central repository, and finally analyzed carefully by experts who can make intelligent recommendations. For years, mainframe performance professionals have relied on Resource Monitoring Facility (RMF) and Statistical Analysis System (SAS) reports to understand how well their mainframe storage environments are performing. While these tools are incredibly important and provide critical performance data, they don’t always provide the level of detailed metrics and statistics required to optimize a storage environment. RMF provides records and reports on channel throughput and switch statistics, but doesn’t provide any analysis or recommendations. Many organizations leverage SAS to try to analyze RMF data, but the software tool requires many hours of manual coding and report writing. In the end, results are too often dependent on in-house expertise and resource availability. Without sufficient information or analytical and modeling tools, it is difficult to conduct capacity planning or predict the impact of a migration and other architecture changes. Organizations need additional performance data to better manage and analyze their storage environments—from identifying performance bottlenecks to predicting the impact of architectural changes. Proactive Analytics The ability to monitor mainframe storage network performance in real time is especially important, enabling organizations to identify and act on potential performance and availability problems before they become major issues. In order to achieve this level of transparency throughout the network, administrators need more detailed disk or tape data as well as performance metrics such as bandwidth usage, transport speeds, and the utilization levels of disk subsystem processors, channels, host bus adapters, and RAID ranks. This proactive approach allows organizations to optimize their mainframe storage environments, improve application performance, maximize resource utilization, and facilitate 24×7 availability of mission-critical data while implementing a cost- and time-efficient management strategy. Powerful Modeling Besides cost and time, risk is one of the biggest inhibitors to implementing new hardware, adding capacity, upgrading existing equipment, or making other architecture changes to the mainframe storage environment. Often, these changes don’t work out as expected—despite months of planning and preparation by the IT staff. Sometimes the issues are found early, but it often requires hundreds of hours of additional manpower to either troubleshoot the deployment issue or revert back to the previous configuration. This risk only adds to the growing cost of IT infrastructure and negatively impacts business continuity. The ability to accurately simulate the effect of changes to mainframe storage environments has the potential to mitigate risk from making those changes. Imagine knowing in advance how the storage environment will perform after making a configuration change, adding disk capacity, or moving to new disk or tape technology. Powerful analytical modeling tools and the right expertise can provide this level of detailed modeling, allowing organizations to know ahead of time the impact of changes to the environment. 4
  5. 5. BROCADE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS Brocade performance management solutions leverage Brocade expert consultants, providing KEY BENEFITS OF BROCADE the level of detailed analysis, modeling, and predictive monitoring necessary to optimize PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT current mainframe storage infrastructure and predict the impact of future deployments and SOLUTIONS changes. Powered by IntelliMagic software, the Brocade solutions provide a set of powerful tools to better manage and analyze mainframe storage environments, enabling organizations Brocade performance management to proactively pinpoint potential bottlenecks or performance issues and simulate the results solutions help organizations: of potential changes to the network. • Maximize resource utilization The IntelliMagic software is combined with Brocade Professional Services, including • Identify performance bottlenecks Brocade Data Center Fabric (DCF) Services, Brocade Mainframe Storage I/O HealthCheck, • Improve application performance and Infrastructure Migration Services. As a result, organizations can leverage the expertise, best practices, and analytic information they need to optimize storage networking performance. • Ensure 24×7 availability of Leveraging experience gained from more than 26 years of mainframe storage networking mission-critical data implementations and vast data center experience, Brocade can design and implement • Predict the impact of implementing comprehensive solutions uniquely tailored to specific requirements and performance new hardware, adding capacity, or management goals. upgrading existing equipment Leveraging the IntelliMagic software, the Brocade performance management solutions provide • Quantify the benefits of proposed predictive analysis to improve visibility into I/O performance by monitoring storage system architectural changes utilization, tracking bandwidth levels, and predicting potential bottlenecks. This powerful mainframe infrastructure analysis helps optimize performance, providing administrators with detailed analysis of the disk or tape storage environment and a point-in-time view of performance, response time, and utilization metrics. This helps administrators track, analyze, and make architectural design recommendations for greater storage networking optimization and future build-out of IT infrastructure. The Brocade solutions also enable organizations to quantify the benefits of an infrastructure change before allocating budget or committing to the upgrade. The software recomputes response times and performance metrics for new configurations, allowing thoughtful “before-and-after” comparisons as well as recommendations for further optimization. The Brocade performance management solutions leverage existing RMF records across z/OS images to provide a holistic disk subsystem perspective. The data is then analyzed, and a simple, easy-to-use GUI and Excel report that includes architecture recommendations is produced. This approach enables organizations to distribute reports to both IT decision-makers and management staff to improve communication and information sharing. CUSTOMER STORY: TROUBLESHOOTING RESPONSE TIME ISSUES Brocade recently worked with an organization that was undergoing a significant technology refresh of its mainframe environment, including new processors, storage, FICON® switch infrastructure, and long-distance connectivity for disaster recovery between two locations. During the deployment, performance issues were cited when the FICON directors were introduced into what was previously a direct-attached environment. The cause of the performance issues was initially thought to be a Buffer-to-Buffer (BB) credit issue with the Brocade director. Response time metrics were significantly worse with the directors compared to when the host and storage were direct-attached. When the BB credits per port on the director were increased and the channels reset, the performance reverted back to direct-attached levels. However, it was obvious to the Brocade engineers that the number of BB credits initially configured should have been sufficient, leading them to believe that something else was depleting BB credits. Simply resetting the channels would not fix the problem. 5
  6. 6. When examining the data, Brocade Professional Services consultants discovered several issues: ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS Brocade performance management • Even in a direct-attached configuration, the response time of the DASD was abysmal, solutions can help organizations answer performing at one-third its expected level. these questions before they make an • The array had cache hit ratios of .75 to .80 in the former direct-attached environment architecture commitment: whereas they should have been in the .90 to .95 range (90 to 95 percent of I/O should be cache hits and not hard drive accesses). • What if I replace the ESCON channels with FICON? • Other key metrics were also abnormal, including unequal PEND and CMR values, increased CONN time, and increased DISC time. • What if I merge three DASD subsystems into one? The Brocade consultants realized that the environment was victim to open exchange • What if I add cache to a DASD saturation and used Brocade performance management solutions and the IntelliMagic subsystem? software to model different configurations and setups—determining how best to design the environment. After analyzing the models, the Brocade consultants realized that the DASD • What is the performance impact cache size was configured to be a third of what it should have been and fixed the problem by of merging, splitting, or moving setting the cache to the optimal level determined by the IntelliMagic model. The result was a workloads? 50 percent decrease in DISC time. • What is the impact of adding capacity and making infrastructure The Brocade consultants also determined that the OEM provider had deployed large, slow expansions? disk drives, so they recommended something better suited for the environment. Upgrading the DASD to 73 GB 15,000 RPM drives significantly improved performance and was a more • What is the performance impact of pragmatic and cost-efficient resolution. remote copy or remote replication over distance? Overall, the modeling performed by Brocade performance management solutions and the IntelliMagic software resulted in a 55 percent performance increase throughout the direct- • What is the impact of implementing attached storage environment. It also gave the customer the confidence to move forward with IBM HyperPAV technology? the deployment of the Brocade switched architecture, knowing that the previous performance issues were unrelated. 6
  7. 7. CONCLUSION Organizations today are faced with many challenges regarding the management of powerful mainframe storage environments. Despite investing millions of dollars in these systems and trusting them to power the most mission-critical applications, organizations often lack the detailed performance information and expert analysis required for these environments. Having transparency throughout the mainframe storage environment and seamless access to these metrics can help organizations optimize application performance, reduce operational costs, and mitigate much of the risk associated with capacity planning, equipment upgrades, and other architecture changes. Brocade performance management solutions—powered by IntelliMagic analytic software— provide the detailed information and predictive analysis necessary to optimize current mainframe storage infrastructures and predict the impact of future deployments and changes. This proactive management strategy allows organizations to increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve data protection. To learn more about Brocade performance management solutions, visit 7
  8. 8. WHITE PAPER Corporate Headquarters European Headquarters Asia Pacific Headquarters San Jose, CA USA Geneva, Switzerland Singapore T: +1-408-333-8000 T: +41-22-799-56-40 T: +65-6538-4700 © 2008 Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 10/08 GA-WP-1253-00 Brocade, the B-wing symbol, DCX, File Lifecycle Manager, MyView, and StorageX are registered trademarks, and DCFM and SAN Health are trademarks of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., in the United States and/or in other countries. All other brands, products, or service names are or may be trademarks or service marks of, and are used to identify, products or services of their respective owners. Notice: This document is for informational purposes only and does not set forth any warranty, expressed or implied, concerning any equipment, equipment feature, or service offered or to be offered by Brocade. Brocade reserves the right to make changes to this document at any time, without notice, and assumes no responsibility for its use. This informational document describes features that may not be currently available. Contact a Brocade sales office for information on feature and product availability. Export of technical data contained in this document may require an export license from the United States government.