IBM Systems Lab Services

Identifying potential storage infrastructure problems

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Whenever I talk with infrastructure management teams about concerns and pain points they have with their storage management system, I get these questions:

  • How can we maintain high availability and avoid system downtime?
  • Is there any way to proactively identify a potential problem?
  • How do we ensure maximum storage performance and efficiency?
  • How do we prepare management for performance or capacity limitations?

To answer these questions and more, I recommend they take a storage infrastructure health assessment.

Many organizations have deployed an infrastructure monitoring platform for their storage health, but a storage health regular assessment is still recommended. That’s because storage infrastructure involves a lot of assets from different parties, which are growing and changing constantly. These changes can cause performance inconsistency, error and even unplanned outages. But with regular storage assessments, these issues can be proactively identified and avoided.

What’s covered in a storage assessment?

A typical storage health assessment includes:

  • Health check: Validate the functional integrity of related systems
  • Configuration: Validate whether the current configurations of related systems follow best practices and identify any potential impact to performance or availability
  • Firmware: Check whether the current firmware is exposed to known issues, vulnerabilities that may cause an incident or security compliance violation
  • Interoperability: Validate whether various systems and tools in the storage environment are certified to work together
  • Capacity and performance evaluation: Based on the current peak capacity and performance results, identify performance bottlenecks and evaluate whether the storage system will reach its capacity or performance limit in the near future

What systems are assessed?

A storage health assessment should cover the following systems:

  • Storage systems such as SAN disk storage, network-attached storage (NAS) gateway/appliance, storage virtualization (for example, SAN Volume Controller), tape library and drives
  • SAN devices: SAN director, SAN switch, FCIP router
  • Servers attached to storage: UNIX and x86 servers running various operating systems (only devices and configurations related to storage)

Ready to start your storage health assessment?

IBM Systems Lab Services offers storage infrastructure health assessment services to IBM storage clients to ensure their storage environments are healthy and running according to IBM best practices. We perform storage health assessments in three phases:

The service time (shown at the bottom of the preceding chart) depends on the size of your storage environment. We recommend that you run it at least once per year.

IBM Systems Lab Services also offers a Storage Infrastructure Optimization (SIO) service, which provides tactical and strategic recommendations for improvements to storage infrastructures.

If you’re interested in our storage infrastructure health assessment service to ensure that your storage is stable and running optimally, contact IBM Systems Lab Services today.

IT Specialist, IBM Systems Lab Services

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