IBM Spectrum Control, V5.2.11: The storage administrator's best tool for monitoring and utilization
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Who wants to live in a house that was built overnight? You would wonder if too many shortcuts were taken; if the right tools were even used in the construction.
You have heard the saying, “you are only as good as your tools.”
Well, it’s true!
Selecting the right tools for a job is a critical decision, and one that needs to be monitored carefully and then included in an overall strategy for any project or environment.
The same is true for a storage administrator and his storage.
When it comes to building and monitoring a storage environment, having the right software, the right tool, in your storage toolkit, is important, but the quality of the software is equally important as the software itself.
Some of the highlights for IBM Spectrum Control, V5.2.11 include:
IBM Cloud Object Storage (Cleversafe) monitoring
IBM Spectrum Control continues to be your one-stop shop for all your reporting needs by adding even more storage systems to monitor.
If the storage environment you currently employ includes IBM Cloud Object Storage, V22.214.171.124 or higher, then, this new support will enhance your data storage management.
If you happen to use of Transparent Cloud Tiering (TCT) on IBM Spectrum Scale™ or IBM Spectrum Protect™ to store IBM Cloud Object Storage you will also benefit by being able to see the external storage pools that foster that data.
With Object Storage Systems, you can view:
Hybrid cloud storage for IBM Spectrum Scale file systems
You can now detect the presence of external pools in IBM Spectrum Scale clusters under IBM Spectrum Control management.
The following diagram shows an IBM Spectrum Scale cluster, which is made up of pools of storage. You can set up policies to move files between pools of different storage technologies based on how frequently the data is accessed. For example, you move files that haven't been touched in 30 days or so from a SSD pool to a pool backed by nearline disk. Using IBM Transparent Cloud Tiering, you can set up an external pool that is connected to a cloud service, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). You can designate, that if a file hasn't been touched in 60 days, it should be moved to the cloud; this effectively makes the cloud a less expensive tier of storage.
In IBM Spectrum Control, you can see the external pools within an IBM Spectrum Scale cluster, enabling you to see the full configuration of the environment; you see what external pools exist and their associated cloud storage. External pools can include storage by IBM Cloud Object Storage, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), OpenStack Swift, IBM Spectrum Archive™, IBM Spectrum Protect™, and other cloud services.
If you have existing IBM Spectrum Scale clusters they will automatically surface as external pools and possibly TCT Gateway Status when the first probe is run after the upgrade to IBM Spectrum Control, V5.2.11. For TCT gateway status to be collected, ensure there is a IBM Spectrum Scale 4.2.1 node on the Add Storage System page.
You can click the file system link in the Cloud Gateway column of the Nodes page to see properties. The Cloud Gateway column can also show the status of the TCT gateway running on IBM Spectrum Scale node.
IBM FlashSystem 840 and IBM FlashSystem 900 performance support
As a storage administrator, you have been asked to review trends in performance for your IBM® FlashSystem™ 840 and 900 storage systems. To accomplish this, you add FlashSystems for monitoring and add performance metrics to the performance charts. You use the charts to monitor performance versus other storage systems in your environment.
To add IBM FlashSystem models to IBM Spectrum Control, go to Storage>Block Storage Systems>Add Storage System and click FlashSystem 840 or 900:
For IBM FlashSystems 840 or 900:
Once the the SNMP agent is enabled, you can view key performance metrics for IBM® FlashSystem™ 840 and IBM FlashSystem 900 storage systems. You can view the following metrics:
You can compare the performance of an IBM FlashSystem 900 storage system to another storage system.
The following figure shows the performance of two storage systems on a chart and in a table. By default, the performance view shows the Total I/O Rate - overall and Overall Response Time metrics. The time-period for the information is the last 12 hours.
For more information, see performance metrics for FlashSystems.
Alerting enhancements for applications, groups and multi-condition alerts
An important job responsibility for a storage administrator is managing critical storage situations that can occur at any time. For example, a storage system approaches and passes 90 percent capacity or a programmer decides to create a new test environment that contains copies of five of your biggest files. When these situations occur, it's important to be alerted quickly so that corrective action can be taken before the system goes down.
Using custom alerts that combine attributes and conditions from multiple resources into a single alert is one way to stay on top of your storage capacity situation. By creating a custom alert, you can analyze multiple configuration, capacity, and performance conditions together to determine whether an urgent situation occurred in your storage. For example, your storage systems might run critical production applications on tier 1 storage. In this case, you don't want the performance of the tier 1 storage to fall below a certain threshold. To be notified when that situation occurs, you can create a custom alert that checks if the overall response time of tier 1 storage is too high.
In this release, the following alert enhancements were made:
You can also define alerts for a set of resources in custom groups that you create.
You can now combine multiple alert conditions from multiple resources in a single, custom alert.
See this VIDEO on the alert capabilities in IBM Spectrum Control.
Another way a storage administrator can monitor storage costs and make his organization aware of the cost of storage, is by sending chargeback reports to managers that show how much capacity is used and the cost of the capacity that is used by applications, departments, hypervisors, servers, and tiers.
To view the capacity and charge for the storage that is used by applications and departments, you must create models of the applications and departments in your business organization. You must map the storage resources to the applications and map the applications that the departments use to the departments.
You can tier your storage if you want to differentiate between the cost of storing data on tier 1 or on lower tiers of storage.
Chargeback reports help managers of storage resources realize the cost of the storage that they use, plan storage usage more efficiently, and reduce storage costs. For example, a manager gets a chargeback report that shows that the bulk of the storage that is used by a non-critical application is on tier-1. To reduce storage costs and use storage more efficiently, the manager can request the storage administrator to use tier-2 or lower tiers of storage for the application's data.
In the following figure, a chargeback report was configured to show the cost and amount of primary block capacity and file capacity that is used by the applications in a storage environment. Because the block storage is tiered, you can set the cost for each tier of storage and you are provided with a breakdown of the capacity by tier. As you configure the report, the preview for the report is updated.
To create or view chargeback reports, the IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Edition license or the IBM Spectrum Control Advanced Select Edition is required.
For more information, see Reporting.
New method of licensing
The previous release of IBM Spectrum Control introduced a new method of licensing. The new license model is called Storage Capacity Unit (SCU) and applies to:
There is no change in the way the following products are licensed:
For more information on the licensing, see the end of this anno
Downloading IBM Spectrum Control
You can download this version of the product from IBM
See the IBM