With Cisco, the CIMOM agent gathers the high-level switch information and allows you to collect the switch performance metrics. This agent does not collect topology information about the switch ports and their attached devices or any zoning information. The CIMOM agent is the only agent that collects the switch performance metrics in Tivoli Storage Productivity Center.
Using this agent requires that the cimserver be enabled on each switch in the fabric. Each switch should be added as a CIMOM agent in Tivoli Storage Productivity Center so that its metrics can be gathered.
Out-of-band Fabric Agent (also known as SNMP agent)
The quickest way to get topology information, and in particular the VSAN information, is by adding each switch as an out-of-band fabric agent. The switches are typically configured for SNMPv3 by default but must be configured for using SNMPv1 to communicate with Tivoli Storage Productivity Center. Add each switch in the fabric as an out-of-band agent to get the full topology picture since discovery and probe only cover the devices attached to a single switch. This agent will discover all of the VSANs defined for a switch, its ports and the attached devices. This is a great agent to use in conjunction with the CIMOM agent, particularly if you're looking for the topology and switch performance monitoring. It is this agent that gives you the physical versus virtual identification within the topology viewer and reports.
Storage Resource Agent (Inband Fabric Agent - prior to TPC 4.2.1)
The replacement of the inband fabric agent with the storage resource agent in version 4.2.1 is a topic worthy of its own post. For here, we can assume the general function of either is basically the same with respect to fabric functionality with Tivoli Storage Productivity Center. This agent can gather the topology information about the switch, attached devices, zoning and allow zone control. Additionally, it is capabale of finding the attached devices for other switches in the fabric. However, it is important to remember that this information is limited only to the VSAN to which the agent is connected. You could have a single agent with fibre channel connections to multiple VSANs or multiple agents connecting to those VSANs and reporting back to the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center server. If you had VSANs without any agents connected (and no out-of-band fabric agent defined for the switch), then you would not see those VSANs in the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center GUI. Also, with just the storage resource agent the VSANs discovered will be displayed as physical SANs. There will be no correlation of the physical and virtual entities of the switch. The bonus of this agent is that it provides the zoning information and allows you to make zoning changes through the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center GUI. None of the other agents allow that.
Now what do I want to deploy?
My recommendations for agent deployments with Cisco fabrics vary based on customer needs.
- Which functions are they looking for?
- Switch performance monitoring?
- Zone control?
- Are there any restrictions?
- SNMPv1 allowed?
There are a lot of options and I'll pursue some of those in detail with later posts in this series. Here are some basic recommendations to break all of this information down as simply as possible for quickest deployment. You can use these individual entries to determine the combination of agents best suited for your environment.
Switch performance monitoring
- CIMOM agent for each switch you want to monitor
- Out-of-band fabric agent for each switch in the fabric
- Storage resource agent for each VSAN
- All 3 agent types
- CIMOM agent for each switch
- Out-of-band fabric agent for each switch
- Storage resource agent per VSAN
switch support matrices
switch zoning capabilities by vendor