What's new for IBM Spectrum Control Version 5.3.5

New features and enhancements are available in IBM Spectrum Control Version 5.3.5.

Important capacity updates

Capacity values were updated to better reflect capacity usage in devices that support hardware compression. Capacity, such as pool capacity and allocated space, is now measured based on the physical capacity of the device, rather than the effective capacity.
The devices affected by this update are:
  • Storage systems such as FlashSystem 9100, FlashSystem 900, and Storwize® V7000 Gen3, which contain IBM FlashCore®® Modules with hardware compression.
  • Storage virtualizers such as SAN Volume Controller and Storwize family that use back-end storage systems with hardware compression.

The effective capacity information is still available. Additional columns were added to the Block Storage Systems and Pools pages to show the effective capacity based on the data reduction savings that are achieved with hardware compression. Check the column names that begin with "Effective", for example, Effective Capacity (GiB) and Effective Used Capacity (%).

This update also affects alert thresholds and historical charting for storage systems and pools. In historical capacity charts, you'll see a sharp drop in the values for capacity and used space. In the following chart simulation, the "Before Update" values represent the effective capacity, which includes data reduction savings; the "After Update" values represent the physical capacity, which is lower.
Chart showing capacity values before and after the IBM Spectrum Control upgrade

Learn more about the capacity updates.

Monitoring third-party storage

You can now add Dell EMC Unity and NetApp ONTAP 9 to the list of third-party storage systems that you can monitor and report on directly in IBM Spectrum Control.

When you add Dell EMC Unity and NetApp ONTAP 9 block and file storage systems, you can monitor storage capacity and inventory across your infrastructure. You can also save time by using IBM Spectrum Control to create and schedule reports for your multi-vendor environment rather than having to use multiple tools.

NetApp Unity storage system

See Planning for Dell EMC storage systems and Planning for NetApp device support.

Monitoring IBM Spectrum Virtualize IP ports

You can now view detailed information about the IP ports on the nodes on IBM Spectrum Virtualize systems, such as IBM FlashSystem® family, SAN Volume Controller, and the IBM® Storwize family.

Use this information to monitor the health and status of the IP ports, and to determine whether the ports are used for hosts, storage, management, or remote copy. Alerting is also supported for IP ports.

IP Ports page

Monitoring whether reclamation is causing a performance issue on IBM Spectrum Virtualize

You can now review node metrics that measure the operations that are used to free up and reclaim capacity in data reduction pools such as:
  • The number of volume extents that were reclaimed
  • The rate at which capacity was reclaimed
  • The rate at which capacity is recovered for reuse

You can use these metrics to help determine if reclamation is affecting performance. Track these metrics over time in the performance charts to measure the rates at which capacity can be reclaimed and recovered by the garbage collection process.

Garbage collection metrics for nodes

These metrics apply to storage systems that run IBM Spectrum Virtualize V8.1.2 or later.

See Performance metrics for resources that run IBM Spectrum Virtualize.

Monitoring the cache fullness of nodes on IBM Spectrum Virtualize

You can now quickly see how full your cache is by adding new cache fullness metrics to the performance charts when you view the performance of nodes for your storage systems. Add and track cache fullness metrics to identify the nodes that are experiencing heavy cache usage. This heavy usage might cause latency issues such as write operations being queued and slow response times for the volumes that are managed by the node.

Use the cache fullness information to help investigate problems for volumes in a pool and to determine whether to move a volume to a different I/O group where the pool's cache partition does not have a cache fullness problem.

You can select the following cache metrics for node performance:
  • Peak Read Cache Fullness (%)
  • Peak Write Cache Fullness (%)
  • Read Cache Fullness (%)
  • Write Cache Fullness (%)
The new cache fullness metrics for the node performance

These metrics apply to storage systems that run IBM Spectrum Virtualize V7.3 or later.

See Performance metrics for resources that run IBM Spectrum Virtualize.

Monitoring IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud storage systems

You can now monitor IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud storage systems. You can view information about the capacity, space usage, and performance of the storage systems.

Other features, such as alerting, health monitoring, advanced analytics, and reporting are also supported.

Monitoring IBM Spectrum Virtualize for Public Cloud

See Adding storage systems.

Selecting metrics made easier

Want to add or track new or other metrics? A single click and you clear the metrics you don’t want in the chart. To build the chart, scroll and select the metrics you want from the list of categories, and as you build, you’ll see which metrics you’ve selected in the pane on the right. Save your changes and get the chart that you need to track your metrics. For example, you can now quickly select the metrics you need in performance charts so you can rapidly investigate performance issues.

With the new metrics selection dialog, you can:
  • Determine the available categories of performance metric at a glance, for example, volume, disk, port, and node
  • Scan all of the metrics within a category
  • Quickly navigate to and view the desired metric
  • Clear selected metrics
  • See the number of selected metrics for each category
The new dialog for performance metrics selection

Monitoring capacity and creating alert definitions is also quicker and easier as you use the same type of metrics selection dialog, which enables you to rapidly determine your choices. You also use the same dialog for adding metrics to tables.

See Controls, Controls for capacity views, and Defining alerts for resources.

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