What's new in IBM Storage Insights

New features and enhancements are available in the Q4 2021 update of IBM Storage Insights and IBM® Storage Insights Pro.

IBM is constantly updating the infrastructure, security, and stability of IBM Storage Insights to improve your experience. Enhanced analytics, troubleshooting capabilities, and more robust data collection are built in to this update, so the IBM Support team can better assist you in monitoring your storage environment.

Support for monitoring VMware hosts and virtual machines

You can now use IBM Storage Insights to collect and view performance, capacity, configuration, and status metadata about the following VMware ESXi hosts and virtual machines in your environment:
  • ESXi 6.5 or later
  • Virtual machines(VMs) on ESXi hosts

With VMware hosts monitoring you can identify when, and understand why, hosts in your environment encounter problems such as a loss of storage access or high storage latency. It also enables you to more quickly determine if the issues are caused by the host, fabric, or the storage layer. Routing issues to the right people and getting them resolved more efficiently, is now possible with this new monitoring capability.

Performance charts for hosts and virtual machines show metrics such as data rate, response time, and I/O rate. Capacity charts show metrics like SAN Capacity, used SAN Capacity, and available drive capacity. For even more details, drill down into the hosts and virtual machines to view the internal and related resources that they depend on, namely datastores, VMDKs, and drives. Other features such as reporting and alerting are also supported.

If you use the free version of IBM Storage Insights, you'll now be able to do host-centric monitoring. With this new capability, you can connect and monitor your ESXi hosts directly. You can also monitor other hosts that consume your monitored storage but were not directly added to IBM Storage Insights.

Check out these benefits:
  • View the hosts that are consuming the most storage.
  • If you're monitoring fabrics, identify which hosts are connected to multiple fabrics.
  • Determine how many switches a host is connected to. For example, if your hosts are attached to two fabrics, and within each fabric they are connected to four servers, you'll be able to determine if each host is connected to four switches.
  • Determine how many nodes a host is connected to.
view host l2 pageview host l3 page

Monitoring capacity that is protected by Safeguarded Copy

The Safeguarded Copy feature is a new type of FlashCopy relationship in IBM Spectrum Virtualize storage systems. It helps further improve cyber resiliency by frequently creating protected, point-in-time backups of critical data, with minimum impact and effective resource utilization.

Use IBM Storage insights to monitor the Safeguarded Copy feature across all your monitored IBM Spectrum Virtualize storage systems. Check out what you can do:
  • Understand how much of the capacity within your storage systems and pools is being consumed by Safeguarded copies.
  • Verify that the correct volumes are being protected.
  • Generate reports to see how much of your capacity is protected.
view safeguarded copy

Monitoring enhancements for IBM Spectrum Virtualize

Monitoring the IP workload of IBM Spectrum Virtualize
Use new performance metrics to monitor and visualize the workload of IP ports at the node level. The types of metrics include transfer size, replication latency, replication data rate, and compressed data rate. You can use these metrics and related charts to complete the following tasks:
  • Quick start your network planning by understanding how much total IP workload is being done between the storage systems in an IP replication relationship
  • Troubleshoot IP replication by investigating latency and re-transmissions
  • Compare the performance of nodes and quickly spot anomalies when they occur
To view these metrics, double-click a storage system. On its details page, click IP Ports and go to the IQN (iSCSI qualified name) tab.
View IP ports metrics
Tracking the IP addresses of ports
On IBM Spectrum Virtualize storage systems, IP ports can be associated with VLANs. With this enhancement, each node now supports:
  • Up to 64 IP addresses per port
  • A total of 256 IP addresses
In IBM Storage Insights, you can track the IP addresses of IP ports to get an overall view of a storage system's connectivity. To check the configured IP addresses, double-click a storage system to views its details. Then, click IP Ports, double-click the port you want to view, and go to the Connectivity tab.
View IP ports connectivity tab
Reorganized metrics
Existing metrics for nodes and IP ports were reorganized so you can find them more quickly. Key metrics and data rate metrics were moved from the IP Ports section to the Key Metrics and Data Rates sections under the Node category. The IP Ports section was renamed to IP Workload to contain the new workload metrics for IP ports.
View reorganized mettrics of IP workloadview reorganized node metrics

More views of your capacity

Tracking your capacity usage and growth just got easier. You can now view capacity charts for managed disks, drives, and RAID arrays on your block storage systems. Use the new charts to visualize usage trends and help enhance your monitoring and capacity planning. To view these charts, open the details page for a block storage system and click a resource, such as Managed Disks. Then, click the Capacity tab.

view mdisk capacity tab

The upgrade process for data collectors just got smarter

We always strive to make updates to IBM Storage Insights as smooth as possible, and that includes how your data collectors are upgraded. In this update, the intelligence behind the automatic upgrade process is improved:
  • To help avoid gaps in metadata collection, data collectors are upgraded consecutively rather than all at one time. When one data collector is being upgraded, the other data collectors pick up the slack so you don't miss a beat.
  • If the automatic upgrade of a data collector fails and it remains running at the previous level, the upgrade process continues to upgrade your other data collectors.
Tip: To enable automatic upgrades, ensure that you have the Administrator role in IBM Storage Insights, go to the Data Collectors page, and set Automatic Upgrades to On.