Take control of multi-vendor storage

Today, more enterprises are adopting a multi-vendor storage strategy to meet their exploding storage requirements. Why? Because introducing a second storage vendor helps companies get the best prices from the vendors and thereby reduces total cost of ownership by at least 15% to 25% over a five-year time frame, according to ​Gartner. Moreover, enterprises look for multi-vendor systems when a single vendor cannot cater to all their storag​e needs.

The rise of multi-vendor storage, however, is a double-edged sword. For instance, assume you have a heterogeneous storage environment with five ​Qlogic SAN boxes 5600, two Qlogic SAN boxes 9200AE, four Brocade blade farm switches, and four IBM System X 3650 servers.

Isolating a particular performance bottleneck in that environment would mean juggling several vendors’ management tools. Do they help isolate the issue? No. Even with those separate tools, you would never be able to isolate the layer with the issue, e.g., the RAID, switch, or server layer.

Managing systems in ​a multi-vendor storage environment can be a nightmare. With different vendors supplying different device types, each with different attributes, a new set of integration and monitoring challenges emerge. So how do you overcome the multi-vendor challenges and reclaim your peace of mind?

Take back control with ManageEngine ​OpStor

OpStor is a multi-vendor storage resource management software that can be used in heterogeneous storage environments. This tool can  monitor storage area networks (SANs) and network attached storage (NAS) devices such as storage arrays and tape libraries, network devices like fabric switches along with host servers and host bus adapters cards from a multitude of vendors.

Once installed, OpStor automatically discovers your entire ​storage real estate. Imagine visualizing your entire storage environment on a single console instead of mapping it manually using configuration tables. OpStor displays a map that lets you see all the storage devices connected in your network. ​This map dramatically reduces reaction time to resolve storage system ​panics as isolating an issue between the application layer and the storage devices can now be done easily. After discovering the storage environment for the example mentioned earlier, the OpStor map will look like this:

ManageEngine OpStor

ManageEngine OpStor

You can start by checking the IBM System ​X 3650 server (​Host servers) for CPU and memory performance then move to Brocade blade farm switch (Fabric Switches) to check for throughput and bandwidth issues and then to the Qlogic SAN boxes (Storage Devices) for LUN utilization issues to come to a conclusion, all with a single tool. The color-coded interconnections will help you identify problems and down devices at a glance. So you can directly check different devices, debug and isolate issues down to the individual port of a switch.

Storage outages will be a thing of the past as OpStor helps you forecast the storage demand ​apart from generating detailed reports on asset, capacity, performance, and configuration information of storage devices and their components. Performance reports give you the devices’ uptime and downtime stats, which help you keep your data secure, i.e., ​available and backed up.

Store well with OpStor

OpStor has some unique advantages, too. It captures sensor faults such as power supply, temperature, fan and battery, as well as status change notifications. So if a particular ​FC switch is not performing at optimum levels, you can get its temperature or power supply information to isolate the problem creating the performance drop. This means that apart from monitoring asset and performance parameters, you can also monitor the health of your devices.

How come system ​panics happen only at the worst times like when you are stuck in traffic jam or are on a plane? OpStor helps you prepare for those scenarios by letting you set custom thresholds on devices’ performance parameters, which can trigger alarms and send notifications. OpStor even lets you notify the administrator in charge when you are not able to respond. So no matter where you are, OpStor keeps you in control.

And you need not use different tools for application or network management. OpStor can be integrated with different ManageEngine products, so you can manage your entire IT from a single console.

Armed with these features that put you in total control of your storage infrastructure, OpStor emerges as a must-have product for the storage admin of the future. So go ahead and get the 21-day trial pack to experience OpStor yourself.

For an overview of OpStor, check out the slideshow below:

[slideshare id=35555197&doc=manageengine-opstor28forweb29-140606005943-phpapp02]

To try out ManageEngine OpStor, log on to – https://www.manageengine.com/products/opstor/download.html

  1. Girish Menon

    Dear Nikhil,

    The blog is indeed a very informative one,well drafted over the current trend of using multi vendor storage facilities. Indirectly u have marketed your product manage engine using the solution model ie as a solution for handling these multi storage providers and facilities..

    I just need to ask a few things

    1. When cloud has become a favourite and inexpensive medium hw is that going to affect your product

    2. How is the processing lags or bugs rectified???

    3. Is there any other similar service providers? If yes, wht is special about ur product

    4. Synchronization between the entities involved is very necessary,so if a function goes wrong then the whole system is viable to lags . So hw is synchronisation happening?

    5.what are the back up facilities for the datas and how is the security ensured??

    • Nikhil P

      Hi Girish. Thank you for your comments. Lets address the questions that you have raised

      1. When cloud has become a favourite and inexpensive medium hw is that going to affect your product
      A. Yes you are right. Cloud right now is gaining popularity. It is observed in some enterprises that, while most of the data is stored in their internal datacenter, some applications run on public clouds which are cost effective. Now they may need a solution to monitor the devices in their datacenter as well as in the cloud. Ideally OpStor should be able to integrate the cloud infrastructure to be monitored and this feature will be implemented in our road map ahead. If many enterprises start moving majority of their data on cloud in the future, then a Saas model of OpStor would be ideal. You can check out Site 24×7, another product of ManageEngine which offers saas functionality for server monitoring.

      2. How is the processing lags or bugs rectified???
      A. This is an interesting question as processing lags can be identified by checking if the IOPS of a device is dropping. These drops can be monitored using custom thresholds that can be assigned to any device using OpStor. So when these thresholds are attained, i.e, in this case a drop in IOPS, notifications are sent via e mail and/or SMS to alert the user.

      3. Is there any other similar service providers? If yes, wht is special about ur product
      A. When you implement a storage solution it always involves a learning curve for the admin,i.e, for him to get started and use that solution effectively. Usually the learning curve is long. but with OpStor the learning curve is shorter as its UI is user friendly. Also in a datacenter you will need a solution for monitoring your network devices and servers. OpStor also works seamlessly with other third party monitoring tools.

      4. Synchronization between the entities involved is very necessary,so if a function goes wrong then the whole system is viable to lags . So how is synchronisation happening?
      A. Not sure what you mean by synchronisation here. If you are hinting at time synchronisation of devices using OpStor,that is a feature that will be implemented in the future.

      5. what are the back up facilities for the datas and how is the security ensured??
      A. OpStor is a tool to monitor your storage environment. For snapshots you will have to use different tools. The security is monitored using thresholds for triggering alarms, which can be customized. So if configured properly, OpStor can tell you when a device can go down so that preventive action can be taken.