By Govind Rangasmy, Product Manager
As a product guy, I'm constantly thinking of ways to simplify day-to-day operations for storage administrators. In that vein, one of the more interesting features recently released by the HP Storage Essentials team is automated storage performance policies - this helps manage performance on HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) and HP StorageWorks XP Disk Arrays.
As part of the requirement, I told the engineering team that policy management in HP Storage Essentials should be as easy as managing their Outlook rules. In Outlook, you define a policy (rule) using a precooked template, select a bunch of options, fire it up and off you go. I indicated to the engineers that for HP Storage Essentials to be effective and useful, the system should automatically monitor all of the EVA and XP storage arrays under management in a large enterprise, sending alerts if any deviations occur from the defined rules. Our engineering team ran with the idea, and we packaged up the new feature in the latest HP Storage Essentials 6.2 release.
There's an old storage axiom that every application performance issue is by default a storage issue until it's proven otherwise. While this simple wisdom holds up in most cases but not all. I recently attended a conference call with a customer who said that whenever he would go to a cross functional, application trouble shooting meeting, typically it would turn into a finger pointing session after five minutes. To avoid a similar fate, he suggests the Storage guy come prepared with lots of charts and data. Data speaks the truth. When you show up with more reports than the "other" team (Server or Application), it's much easier to prove that you're not the culprit and the storage team wins.
If HP Storage Essentials is deployed in your datacenters, you have the opportunity to make a splash at your next performance engineering meeting. HP Storage Essentials makes it easy to configure performance policies using pre-configured templates with a few mouse clicks. Once these policies are defined for your system components, whether it be controllers, array groups, or vdisks, the rest is automatic. HP Storage Essentials will send you an email containing data to quickly produce the charts and reports you need.
(NOTE: Click on an image to see a larger version of it)