Managing Complexity Out of Your Storage Environment

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Growing up, I remember my parents having an old TV with a remote control that had two buttons on it, power and channel. Today I have five remotes, multiple components, and a dozen variables that all have to be set accurately, and in the right order, just to watch a show. I’m sure many of you have mastered the universal remote—I have not. Data storage has followed a similarly complicated path. A recent study showed that 70% of companies worldwide are worried about the increasing cost, performance, and complexity of traditional storage environments—especially as data continues to grow exponentially. Specific to complexity and fragmentation, 71% said storage systems were complex and highly fragmented, forcing them to look for ways to simplify their environment. Complexity, as you know, can have a direct impact on performance and cost.

Quantum customers have been using the StorNext® Connect management platform for years now—to simplify the management and optimization of their StorNext shared storage resources. An intuitive single-screen view provides one location for day-to-day monitoring of the StorNext environment. StorNext Connect can also help reduce the time it takes to upgrade storage components, identify problems before they affect users, and reduce the risk of downtime or degraded performance by eliminating error-prone manual tasks. StorNext Connect is a platform that allows Quantum to write specific applications (apps) that add some useful capabilities, including:

  • Performance monitoring: Allows you to monitor the performance and capacity usage of StorNext volumes and clients.
  • Storage management: Used to manage, configure, and monitor the health of configured network-attached (NAS) clusters as well as clients and appliances.
  • StorNext Storage Manager integration: Allows you to monitor destinations for Storage Manager, including Lattus™ object storage and StorNext AEL Archives.
  • Dashboard: Allows you to monitor the health of your storage, including servers and QXS™ storage.

There’s tremendous value in utilizing real-time analysis to reduce complexity and maximize the value of your storage investment. I would argue that there’s even more value in leveraging that information to make predictions on future performance and utilization.

What’s New

Available immediately, Quantum has added a Utilization app to the StorNext Connect platform. Now you can see the current statistics in addition to historical and future trends for your Quantum environment’s storage tiers, including a detailed view for each system and for each volume (file system) of a system. Some key charts you can view are:

  • Total capacity: This interactive chart can show the total capacity of archived or primary storage, as well as by segment.
  • Metadata: Shows the percentage of metadata used.
  • Primary storage: Shows the percentage of the primary storage used.
  • Archive storage tier: Shows the amount of capacity used (in bytes) for each Storage Manager (archive storage) tier.
  • Object/segment activity: Shows the most recent speed of objects and file segments moved by Storage Manager.

You can also view Storage Manager activity graphs as well as capacity and activity tables. For me, the most exciting report is the historical/forecast capacity graph. The historical part of the graph can help you understand the capacity of the environment, an individual system, or an individual volume over time. The supercool forecast section is a projection of future capacity based on historical capacity, for up to three months of data. These predictive trends can help potentially head off capacity and/or performance issues as well as aid in resource and budget planning.

For those of you who have mastered the universal remote, managing your StorNext infrastructure with Connect can be just as straightforward. Either way, take a look at the new StorNext Connect Utilization app and see if it helps you to more efficiently manage your storage infrastructure.

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