Historical performance monitoring of SANsymphony - the easy way

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When I started to work with SANsymphony there was a tool called SANMaestro. It was a horrible expensive tool that collected performance statistics and draw some graphs you could easily understand without studying the internal performance counters. Since SANsymphony-V v8 the tool was gone and to be honest, I don't missed it a lot. Unfortunately there was no successor of this tool and v8 was unable to do more than real-time performance monitoring. In later versions historical monitoring was added by using internal or external SQL databases but I was never really satisfied with the stability and the way the metrics were displayed. So I started to invest some time in using other tools like ICINGA and ICINGAgrapher. We used powershell to get the metrics but this is incredible slow and also caused some management engine lock ups. The whole solution was hard to implement and even harder to maintain, nothing you want to have in several customer environments where you use the data to advise customers buying additional storage or help them understand their storage environment.

A few weeks ago I was on a FUJITSU storage roadshow and the speaker promoted support of a tool called Stor2RRD for all their ETERNUS storage systems. For all who know the ETERNUS family, there is  an external tool, SF Cruiser, that can be used to collect and store performance data. The "light" and free version only collects and shows performance data for the last day and the paid version is in the x-thousand Euro region for each storage system. Quite expensive if you have several ETERNUS systems under SANsymphony.

 

I never heard about or even used this tool so I gave it a try and started monitoring ETERNUS storage systems with Stor2RRD. The tool is fantastic. Implementation is very easy. Download the virtual appliance, use Hyper-V or ESXi to start the Linux-based VM, add a user account with SSH preshared keys in your ETERNUS systems and add a SINGLE line in your Stor2RRD configuration file - that's it. After some minutes you see the first metrics in the web frontend. It is so ridiculous easy that you probably need only 15min including the download to have a well featured performance monitoring solution.

Okay, now I have my ETERNUS systems being monitored, what about the DataCore instance in front of these systems? Since version 2.30 which was released on 05/24/2018, Stor2RRD also supports DataCore SANsymphony. Cool..... now here comes the real cool thing: implementation is nearly as easy as it is for the ETERNUS systems. All you have to do is install the REST API Kit from DataCore (use a new Windows Server 2012 R2 based system or install the API directly on one of your DCS), add a new local user in Windows and grant monitoring privileges in SSY, add another line in the configuration file of Stor2RRD and reload the tool. That's it. Stor2RRD will now collect all relevant information via the REST API, stores the data and creates a lot of graphs about usage and performance.

There is also a reporting tool included that will send you automatic reports of counters you can specify. The reporter in the free version of Stor2RRD is limited but still a good tool to get the information you want.

The tool collects information every 5min and this is a fixed interval. You can't reduce the sample interval below 5min except for IBM systems, so using it as a real-time tool is not the way to go. It's more a long-term historical performance tool that you can use to see trends and averaged performance data but it is still a very helpful tool and with no additional costs for the free version and the really low management and ressource footprint a must-have for all storage guys out there.      

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