IBM DS8000 performance analysis using Spectrum Control

What do most of the top 20 banks in the world have in common? They all require “always on” 24×7 highly reliable networked storage for business critical applications, greater than 6-nines of reliability, replication with a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of 3 to 5 sec.  This is why most of them have standardized on the IBM DS8000 line of tier 1 storage along with IBM z systems for their demanding workloads.  Outside the banking industry numerous organizations use the DS8000 attached to open systems hosts.

How does IBM Spectrum Control add value to customers deploying DS8000 with mainframe or open system hosts?  If you have multiple DS8000 systems across different locations,  a view like the one below gives you an idea of the location, firmware levels, volumes on each DS8000 that are in a synchronous relationship (Metro Mirror), volumes that are in asynchronous relationships (Global Mirror).  If you notice an error condition, you can double-click on that row in the panel to get more details of the error

Enterprise wide monitoring

While the element manager for the DS8000 gives you insights into that particular storage array, what if you want to compare performance across multiple DS8000?  This is where Spectrum Control shines.  The following panel shows you performance in operations per sec over a 16 hour time window.

compare performance

If you should happen to have some legacy HDS VSP or an EMC VMAX in your data center, Spectrum Control will also display similar performance views for those arrays.

What if you wish to look at performance across sub-components like nodes, pools or volumes?  The following panel shows the visibility you gain using Spectrum Control.

perf across subcomponents

Considering that Spectrum Control monitors over 100 performance metrics on the DS8000, you may want to set a threshold to generate a performance alert if the disk utilization goes above 80%.  The following panel shows you how this would look.  You can also view details of volumes which contribute to this scenario.

performance alert

What if you want to identify when volumes were created or deleted in a specific pool?  The following view from Spectrum Control shows historical capacity for pools during a 1 month period.  You will notice that for pool P5, volumes were deleted on May 22 and possibly new ones created on May 26.  We also infer that used capacity (depicted by a solid line) is still below available capacity (dotted line).  This level of insight helps you with capacity planning.

historical capacity

With the goal of maximizing your Return on Investment (ROI), you may wish to identify wasted storage capacity with the intention of reclaiming it.  The following panel shows you how you would achieve this.  If there has been no recent I/O on volumes within a pool it is reasonable to assume that this capacity may be unused hence reclaimable.

detect wasted capacity

In conclusion, if you have a need for enterprise wide performance analysis, alerting, tiering analysis or capacity monitoring then Spectrum Control is worth considering.

Consider a free 30 day no risk evaluation of Storage Insights, if you find the insights you gain valuable you can either purchase a subscription to have IBM manage your storage from the cloud or purchase the full blown Spectrum Control product for your on-premise  use.


Value of Spectrum Control to Spectrum Accelerate

Are you an enterprise customer or cloud provider looking for a distributed tier 1 storage offering consistent performance for use with OLTP, Oracle, SAP, Exchange or Web 2.0 workloads?  Look no further than IBM Spectrum Accelerate.  Spectrum Accelerate is based on what was previously IBM XIV and is ideally suited for customers with PB scale needs but just a minimal storage staff available to manage it.  Don’t take my word for it but hear why a customer like Silverpop (vendor of marketing automation from the cloud) chose Spectrum Accelerate over  VMware VSAN and EMC ScaleIO for a high-write Oracle environment.

Now you may wonder – what value would I get from IBM Spectrum Control considering that Spectrum Accelerate already includes Hyper-Scale Manager?  Spectrum Control is designed to monitor and manage multi-vendor storage including Spectrum Accelerate.  It provides storage teams with a single pane of glass to view and report on health, capacity, performance, and SAN connectivity of the entire storage environment, as well as alerting on issues that occur in the environment.  Here is a view of Spectrum Control monitoring Spectrum Accelerate alongside other IBM storage xiv1

Using this tool, you can identify health issues and use the capacity views to identify when your environment runs out of storage.  In addition to viewing capacity you can also chart it historically for planning purposes.

The performance view shown below helps you identify that Spectrum Accelerate is pushing the most IO in the environment: xiv2

Even though it is pushing the most IO, it has the best overall response times as shown below.  xiv3.png

As a storage consumer, perhaps you have a need to generate chargeback reports?  To help you Spectrum Control supports consumer modeling, enabling you to create models of how your servers, applications, and departments are using shared storage.

Perhaps you have a need to understand how capacity trends over time for an application (say a billing app) when it is using multiple volumes in a Spectrum Accelerate solution?  The following screen shot demonstrates such capacity trends for an application that uses 5 volumes in Spectrum Accelerate. xiv4

Perhaps you have a need to identify response times for the application when it hits those storage volumes?  In the above example all volumes have a response time of less than 6 msec per operation.

For chargeback perhaps you need to contrast the storage capacity consumed by one host application versus capacity consumed by other host applications?  The following screen shot demonstrates how this would appear.


From the perspective of alerting, Spectrum Control can create over 100 different alerts for Spectrum Accelerate.  From a reporting perspective Spectrum Control provides over 70 Cognos reports and gives you the option to create your own custom reports. From a cost savings perspective, Spectrum Control helps you identify storage volumes that have been orphaned by decommissioned applications on host servers, so you may re-purpose those volumes.  This allows you to defer additional storage purchases.

Like what you hear and want to give this a test drive?  Check out our 30 day no risk evaluation of Storage Insights, if you find the insights valuable you can either purchase a subscription to have IBM manage your storage from the cloud or purchase our comprehensive on-premise offering that is Spectrum Control.