Simplifying Infrastructure Performance Management for IBM Spectrum – SVA BVQ Briefing Note

Today’s enterprise data center is a complicated virtualized storage infrastructure that has to function reliably and efficiently on a full time basis. It also has to be able to handle ever-increasing amounts of data. A key part of this infrastructure is the storage systems used to store and serve up the data to all users and processes. IT frequently has to use many different, complicated tools to monitor factors such as storage system performance, capacity and throughput in order to pinpoint problems and resolve them as quickly as possible.

However, most of these monitoring and diagnostic tools are complex, expensive and frequently require IT personnel to spend a lot of time sifting through all the numbers with spreadsheets to help analyze the data. Additionally, this method rarely provides a comprehensive overview of the entire virtualized storage environment that would make it easier to pinpoint problems, especially in real-time.

Fortunately for U.S. data centers using IBM’s Spectrum Virtualize family of storage systems (IBM SVC, IBM FlashSystems, IBM Storwize and VersaStack), they can now replace all those individual monitoring tools and utilities with a powerful new infrastructure performance optimization platform that provides the necessary reporting and management functions to manage all aspects of their virtualized storage environments in real-time.

SVA Releases BVQ Solution

SVA Software, which makes storage performance management software for IBM systems, is now making its BVQ management software solution available in the US. SVA is a division of SVA System GmbH, which is the largest IBM systems integrator in Germany. BVQ is a mature product that has been available in Europe for quite some time and now is available in the U.S.. SVA designed the BVQ solution to simplify storage performance management by transforming SVC machine data into comprehensive reports that provide actionable insight. It also reads storage relevant information from VMware which enables in-depth performance and efficiency analysis between the server and storage virtualized environments.

How BVQ Works

BVQ uses a non-intrusive, agentless architecture to collect data continuously for on-demand analysis. Proactive monitoring identifies issues before they can impact business operations. Operational intelligence drives root cause problem detection and provides guidance for configuration decisions. BVQ’s interactive dashboard GUI provides a comprehensive summary of all health, performance and utilization analysis in a single pane of glass. The BVQ dashboard displays multiple screens, nested within each other, that show performance charts, tree maps and tree tables as well as alerting views like the BVQ Heat Map Analysis. Users can easily drill down into any of these high-level summaries to get a detailed analysis that is easy to understand and interpret.

The tree map view, for example, provides key information such as storage pool utilization, volume size, and available capacity while also providing a secure drag and drop volume migration function. The Heat Map Analysis provides at-a-glance information on performance, utilization and efficiencies. This provides insights into the resilience of the storage infrastructure.

The BVQ dashboard lets you see graphically the topology, performance, SLA management, accountability, capacity and efficiency of the infrastructure at a glance. The user can easily drill down into these high-level views to access a deeper analysis of the data. All of these features should make the job of managing infrastructure performance and efficiency a much simpler one.

The BVQ software is available as an on-premises solution, as a service or by subscription. The software consists of a BVQ Base Edition and four additional packages which are VMware Integration, SLA Management, Copy Services and Accounting.

StorageSwiss Take

BVQ is an interesting product with powerful features that promise to simplify infrastructure performance management tasks in an IBM SVC environment. BVQ’s interactive real-time view enables administrators to quickly pinpoint problems and issues before they can affect business operations while the operational intelligence capability provides guidance on strategic infrastructure configuration decisions. This is a solution that any organization using IBM SVC systems should seriously consider.

Joseph is a Lead Analyst with DSMCS, Inc. and an IT veteran with over 35 years of experience in the high tech industries. He has held senior technical positions with several major OEMs, VARs, and System Integrators, providing them with technical pre and post- sales support for a wide variety of data protection solutions. He also provided numerous technical analyst articles for Storage Switzerland as well as acting as their chief editor for all technical content up to the time Storage Switzerland closed upon their acquisition by StorONE. In the past, he also designed, implemented and supported backup, recovery and encryption solutions in addition to providing Disaster Recovery planning, testing and data loss risk assessments in distributed computing environments on UNIX and Windows platforms for various OEM's, VARs and System Integrators.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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