Storage Monitoring : a quick guide

07 November,2011 by Tom Collins

Storage Monitoring requires an  end to end   view. Consider the different  types of drives and servers connecting to the sub storage system

Monitor – Hard Drives

Controllers (CPU,Caching )

Controller connectivity

Network switch throughput

HBA connectivity

Network Fabric

 SAN storage monitoring is expensive and requires deep expertise to interpret.

SAN Documentation is available by the vendors.

Compatibility lists are available.

Talk to the vendor about compatibility across all platforms.

Ask them to justify their details and verify your own server hardware decisions

Performance Reporting. How relevant is yesterdays performance report? Data moves around fast , with new applications, company acquisitions and new product launches. Assumptions you made yesterday are not necessarily accurate today. For example , could you state how many fast drives you have available in the server environment ?

Performance Reporting and Virtual Storage. Even more crucial but even harder to obtain.

Impact for DBAs.

1)       End to end tools are not available

2)       Performance monitoring is a 24 x 7 job

3)       Alerting is crucial . Environments are growing – look for exceptions

4)       Trending . Do you know which servers have memory pressure?

5)       Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are crucial

SAN acceptance testing. Ideally you’re in the fortunate position of recording benchmark figures on a production ready SAN. Aim for a full range of tests – repeatable and documented.

Examples of tests :

a)       Application level procedures

b)       Stress and standard usage  tests

c)       Third party storage monitoring tools

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