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11/2/2011
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Emulex Enhances Performance Monitoring Software

OneCommand Vision watches SAN, network, and app performance and alerts managers to I/O problems and bottlenecks.

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Modern networks have a growing number of elements that can complicate the task of achieving maximum performance, and most piece parts and management apps don't do a good job of informing IT managers where problems exist or what might become a problem in the future. Storage area network and Gigabit Ethernet adapter vendor Emulex is trying to address that issue with new software it introduced on Wednesday that includes I/O management for virtualized and physical data center and cloud computing environments.

OneCommand Vision 2.0 is optional software supplied with Emulex Fibre Channel, 10 Gbps Ethernet, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), and iSCI network and host bus adapters. The software is designed with the concept that server, SAN, array, and application management software doesn't tell the user that I/O distribution among adapters is unbalanced, or that I/O is slowing over time, or that application performance is going to fail. OneCommand Vision looks at the performance of the I/O path from the application through to the server, SAN fabric, and array.

The software was originally developed by Emulex for internal testing of its converged network and host bus adapters. When the company first started testing for virtualization, the company wanted to know how much performance was going to each virtual machine. It wanted to identify bandwidth bottlenecks. When Emulex entered the Fibre Channel over Ethernet market with their FCoE adapters, there were no tools for measuring I/O performance. So, Emulex made its internal software a product.

OneCommand Vision can be used to manage SAN performance and availability, Service Level Agreements, and to discover and resolve SAN issues. OneCommand Vision provides historical SAN performance data and maps I/O loads over time. Users can set alerts based on SLA requirements and identify storage availability issues. Periodically, users can assess I/O and develop a baseline of "good" performance as opposed to "bad" issues.

The new version of OneCommand Vision adds scalability, custom alerting, and support for additional operating systems and hypervisors.

The software includes five modules for I/O management: I/O latency, I/O Profile, I/O Analyzer, Intelligent Alerts, and I/O Reports. These modules allow OneCommand Vision to collect, trend, analyze, and present I/O latency specific to each path between the application and the array. It can identify the top bandwidth users and collect information on SCSI, Fibre Channel, and FCoE. Alerts can be set that let network or storage administrators identify issues taking place on the network. And, reports can be generated of performance, availability, and utilization.

OneCommand Vision supports Microsoft Hyper-V, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Solaris 10, and VMware ESX v4.1 and 5.0. In addition, OneCommand is now integrated with Active Directory. It is also integrated with HP OpenView and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. It supports over 1,000 monitoring points or provides agents for Emulex and QLogic host bus and converged network adapters, VMware ESX or ESXi and a multitude of operating systems.

An example of OneCommand Vision's use would be to manage the migration of an application from an on-premises installation into the cloud. OneCommand Vision first allows storage administrators to define the baseline I/O requirements for applications, then define SLA's for availability and performance, specify the cloud migration path, and then monitor SLA's after migration.

Emulex is also offering I/O Performance and Availability Service that gives customers an assessment of their existing environment and suggestions on how to improve or resolve any I/O performance issues.

OneCommand Vision starts at $28,000.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.

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