A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

You know the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, well it’s true and even more so in highly virtualized environments.  Simply put, the ViPR SRM topology maps are just that.  The topology maps give you a pictorial depiction of an end-to-end relationship to provide storage administrators with the visibility they need to manage a complex, heterogeneous storage environment.  Consider a host for example, the topology map for which, in a single view, gives you an ability to traverse from the host, to its ports, to the fabric(s) it is connected to, all the way to the storage system.


There is more to this picture though.  It really becomes a navigation tool with the association of categories (outlined in red above).   Upon selection of the host, what is presented on the right hand side is the list of reports available for that device type (in this case the host).  As you select a different object (switch or array for example), a list of reports available for that device will be made available.  In essence, you get an ability to stay in the context of the object you started with while poking around the connected devices.

Everything mentioned above has been in ViPR SRM since the 3.0 release timeframe.  There have been enhancements made to the topology maps with ViPR SRM 3.5.1 that take topology maps to the next level.   For example, we introduced the concept of “map types”.  What we had until ViPR SRM 3.5 was the default view which is shown above – a physical connectivity view filtered by logical connectivity (masking views).  Starting with ViPR SRM 3.5.1, we have added two additional map types: Masked Storage Systems and Masked Storage Systems with Replicas.

The Masked Storage Systems – built upon only masking views is useful when only interested in provisioned storage.  An example of this view is shown below.


Masked Storage Systems with Replicas is built upon the Masking View and adds replicas as shown below.


In addition to having multiple perspectives for the topology map, we have also introduced some overlays.  For instance, if there are alerts on a given device (severe or high), an indicator would be shown on top of that device indicating as such.  In order to not clutter the topology map though, this indicator will be shown only if there is a severe or high alert for the device.   An example of the alert indicators is shown below.


Tooltips have gotten richer as well.  For example, hovering over the host icon, you would see some attributes for the host and a spark line for its CPU utilization as highlighted in red in the diagram below.  This provides storage admins with the ability to quickly scan the entire storage environment, hover over any alerts and be advised of any conditions that may require further attention or escalation.


For an array, you would see the aggregated port IOPs in addition to some vendor information as highlighted below in red, again enabling storage admins to quickly identify, isolate, and correct any issues that may be affecting performance or availability.


The ViPR SRM topology maps have been designed in a very deliberate effort to not clutter the topology map, instead offering the option to view the add-ons as needed.

In addition to the topology map enhancements, ViPR SRM 3.5.1 delivered new platform support for ScaleIO via a new ScaleIO SolutionPack, expanded visibility and reporting for HP 3PAR and IBM SVC environments.  The MySQL SolutionPack which was previously an add-on option is now included at no additional charge.

You can learn more about ViPR SRM by visiting our online community and/or registering for one of our Rethink Storage webcasts (live or on-demand).

We hope you agree that these product improvements proves our above assertion that a picture really is worth a thousand words!

About the Author: Gayatri Aryan