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EMC World 2016 - Wednesday: Visibility, Monitoring, Alerting, Diagnostics... Information is King!

By mdetrick posted 05-04-2016 07:00 AM


This is IPEX Blog 3 of 3



Wednesday, this is my last blog post of EMC World 2016.  We are nearing the end of another great show!

Please check out Monday’s and Tuesday’s posts if you haven’t already.  In Monday's blog, you will find the links to last year's "3 days of IPEX" describing IPEX technology in detail.  Compelling stuff, I tell you!


Use Case 5: Visibility & Monitoring

The overwhelming majority of customers have told us that when IP storage connections are passed to the network guys, it’s like a black hole.  There’s either no way, or it is very difficult to get performance data or diagnostic information specific to the IP storage flows going through the IP network.  There’s a variety of reasons this is true, but that’s a different discussion.  EMC Connectrix 7840B IPEX puts IP storage flows inside of a high performance transport tunnel providing Storage Admins a lot of useful information about the health of the tunnel through the IP network.  In some cases, the Storage folks may have more information than their network counterparts.  The diagram below gives an example of what can be monitored from the perspective of what’s happening to your tunnel.


WAN Vision Dashboard


If you’re a Storage Admin and you keep this dashboard open on your desktop from day to day, you will soon get an idea of what your normal looks like.  When tunnel measurements start to change, maybe for the worst, you’ll know.  And if that coincides with an application going sideways, it’s likely there is a correlation and you’ll have the data to back you up.  Present your monitoring information telling network… here is what it used to look like when everything worked…  Now, it looks like this and things just aren’t working so well.  Information is power!


Brocade will soon get to the point in which each individual IP storage flow can be monitored just like we do today with FC within FCIP.  Additionally, Brocade has MAPS (Monitoring Alerting Policy Suite) that is fully functional with tunnels, circuits and a variety of other platform features and functions.  MAPS provides an automated system of watching over things and letting you know when something goes awry.


Lastly, how about a non-disruptive WAN test tool that can load an individual circuit path for determining:

  • Maximum throughput
  • Latency (Round Trip Time)
  • Packet Loss
  • Packet Reordering

Connectrix 7840B can test individual circuits that make up a tunnel, one at a time, while the remaining circuits remain online carrying production traffic.  The tests determine if the IP network is meeting the expectations of the storage team by the network team.  The diagram below shows the progressive stages of testing for an environment that has two circuits.  After the last test is complete, the circuits return to normal operation again.  This gains visibility and monitoring of the IP network between data centers, helping storage admins to meet Service Level Objectives.


WTool Diagram


Over the last few days (Monday thru Wednesday) we’ve covered the 5 most popular IPEX use cases:

  • TCP Acceleration and High Performance WAN
  • Encryption
  • Link Aggregation – Flow Control
  • Bandwidth Pooling and Balance
  • Visibility and Monitoring

EMC applications that have been qualified with IPEX include:

  • Data Domain
  • Isilon SyncIQ
  • DLm
  • Native IP SRDF (RE ports)

Brocade and EMC are working on qualifying additional platforms and applications as well.


Take the time to view this one last video...


I really hope EMC World 2016 was a fantastic experience.  I’m not sure what’s in store for next year or where we’ll be, nevertheless, I hope to be there in the midst of technology.  Until then, Be Good and safe travels.


Best Regards,

Mark Detrick

Director, Extension Principal Architect