SAN suite boosts VMware storage
Diagnose SAN problems in virtual infrastructure
News February 23rd, 2009
By Roger Howorth

SAN optimisation specialist Virtual Instruments today launched a new monitoring and optimisation suite for VMware SAN environments.

Virtual Instruments VirtualWisdom Portal Server collects and correlates traffic data from VMware VirtualCenter. The suite can also collect SNMP data from SAN switches and traffic data from Fibre Channel probes connected directly to SAN cabling.

The VirtualWisdom suite of probes and portal software helps optimise SAN infrastructure by making better use of ports and HBAs.

Craig Foster, product marketing manager at Virtual Instruments, said, “Customers use our kit to find the least busy link and provision on that one. We find 10 percent of servers are responsible for 70 percent of SAN traffic. So 90 percent of systems have more than twice the resources they need.” Firms use the suite to adjust their SAN layout and avoid expensive upgrades, Foster added.

Mark Urdahl, Virtual Instruments CEO, said, “With the cost of each SAN port typically costing $2,000 or $3,000, the suite can quickly pay for itself in medium and large SAN deployments.”

Urdahl said that although VMware VirtualCenter can monitor how long a transaction took to complete, it has no visibility into the SAN infrastructure, so the VMware data can’t explain what caused poor response time. Once the I/O request is issued they have no idea what’s going on in the SAN, he said.

The price for VirtualWisdom depends on the number of links and ESX servers that are monitored. Links cost around $400 each depending upon how they are configured. An entry level VirtualWisdom system would cost around $50,000, and a typical enterprise datacenter configuration would be in the region of $200,000, said Urdahl.

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