Brocade announced continued innovation in its Fibre Channel Storage Area Network (SAN) solutions with the introduction of the Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform. Representing a new product line for the company, the Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform allows organizations to achieve greater ROI and reduced OpEx for their mission-critical applications by providing IT staff with the highest levels of monitoring and analytics between servers and storage. As a result, organizations can better ensure predictable performance and operational stability for their IT infrastructures.
Monitoring and analyzing IT infrastructure performance has been a complex, time-consuming task that requires complete end-to-end network knowledge to optimize application performance. Typically, IT staff have had two alternatives—manual methods that use Excel spreadsheets, or expensive automated tools that add complexity, expose the network to security risks, and require application and network outages during the installation, configuration, and tuning process. The new Brocade solution represents a much simpler design and deployment architecture that is superior to these traditional alternatives.
Today, many enterprises rely on guesswork and the accrued experience of IT staff to maintain application Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and to identify and resolve issues across their compute, network, and storage resources. As requirements for 100 percent network availability continue to grow, a lack of complete visibility into the IT infrastructure can cause excessive and unnecessary application performance impact and downtime events as IT staff struggle to quickly identify and resolve bottlenecks, configuration mistakes, and other conditions that prevent predictable performance for network-connected servers and storage.
Moreover, because existing monitoring and analytics solutions are very expensive, IT organizations often exclude the monitoring of server-attached ports, and even some storage-attached ports due to budget constraints—making it impossible to get direct visibility into the behavior of all devices and preventing true, end-to-end monitoring of traffic flows, This limited visibility also eliminates direct monitoring of fabric latency between the servers and the storage.
The Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform is designed to help enterprises transform their environments to mitigate these risks. It is a dedicated, purpose-built storage network appliance for measuring application- and device-level I/O performance and traffic behaviors without compromising security or placing additional strain on compute, storage, or network resources. The appliance analyzes traffic for all network-connected devices, including data flows between both servers and storage devices, to provide end-to-end visibility into the performance of all applications.
With the ability to analyze an unprecedented 20,000 data flows and millions of IOPS on a single system, the Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform calculates and analyzes vast amounts of metrics from across the network, including network-connected devices, to uncover the often-subtle causes of infrastructure issues that diminish performance and availability. Performance history and trends are also tracked, enabling IT staff to proactively monitor and resolve issues, often before they occur.
“To meet the demand of application and data growth, enterprises are deploying virtualized and cloud environments with the tradeoffs of increased costs, complexity, and potential downtime,” said Jack Rondoni, vice president of storage networking at Brocade. “The Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform not only provides end-to-end visibility that was not available previously, but it also improves the ROI for storage infrastructures by providing in-depth, fabric-wide metrics.”
A Better Design for IT Infrastructure Monitoring
The Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform design is unique in directly connecting into a single port on a Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel director or switch to non-invasively collect select information from storage and host ports. The appliance is then able to calculate detailed I/O performance metrics about the server and storage data flows using dual, onboard data processors. Not only is the appliance able to calculate latency for all connected devices within the SAN fabric, but it can also directly measure fabric latency, the time it takes for data to traverse the network itself. The design simplicity also creates an ROI advantage by allowing a single appliance to massively scale out to accommodate very large SAN environments without creating additional costs.
With this innovative architecture, the Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform can be installed and configured in minutes, without requiring any network downtime because of its direct utilization of Brocade Gen 5 hardware and Brocade Fabric Vision technology.
To support proactive management of the network infrastructure, the Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform helps organizations establish baselines, identify trends, and deliver information about behavioral threshold settings. When used with Brocade Network Advisor management software, the appliance can generate reports to show both granular and summary data, so that storage teams can demonstrate compliance with application performance SLAs. Brocade Network Advisor also allows organizations to “play back” historic information collected from the analytics platform, an invaluable tool in investigating performance issues or learning more about behavioral trends and patterns in order to optimize device and application performance.
In addition, the Brocade Analytics Monitoring Platform complements the features and functionality of the Brocade SAN Content Pack for vRealize to improve overall IT infrastructure visibility within highly virtualized VMware environments. The Brocade SAN Content Pack for vRealize Log Insight eliminates noise from millions of events and amplifies critical SAN alerts to accelerate troubleshooting with actionable analytics.