Maintaining storage health is much like maintaining your personal health. It’s important to monitor various “vital signs.”
Whereas your doctor might check your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight to gauge your personal health, storage vitals include things like connectivity, performance and license expirations. These vitals inform the actions you take — if any — to fix or prevent health issues.
In both cases, the key is being proactive rather than reactive. For example, if your cholesterol levels are approaching above-average numbers, you might adopt a heart-healthy diet to prevent worsening conditions like heart disease. The same approach applies for storage systems. If you detect consistently below-average performance, you might scale up your storage to prevent a significant slowdown for your end users.
For many organizations, the main challenge with storage health lies in early detection. Without the right tools, maintaining a healthy storage environment is a manual, time-consuming process that often leads to reacting to problems rather than preventing them.
Maintaining storage health requires constant monitoring of every storage array — depending on the size of the organization, there could be hundreds — to detect anomalies that must be remediated. Not to mention, this approach requires organizations to store their own monitoring data which can become costly.
Just what the doctor ordered
Dell CloudIQ, a free, cloud-based application that provides storage health monitoring, insights and analytics, allows organizations to act smarter and respond faster when it comes to their overall storage health compared to manual monitoring. CloudIQ provides 24/7 automatic monitoring of all compatible Dell storage arrays within an organization and reports findings in a simplified, cohesive view.
CloudIQ covers the following Dell storage systems:
- Unity/Unity XT (all models)
- SC Series: SCv2000 Series, SCv3000 Series, SC4020, SC5020[F], SC7020[F], SC8000 and SC9000
- PowerMax/VMAX: VMAX 10K, 20K, 40K, 100K, 200K, 400K, 250F, 450F, 850F, 950F and PowerMax 2000/8000
- XtremIO: X1 (all models with XIOS 4.0.15-15+) and X2 (all models)
- PowerVault: ME4
- Isilon: Gen 5 + Gen 6 (S210, X210, X410, HD400, NL410, A100 Backup and Performance Accelerators, F800, F810, H400, H500, H600, H5600, A2000 and A2000)
- Connectrix: Brocade and Cisco
- VxBlock: VxBlock 340, 350, 540, 740 and 1000 systems, and Vblock 340, 350, 540 and 740 systems. Running VMware 6.5 and VxBlock Central 2.5, or greater.
- PowerStore (all models)
For organizations utilizing any of the above Dell storage systems, getting started with CloudIQ is simple. By logging into their existing Dell account, organizations can request a service for CloudIQ. This grants free access to the application and the ability to begin registering their Dell storage arrays to be monitored. Once this is completed, organizations can utilize the valuable features of CloudIQ.
Advanced monitoring and reporting
CloudIQ’s 24/7 storage monitoring detects any potential issues, vulnerabilities and atypical performance activity within the environment. Based on the detections, CloudIQ assigns a health score to each storage system, making it easy to view which systems require attention.
If a health score is low, IT can drill into that specific storage array to discover what’s causing the poor health. Health score information can be accessed from anywhere via web browser or the mobile app.
Additionally, CloudIQ can deliver customized alerts and reporting, such as real-time detection notifications and daily health score reports.
Licensing and support renewal reminders
CloudIQ tracks when organizations’ Dell storage licenses and support service contracts are due for renewal. This helps organizations avoid last-minute surprises so they can plan and prepare budgets accordingly.
Performance insights and predictive analytics
Organizations can collect up to two years of historical data to analyze storage performance trends and patterns. Leveraging machine learning, CloudIQ pinpoints areas where future issues may occur. For example, CloudIQ can predict when an organization will max out storage capacity or when performance will start to decline. This allows organizations to proactively prepare for future upgrades and necessary scaling before the problem arrives.
By using CloudIQ, organizations avoid the costs of storing their own storage data without jeopardizing security. Storage health data is transported through a secure link from the array to Dell EMC’s cloud infrastructure. CloudIQ only collects information about the storage system configuration, not the actual data stored on the storage system.
From an organizational level, each CloudIQ customer has an independent secure portal to ensure data isn’t shared outside of the organization. Within the organization, users can only view the storage health data for the storage systems they have access to which is configured through the Dell EMC Service Center.
The path to smarter storage health
CloudIQ offers organizations a plethora of valuable insights that can deliver a more reliable and better optimized storage environment. We recommend reviewing CloudIQ reports on a monthly basis to identify immediate improvement areas and proactively plan for long-term optimizations. Our WWT team is happy to guide those conversations and help you make sense of the data to pave the best path forward for your organization’s storage health.