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XCES Performance Correlation Engine

XIOSS has built XCES, a powerful performance correlation engine that enables customers to peer into their own storage data and break this information into key areas of interest. Focusing on utilization, connectivity, and operational efficiencies in the storage network, customers can attain a higher level of availability, increased cost savings and the ability to proactively grow and maintain their environments.

Focusing on utilization, connectivity, and operational efficiencies in the storage network, customers can attain a higher level of availability, increased cost savings and the ability to proactively grow and maintain their environments. Through Xioss’s tiered offering structure, customers can choose the solution they need for their most pressing challenges.

XCES Storage Networks Audit  

Description: Gives complete component views of the SAN enterprise. These views include complete executive level summaries, datacenter breakdowns, and detailed switch and storage inventories. Audits are performed with collection scripts and are generated into a deliverable. This is a tier one offering consisting of Xioss’s disciplines of Enterprise SAN Audit, Switch Component Audit, and Storage Component Audit.

XCES Audit Benefits 

  1. Asset recapture – redeploy space that has been allocated and not used to another application (Customers have realized increased utilizations of 20-80+% by application). This means a reduction or deferment of spending for the space that can now be used by applications.
  2. Provides guidance for maintenance cost mitigation via consolidation and avoided/deferred capital spends via asset recapture.
  3. Using the information provided in the component audit enables decisions for consolidation of older technology and acquisition of new.
  4. The outcome of this data will result in a responsible migration plan by fully understanding the association of applications to hardware usage and proactively planning for the associated application impacts.
  5. Allows a proactive approach to maintenance and support renewal agreements with accurate “out of service” times.
  6. Asset tracking/auditing for support negotiations
  7. Be able to understand what assets cost what from a maintenance and environmental aspect and be able to proactively plan for retirement at the optimal point in time. This avoids unnecessary long term maintenance concessions and ensures a defined level of infrastructure capability/age to avoid back level loss of capability and support issues.
  8. Company IT capacities can be used to measure and compare against IT best practices and ratios for benchmarking purposes to support current headcount, IT spending and other areas such as environmental “Green initiatives.”

XCES Host View

Description: Gives a path mapping from the host, through the SAN, down to the LUN on the storage frame. This path mapping includes switch port locations of the host HBA and Storage ports, their associated WWN’s, and LUN ID and capacity of the LUN down the associated HBA. This is a tier 2 offering performed by using collection scripts that can be delivered on a subscription basis or turned into a residency opportunity for a custom dashboard.

XCES Host View Benefits 

  • XCES Host View provides the ability to map all infrastructure components to achieve an accurate inventory of assets, release levels, how they are attached and configured and with which applications they are associated. Having infrastructure data associations with applications allows IT to effectively place a value on the data. This allows for a tiered storage implementation with predefined data level protections and performance parameters dictating the infrastructure required. Gaining this insight provides you with an accurate understanding to architect the perfect tiered storage strategy in aligning the right infrastructure needs to support the appropriate application. This results in IT not carrying an unnecessary budget burden for “after the fact” changes in performance, retention or protection requirements by the end user. The Host to storage map enables operations staff to better visualize the storage network. Having this data readily available increase the staff’s efficiency in not only day to day operations, but in troubleshooting scenarios as well. 3 click trouble shooting!

 

XCES Utilization Auditing 

Description: This audit provide a detailed breakdown of host, switch and storage utilization. Utilization views analyze the available / allocated to used space. Switch port and Storage Utilization data is light weight and agent-less. Utilization data can be compiled into a periodic report or a custom dashboard can be created to display utilization of the environment with drill down views.

XCES Utilization Benefits 

  • Having the relevant application usage data, enables a tracking mechanism that provides for accounting or charge back models to accurately support the application investment requirements. (E.g. a low level value application that maintains a large amount of unused data not required for compliance or business.)
  1. Asset recapture– redeploy space that has been allocated and not used to another application instead of acquiring additional space to be utilized at the same rate.
  2. During any migration or tech refresh projects, knowing the utilization of the application can save a significant cost in acquiring hardware and software.
  3. The XCES Utilization report provides a level of confidence in management that the investment in the storage infrastructure is being properly deployed.
  4. Company IT capacities can be used to measure and compare against IT Best practices and ratios for benchmarking purposes to support current headcount, IT spending and other areas such as environmental “Green initiatives.”

XCESS Performance Reporting 

Description: Performance data is gathered on a regular interval at the switch port level and graphically represented either in a periodic report or displayed on a dashboard. Storage and Server related performance metrics can be gathered from existing tools and integrated into a common view with drill down capabilities.

XCES Performance Benefits 

  • Proactive viewing into the throughput trends of the network allows customers to better understand the needs of the application residing in the environment. Having this visibility is a powerful enabler of capacity planning and immediate needs of the network. The visibility of the performance allows the customers to avoid any looming availability or slow down problems affecting applications. Additionally, the customers can proactively tune the storage networks to ensure no impact to their critical applications. Performance views can identify virtualization opportunities of lower performing application. The ability to consolidate application onto servers to increase utilization while allowing servers to be repurposed in the environment.

 

XCES Storage Risk Assessment/Exception Auditing 

Description: This discipline does an analysis of the current SAN environment and compares that to the industry best practices or the environments specific SAN standards if established. It uses a point system to assess risk and allows for drill down into the issues for review. This is a tier 3 offering performed by using collection scripts that can be delivered on a subscription basis or turned into a custom dashboard.

XCES Storage Risk Assessment Benefits 

  • Standards compliance – Ensure standards for equipment, code levels and configurations can be adhered to so no issues occur from “bad configurations.”
  • This data can be used to audit the environment to determine where improper configurations exist that may impact performance or availability in the future. From this audit a “get well” plan can be established and coordinated with operations to proactively address and correct potential problem areas without needing to incur problems or downtime to find the problem. Proactive SAN remediation – most SAN related problems are due to improper configurations of servers and/or storage and how they are attached to the SAN. These can be monitored and trended over time to give a historic view of increased or decreased risk in the environment.

 

XCES Work Flow Analysis/Development  

Description: This discipline is an analysis of the customer’s processes from a deployment, engineering, and operational support perspective. This offering will lead to documentation of processes and possible custom development of dashboards and engineering tools to manage and record all SAN activities and increase efficiencies.

XCES Work Flow Benefits 

  1. Maximize human assets/increase productivity
  2. By implementing effective and optimized policies and procedures for managing the acquisition planning, deployment and configuration the staff will be able to manage more assets per person.
  3. The accurate sizing and use of assets will greatly increase the utilization of the environment and help systematically control the usage throughout the environment‘s growth.
  4. Streamlining the work flow process centralizes the processes of infrastructure support, build and decommissioning. Having all eyes on the same information reduces the confusion around the work and allows the right people to be involved as required. IT staff and management have increased productivity by reviewing a system versus conversing with staff.
  5. With the improved level of automation and procedures around asset tracking, trending, reporting, and deployment, the customer’s Storage organization can confidently enter into Charge back mechanisms and tiered storage implementations with supporting SLAs and reporting.
  • Capacity Planning and Charge Back Enablement

    • Trending the usage and growth of the environment gives IT staff an almost clairvoyant sense of their own environment. Understanding growth associated to the SAN and the ability to break that down by application and/or host allows for significant forethought.
      1. Capacity planning for high growth environments can be predicted versus guessed.
      2. Charge back for the infrastructure costs can be forecasted for budgeting purposes as opposed to estimating the tally.
  • Tiered Storage Strategy Enabler

    • Establishing a tiered storage strategy can help maintain SLAs while reducing IT spend. Controlling the workflow through an automated system using real time data of the environment, IT staff and management can ensure the tiered strategy is implemented properly and recorded. This reduces the burden on architecture, engineering and operations staff to communicate the requirements and audit them to ensure additional risk is not injected into the SAN due to human interface.

 

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