Type
  • Best practice
Description
  • This article explains how to monitor the health and performance of Brocade SAN switches with Hardware Sentry.
Additional Keywords
  • Brocade, Brocade SNMP agent, SAN Switch, Switches

Related Topics

Knowledge Base

Monitoring Brocade SAN Switches with Hardware Sentry

KB1026 - Feb 08, 2010

Description

Our goal is to monitor the health and the performance of a Brocade SAN switch. A SAN is just a network and the switch is its heart. As such, it represents the most critical part of a storage infrastructure. By monitoring a SAN switch, we are able to detect any connectivity issue on the hosts, the switches, the disk arrays and the tape libraries and are able to diagnose bottlenecks, multipath setups. We can also for example identify which servers are very demanding, which disk array is under hard pressure and the impact of the nightly backups.

Note: This article applies to Brocade SAN switches as well as to any SAN switch OEM’ed from Brocade, notably EMC Connectrix, HP StorageWorks SAN Switch, Dell, NetApp, Hitachi, IBM System Storage SAN, IBM TotalStorage SAN, LSI, DataDirect Network, Fujitsu ETERNUS, Sun, Unisys, and others.

Solution

Brocade SAN switch instrumentation

Our solution will rely on the SNMP agent of the FabOS of the Brocade switch. The Brocade SNMP agent is based on the Fiber Alliance Management MIB (FCMGMT-MIB).

Note: Our solution does not require Brocade DCFM or the SMI-S.

Monitoring features

Once properly installed and configured, our solution will constantly monitor the following metrics on the Brocade SAN switch.

  • Status of each temperature sensor
    • OK
    • Warning
    • Alarm
  • Status of each fan
    • OK
    • Warning
    • Alarm
  • Status of each power supply
    • OK
    • Warning
    • Alarm
  • The type of each FC port
    • Hub
    • Node (N)
    • Public Loop (NL)
    • Fabric Loop (FL)
    • Fabric (F)
    • Expansion (E)
    • General (G)
  • The WWN address of each port, as well as the WWN of the remote port it is connected to
  • The status of each SFP (represented with the Status parameter)
    • Failed
    • FCAL bypass, Loop only
    • Connected
    • External Loopback
    • Transmitter Fault
    • No Media
    • Link Down
  • The link status of each port (LinkStatus parameter, which triggers a warning when a connected port loses its connection (default behavior))
  • The speed of each port (LinkSpeed parameter, which triggers a warning when the negotiated speed downgrades to a slower speed (default behavior))
  • The traffic on each port
    • BandwidthUtilization (%)
    • ReceivedBytesRate (MB/sec)
    • TransmittedBytesRate (MB/sec)
    • ReceivedPacketsRate (Packets/sec)
    • TransmittedPacketsRate (Packets/sec)
  • The percentage of reception and transmission errors on the link (ErrorPercent parameter)

Since the traffic is being monitored constantly and stored in a history graph, reports are also available on demand on any time period in hourly and daily formats, in GB/hour or GB/day.

Pre-requisites

SNMP must have been enabled on the Brocade SAN switch. This can be done directly on the switch itself by connecting to its Web management interface.

Note: If you plan on using Hardware Sentry KM for PATROL, please make sure that SNMPv1 is enabled because it is the only version of SNMP supported by the PATROL Agent.

Setting up Hardware Sentry KM 1.6.00 to monitor a Brocade SAN switch

Additional pre-requisites

You need a fully working BMC PATROL environment:

  1. PATROL Agent on a system with a network access to the Brocade SAN switch (version 3.5 minimum). The system does not need to be part of the SAN.
  2. PATROL Console (Classic or Central)

Principle

Hardware Sentry KM will run on a system (any server, workstation or virtual machine with network access to the Brocade switch) and monitors the hardware of this system. We need to configure Hardware Sentry KM to connect to the Brocade switch to monitor it.

Install Hardware Sentry KM

  1. Download the Hardware Sentry KM package and the Installation Utility.
  2. Install the KM on top of the PATROL Agent.
  3. Install the KM on the Console Classic, Console Server, and PATROL Central Web Edition if it hasn’t been done already.
  4. Follow the instructions of the Hardware Sentry KM Installation Guide.
  5. Load Hardware Sentry KM in the PATROL Console (MS_HARDWARE_SENTRY1.kml).

Configure Hardware Sentry KM

Once installed and loaded, Hardware Sentry KM starts automatically to monitor the system it is running on.

To configure Hardware Sentry KM to connect to a Brocade SAN switch:

  1. [Right-click] on the main “Hardware” icon in the PATROL Console › [KM Commands] › [Add a Remote System or an External Device…]
  2. Accept the Software License Agreement and click [Next]
  3. Enter the name of the Brocade switch to monitor
  4. Enter its IP address or hostname if it is different from the name specified above
  5. Choose the “Storage (Array, Switch, Library)” option for the system type and click [Next]
  6. Select the Fibre Alliance SNMP Agent (Switches) in the connector list
  7. Enter the SNMP community string that has read privileges on the switch (this has been configured in the Brocade Web-based management interface earlier). Click [Next] and then [Finish].

In the PATROL Console, the hardware monitoring should look like:

inline

Setting up BMC Performance Manager Express for Hardware 2.7.00 to monitor a Brocade SAN Switch

Additional pre-requisites

You need a fully working BMC Performance Manager Portal environment:

  1. BMC Portal (minimum 2.5.00, recommended 2.7.00)
  2. BMC Performance Manager Express for Hardware 2.7.00 (or higher) properly uploaded and published using the superadmin credentials

Principle

Create an Element for the Brocade SAN switch.
Load and configure BMC Performance Manager Express for Hardware on this element.

Configure BMC Performance Manager Express for Hardware

  1. In the “Configure” tab, add an “Element” (Infrastructure Element)
  2. Select the appropriate RSM
  3. Enter the name of the element for the Brocade SAN switch and specify either its hostname of IP address
  4. Select “Storage” as the Element Platform and select the appropriate group
  5. Select the “Hardware” category and check the box corresponding to “Hardware (Storage)” application class
  6. Enter the SNMP credentials to connect to the Brocade SAN switch (SNMP version, community or username and password if SNMPv3)
  7. No other credentials need to be specified
  8. Leave all of the thresholds to their default values and click [Finish].

Warning! It is very important to wait for the threshold page to load completely before hitting the [Finish] button. Otherwise, alert thresholds may be left unset, which can cause missed alerts!

In BMC Portal, the monitoring of the Brocade SAN switch should look like: