Use cases

This section describes the following Dell EMC Unity monitoring use cases:

  • Storage Capacity Monitoring and Optimization
  • Performance Optimization
  • Traffic Management

Storage Capacity Monitoring and Optimization

Making sure that a storage system has enough remaining disk space available is critical for several reasons:

  • SAN administrators want to make sure to be able to provision disk space for new servers when requested, as quickly as possible.
  • The storage system itself may need additional disk space for specific features to work properly, like automatic snapshots, mirroring, etc.

Reporting on Disk Space Consumption

The disk space used is permanently monitored for each EMC XtremIO storage system:

  • The SubscribedCapacity parameter of the SEN_XTRM_CLUSTER application class represents the amount of disk space that has been made available to the subscriber hosts, or in other words, the amount of disk space that is seen by the volumes connected to the cluster.

  • The ConsumedCapacity parameter of the SEN_XTRM_VOLUME application class represents the actual space usage in the volume.

  • The ConsumedCapacityPercentage parameter of the SEN_XTRM_VOLUME application class indicates the percentage of the capacity that is actually consumed in the volume. A volume usage nearing 100% means that SAN administrators will not be able to create new LUNs in the storage pool.

To verify the available disk space in several storage pools:

  1. Create a PATROL Query in the PATROL Console to show the value of the ConsumedCapacityPercentage parameter of the SEN_XTRM_VOLUME application class; In the main menu bar, click Action > New Query…

    Graph – PATROL Query – General Tab

  2. Enter the Query name (example: Disk Space Consumption)

  3. Enter the Query description (optional)
  4. In the Query Results Filter section, select Show Selected Objects and check the Parameters box
  5. In the Additional Filtering section, select the Enable Application Class level filtering and the Enable Parameter level filtering options
  6. Open the Application Class tab
  7. In the Pattern Matching section, select Like and type SEN_XTRM_VOLUME

    Graph – PATROL Query – Application Class Tab

  8. Open the Parameter tab

  9. In the Pattern Matching section, select Like and type ConsumedCapacityPercentage

    Graph – PATROL Query – Parameter Tab

  10. Click OK to display a table with the amount of actually consumed capacity in all of the storage pools of your monitored EMC XtremIO storage systems.

    Graph – PATROL Query – Results

Reclaiming Space of Unused LUNs

Identifying Unmapped (Orphans) LUNs

Over time, as servers connected to a SAN get decommissioned, administrators find an increasing number of unmapped LUNs, or volumes that are no longer used by any server. These LUNs, while unused, still occupy disk space in the storage system. Being able to identify such unmapped LUNs and reclaim the disk space uselessly consumed by these LUNs will help administrators avoid unnecessary upgrades and extensions of their storage systems.

To list the LUNs in a storage system that are not mapped to any server and therefore safe to remove, right-click the KM main icon or the storage system icon > KM Commands > Reporting > LUNs Mapping Table…

Whether a LUN is actually mapped or not is also shown in the InfoBox of each volume instance.

Graph – LUN Properties - InfoBox tab

Identifying Unused LUNs

When a server is decommissioned or reconfigured, its associated LUNs can stay mapped preventing storage administrator from accurately identifying unused LUNs. Since the KM monitors permanently the traffic on each LUN, it becomes easy to detect LUNs for which the activity is null.

  1. Create a PATROL Query in the PATROL Console to show the value of the TimeSinceLastActivity parameter of the SEN_XTRM_VOLUME application class; In the main menu bar, click Action > New Query…

    Graph – PATROL Query – General Tab

  2. Enter the Query name (example: Unused LUNs)

  3. Enter the Query description (optional)
  4. In the Query Results Filter section, select Show Selected Objects and check the Parameters box
  5. In the Additional Filtering, select the Application Class level filtering and the Enable Parameter level filtering options
  6. Open the Application Class tab

    Graph – PATROL Query – Application Class Tab

  7. In the Pattern Matching section, select Like and type SEN_XTRM_VOLUME

  8. Open the Parameter tab

    Graph – PATROL Query – Parameter Tab

  9. In the Pattern Matching section, select Like and type TimeSinceLastActivity

  10. Click OK to display a list of the monitored LUNs and their respective number of days since when the KM has not recorded any activity.

    Graph – PATROL Query – Results

The value collected for this parameter upon the first collect reflects the number of days since any activity occurred on the volume for the time observed by the KM, i.e. this first collected metric might not reflect the actual absence of activity on the volume.

Performance Optimization

Diagnosing a Bad Physical Disk Layout

A non-optimal physical disk layout can cause one single physical disk to become the bottleneck of a SAN. To verify that the I/Os are well-balanced across all physical disks, you can check the ReadByteRate and WriteByteRate parameters of each physical disk and make sure they have similar average values:

  1. In the console, double-click the WriteByteRate parameter of the first disk for which you need to compare the activity. A graph is automatically displayed in the graph pane.
  2. Select the WriteByteRate parameter of the second disk and drag it from the tree view of the Operator tab to the graph. The second parameter is automatically added to the first one to facilitate the comparison. Repeat this operation for any other disk.

    Diagnosing a bad physical disk Layout

Diagnosing Slow LUNs

If a system administrator complains that his servers are experiencing slow I/Os performance and that it is caused by the SAN, you may want to verify the actual response time of the LUNs the server is relying on.

The ResponseTime parameter of the SEN_XTRM_VOLUME application class represents the average time it took to complete the read and write operations on the LUN during the collection interval. Typically, the average response time is below 10 milliseconds. You may also want to compare this value to the response time of the other LUNs to see whether one server is really getting worse I/O performance than another.

Graph – Diagnosing Slow LUNs

Traffic Management

Identifying Busiest LUNs

To identify the LUNs that generate the most traffic on the disk array, you can use the ReadByteRate and WriteByteRate parameters of the SEN_XTRM_VOLUME class. EMC XtremIO KM for PATROL offers you two methods to visually represent a LUN traffic:

Method 1: Creating a Multi-Parameter Graph

  1. In the PATROL console, double-click the ReadByteRate parameter of the LUN you are interested in. A graph is automatically displayed in the graph pane.
  2. Then drag and drop the WriteByteRate parameter in the graph window

    Graph – Read Byte Rate on a LUN

Method 2: Using the Volume Activity… Command

  1. Right-click the Volume for which you want to create a daily or hourly report of the total amount of data in GB that was read off or written to the each LUN, and select Volume Activity…
  2. Define the report settings:

    Graph – Setting Report Parameters

    • Select the data for which you wish to generate a report for: read bytes traffic, write bytes traffic or both.
    • Select the period that you wish the report to cover: number of days or hours
    • Select the interval to apply to the report data: hourly or daily
  3. Click the Show Report button to display the graph.

Once you have identified the busiest LUNs, check the InfoBox of the suspected LUNs to find their storage groups and the hosts that generate such traffic.

Reporting the Total Traffic on an Hourly or Daily Basis

EMC XtremIO KM for PATROL not only monitors the traffic and activity of the storage system, LUNs and physical disks in MB/sec, but also in GB per hour or per day. The exact amount of data that was read or written to the storage system, LUN or physical disk is calculated for each hour of the day and each day of the week.

The hourly report graph will represent the amount of data in GB from 12:00am to 12:59am, from 1:00am to 1:59am, from 2:00am to 2:59am, etc, while the daily report graph will represent the amount of data in GB for Monday, for Tuesday, for Wednesday, etc.

This report is notably helpful to SAN administrators to understand the impact of the nightly backups, of the amount of data a specific application writes to a LUN and how this evolves (with upgrades for example). In general, this will help administrators analyze the impact of various features of the storage system on the long term.

Generating a Cluster Activity Report

  1. In the console, right-click the KM main icon> KM Commands > Reporting > Clusters Activity…
  2. Define the report settings

    • Select the data you wish to generate a report for
    • Select the period that you wish the report to cover
    • Select the interval to apply to the report data
  3. Press the Clusters Selection button and select the specific cluster(s) you wish to include in the report

  4. Click the Show Report button to display the graph

The ability of the product to report on a given period of time depends on the history retention period of the PATROL Agent.