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|Performance tips for arrays and tape drives|
Fibre Channel (FC) storage arrays
While configuring and tuning FC HBAs often occurs during the initial install, FC directors require more ongoing changes as the SAN evolves. Application, server and storage growth, backup configuration changes and connecting SAN islands creates a more dynamic environment for FC directors. Though FC directors usually provide ample bandwidth and throughput, performance may deteriorate as changes occur because:
- Multiple applications are accessing the same storage port
- A zone includes too many server ports
- Server placement is on edge and core SAN switches
Resolving this issue requires access to the director zoning information and possibly a performance-measurement tool. The director management software will identify all of the HBAs zoned to a specific storage port and which port they're plugged into on the FC SAN. With the ports identified, you can determine which application is the culprit and take corrective action.
If an informal review doesn't immediately reveal the offending application, each FC director vendor offers tools that capture and monitor information from specific FC ports. Brocade's SAN Health, Fabric Watch, Fabric Manager and Advanced Performance Monitoring tools can help identify the problem. SAN Health is a free download from Brocade's Web site and can be used on any vendor's FC director to take a performance sample. Brocade's Fabric Watch product can be configured to send an alarm if a port exceeds a certain performance threshold, while its Fabric Manager tool provides historical performance data. The Advanced Performance Monitor tool provides more advanced diagnostics on how FC traffic moves through the fabric and how the SAN is designed; it only needs to be used if the other tools can't pinpoint the performance problem.
This was first published in April 2006