Feature

Hands-On Review: Softek Performance Tuner

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Softek's Tuner Strikes an SRM Chord

Product snapshot

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Product:
Softek Performance Tuner.
Description:
Storage performance monitoring tool for assuring SLA compliance.
Key Features:
Combines performance-gathering agents with robust reporting capabilities.
Pros:
Consolidates key performance data into three, easy-to-monitor metrics.
Cons:
Integration between components is not always smooth or seamless.
Price:
$58,054 as tested, including Space Optimizer, SANView and 24x7 support.
An old cartoon shows a machine gun salesman standing outside a medieval knight's tent. The knight, shown wielding a sword, says, "I don't have time for pesky salesmen--I've got a battle to fight." Storage resource management (SRM) tools seem to suffer from a plight similar to that of the salesman in the cartoon: Many storage managers know they have a problem with cost, capacity and performance, but don't have the time to deploy a tool to permanently address those issues.

Softek Storage Solutions Inc. recently added Performance Tuner to its Storage Manager Enterprise Storage Resource Management (ESRM) suite of products, which also includes Space Optimizer and SANView. The new Performance Tuner product is designed to identify existing, as well as potential, storage bottlenecks and component failures. Performance Tuner should bolster Softek's efforts to keep pace with rivals such as CA's BrightStor Storage Resource Manager, Tivoli Storage Resource Management and Veritas' CommandCentral. But Performance Tuner adds a new capability not commonly found in other SRM suites.

SRM can yield significant benefits: storage utilization improvement, reduced planned and unplanned downtime, and better storage procurement practices and prices.

A growing number of organizations are implementing service-level agreements (SLAs) with end users and suppliers alike. Performance Tuner lets IT organizations measure and monitor storage systems, from the aggregate to the finite, to assess compliance with SLAs and solve performance problems. But SRM tools tend to be so monolithic and complex that they become shelfware over time. There is a need for SRM tools that:

  • Are easy enough to use
  • Perform essential functions without excessive overhead
  • Avoid problems rather than simply providing a postmortem on past problems

This was first published in November 2004

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