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Hands-On Review: Tek-Tools Profiler Rx 3.5.2

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Product:
Tek-Tools Profiler Rx 3.5.2
Description:
Storage management
Key Features:
Supports Microsoft Exchange, EMC Symmetrix and SNIA HBA API
Pros:
Easy installation, excellent navigation
Cons:
Not SMI-S compliant, inconsistent report formatting
Price:
Starts at $7,500; optional modules are variably priced.

Discovering, monitoring and configuring devices on a storage area network (SAN) can be an arduous task, especially when the hardware and software come from a mix of vendors. Typically, storage administrators must become adept at using proprietary tools from various vendors. Dallas-based Tek-Tools Inc. hopes to ease this burden with its Profiler Rx storage management program. While it doesn't cover all of the bases, it touches enough of them to warrant consideration.

Profiler Rx 3.5.2 is an incremental upgrade that includes a Microsoft Exchange module. The Profiler Rx Server polls and receives agent status and event information from managed devices in a SAN. It uses database and Web servers to store and access its repository of information, which is used for reporting and notifying administrators of events that occur on the managed devices. Our tests focused on the e-mail, backup and SAN modules of Profiler Rx.

While Profiler Rx supports many devices and applications and other industry standards, it isn't yet Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) compliant. Tek-Tools indicated that an SMI-S compliant version is in the works and should be available in approximately nine months.

Installation
Profiler Rx consists of a Profiler Server, a MySQL data store and various Profiler agents that gather client data. A browser-based GUI displays the data, depending on the type of add-on modules and security groups that are configured. Supported browsers include Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher and Netscape 6.0 or higher.

The Profiler Server runs on Solaris 8 and 9, and Windows 2000, XP and 2003. System requirements include 512MB of memory and 1GB of disk space to accommodate the data store. Tek-Tools doesn't specify minimum CPU resources, but as the number of managed devices and Profiler agents increase, so should the number and speed of CPUs. The Profiler Server should be managed like a database server, with the Profiler agents serving as transactional processes. For our tests, we installed Profiler Rx on a Sun Microsystems E450 running Solaris 8 with 1GB of memory, two 400MHz CPUs and a 9GB disk.

To install the server binaries, SP-Server-352.tar must be copied from the installation CD to a temporary directory for extraction. One of the extracted files is install-server.sh, a script that installs Profiler Rx's binary and configuration files into /opt/TTIsp/storageprofiler by default; Tek-Tools recommends using this default directory. You will also be prompted to supply the MySQL database default password.

After installation and rebooting, Profiler Rx is started via links in the run command startup directories. The proper order for starting the application is to start the database first using /etc/rc3.d/S98storageprofiler-mysql start, and then the Profiler Server by issuing /etc/rc3.d/S99storageprofiler start.

This was first published in August 2004

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