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Hands-On Review: Tek-Tools Profiler Rx 3.5.2

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Easy navigation: The Administrator's Console appears when you first log in to Tek-Tools' Profiler Rx. The main console screen shows a summary of managed storage, with details available by drilling down on specific items.

Next, you'll need to obtain a Profiler Rx Server license by sending an e-mail to Tek-Tools indicating the IP and MAC address of the NIC card over which you plan to monitor devices, and the types of devices (e.g., backup applications, switches and hosts) you'll manage.

To install the Profiler agent, copy and extract SP-Agent-352.tar into a directory on a monitored host. Executing the install-agent.sh script places the binaries and configuration files in /opt/TTIagent. The agent installation script requests the IP address of the Profiler Rx Server, and the port the Profiler Rx agent will use to communicate with the server. The default port 4319 should be used, assuming it's not being used by another application.

Like the server installation, a link (/etc/rc2.d/S99rmagent start|stop) to the startup script is installed in the local client's run command directory. Supported operating systems include Windows, Solaris, SCO, HP-UX, NetWare, Linux, AIX and Tru64.

Overall, installation was quick and simple. It took approximately 15 minutes to install and configure the Profiler Rx Server and agent. The login screen is accessed with a browser by typing in the URL http://profiler-server-name:9000, where profiler-server-name is the fully qualified domain name of the Profiler server returned by your naming service.

Usability and Interface
After login, the main administrative console appears, showing enterprise storage by the number of hosts being managed, how they're attached to storage (i.e., DAS, NAS or SAN) and their utilization percentages. Backup client and file system trends can also be quickly ascertained from the main window (see "Easy navigation").

Because Profiler Rx uses hyperlinks rather than menu selections, it's easy to drill down to specific information. For example, to view the profile of a managed host, you click on the number in the Hosts column that represents the number of hosts attached to their storage by a certain method (e.g., DAS). A pop-up box appears, itemizing the number of hosts by their respective operating systems.

An administrator can click on the operating system type to display a list of host names. Click on the host name, and Profiler Rx will display the host's performance metrics, storage utilization, file systems, assets and event correlation. That's quite a bit of information for just three mouse clicks.

More statistics can be gleaned by drilling down into the host monitor. Clicking on Host Usage shows the top five consumers of storage, the top five file types in use and related 30-day trend data by volume. Using this data, storage administrators can develop policies to control volume growth by file type or user. Profiler Rx uses agents to collect its data, but our tests showed that the agents did not hinder performance.

Less impressive is Profiler Rx's ability to consistently format the display. While navigating the application and running reports, data displays were not always well organized. The display was often jumbled, with overlapping data cells. However, refreshing the browser once or twice--sometimes three times--cleared things up.

This was first published in August 2004

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