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Hands-On Review: Tek-Tools Profiler Rx 3.5.2

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Extensive SANstatistics

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Extensive SAN statistics: Profiler Rx's SAN agent can collect performance statistics from arrays, switches, HBAs and tape libraries. This screen shows a performance report for a Brocade switch; to display similar information for other network devices, just click another entry from a device list.

SAN agent. The SAN agent can be implemented by configuring the SNMP agent on the managed device, or as a subagent that runs on a host connected to devices in the SAN (EMC implementation). The host subagent then updates the data store with status information polled or trapped from the monitored device. SAN devices may include disk arrays, tape libraries, switches and host bus adapters (HBAs).

The Profiler Rx SAN agent also lets you pool SAN ports into groups. This is a good way of associating applications to storage ports. For example, a number of switch ports representing HBAs configured in a four-node cluster could be grouped together and monitored for performance bottlenecks, as can the cluster's individual disks.

Depending on the hardware vendor's implementation of SNMP, different statistics will be uploaded to the data store. The data may include an array's LUN assignments or a switch port's status and statistical information. For example, Brocade switches report port status, WWN, Domain IDs and per-port performance numbers (see "Extensive SANstatistics").

Cost
The base license fee for Profiler Rx is $7,500; it includes one Profiler Rx Server, two operating system host add-on modules and 10 right-to-use licenses. Other add-on modules are variably priced; the Exchange module starts at $3,000.

Conclusion
Profiler Rx is a good Web-based, SNMP-managed application with a generous feature set. Its ability to interrogate an Exchange server for per-mailbox usage information, and to group storage resources into manageable, application-specific containers helps administrators proactively provision storage resources.

Profiler Rx's main disadvantage is that it's not SMI-S compliant. However, compliance may not be an immediate concern, especially if you're managing a large, heterogeneous enterprise and you need discovery and monitoring capabilities right now. In that case, you should consider Tek-Tools Profiler Rx.

This was first published in August 2004

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