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Hands-On Review: Veritas CommandCentral Storage 4.0

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Typical CommandCentral Storage configuration

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The main components of CommandCentral Storage 4.0: CCS console, Web engine, storage management server, host storage agents and a Sybase database that's the repository for SAN component data. The SAN access layer provides the explorer agents that gather information from storage resources.

Architecture
The CCS architecture comprises consoles, a Web engine, one or more storage management servers, host storage agents (HSA) and push-install utility agents to manage client installs and updates. (See "Typical CommandCentral Storage configuration".)

The storage management server includes the storage area network (SAN) access layer (SAL) with its associated explorer agents, alarm services (policies) and a Sybase database that is CCS' main repository.

The SAL process is the heart and soul of CCS. Through the primary SAL process running on the storage management server, component-specific explorer agents are dispatched both in-band (Fibre Channel) and out-of-band (SNMP/IP) to discover configuration, statistical and status information from SAN devices. The primary SAL process also gathers information from remote SAL processes running on host storage agents. Information is saved in the discovery data store and then copied to the CCS database.

Communication among the SAL CLI and the primary and remote SAL processes is achieved using an XML API. The information in the data store can be translated into XML files and later passed to the CCS console or user-defined scripts for enhanced reporting and management.

The alarm service compares statistical and performance metrics gathered by CCS explorers to defined policies and summons the alert manager to send notifications when thresholds have been reached.

Administrators can configure users to have single sign-on privileges so they don't have reauthenticate their credentials as they move among CommandCentral components. You can also limit which storage management servers that logged-on users can see.

CCS' Sybase repository runs on the storage management server. The database maintains data gathered by the SAN access layer and the alert manager for report and alarm generation, and manages service requests (tasks) submitted to the storage management server. The database is not Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) compliant, but the terminology and methods used are very similar to those defined in the specification.

This was first published in October 2004

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