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Vol. 4 No. 4 June 2005

Performance indicators to help you hone your storage environment

The best piece of advice I ever received when I was running my own IT shop was to gather and display metrics. One day, after overhearing endless complaints about outages and network slowdowns, a seasoned ex-IT manager stepped into my cube to make a suggestion. "Measure the actual network speed all day, graph it and tape it to the wall outside your door," she said. "Do the same for system availability, and you and the users will know where you stand." I quickly went about implementing this and it worked. First, I found out that I had a network bottleneck because I had based my LAN design on the shape of the building rather than on the number and type of workers in those areas. But the important finding came next. By proactively recording and sharing performance and availability metrics, my users became much happier with the state of our systems. They now understood that a single outage was an anomaly rather than the rule. So let's talk about how you can use metrics to improve service and satisfaction. We'll start with a ...

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Features in this issue

  • HIPAA spurs interest in replication

    HIPAA driving replication interest

  • iFCP vs. FCIP

    Two protocols—iFCP and FCIP—tap the scalability of the Internet Protocol and Ethernet networks, and can be used to overcome Fibre Channel networking limitations when connecting SAN islands. But iFCP and FCIP operate very differently; find out which one is right for your environment.

  • E-mail retention basics

  • Is the time right for optical storage?

    Optical storage has languished on the periphery of enterprise storage, but new technologies with higher capacities and more competitive per-gigabyte prices are moving optical into the mainstream.

  • EMC expelled over maintenance fees

    by  Alex Barrett

    A school district in Dallas chooses between EMC, IBM and Xiotech midrange arrays and discovers a huge difference in maintenance fees between the vendors.

  • Directors take on more tasks

    by  Phil Goodwin

    The competition among director-class products has never been more intense. If you're considering directors for the first time, or re-examining your fabric strategy, here's what you need to know.

  • Survey Says: Mixed-disk tiers not for everyone

  • New backup strategies

    In the final installment of his series on disk-based data protection, W. Curtis Preston describes how options such as snapshots, replication, continuous data protection and data reduction backup can improve the backup process.

  • Storage spending report

    Storage magazine's exclusive semiannual Purchasing Intentions Survey shows budgets slowly climbing, a move toward tiering and an increased focus on using disk for backup.

Columns in this issue