Tom Horan

11.04.2020

Companies’ futures are increasingly tied with the amount of data they can generate, acquire, and process. As the number of data increases, so do the needs for a robust storage infrastructure, optimized applications to process the data, and enterprise backup and recovery solutions to protect it from disaster. Inefficient storage performance can lead to slower end-user applications and data processing, putting companies at risk of falling behind the competition. IBM Power Systems are well-optimized for data-intensive computing and can give you a big advantage over your competition. However, the computing power of IBM Power Systems is only as good as your storage systems, so it is critical to ensure that you have high-performance storage as well.

To keep customers satisfied and increase information throughput, tracking the performance of your storage systems is critical to your company’s performance. However, identifying the root cause of a storage performance issue is difficult. Each storage system comes with its own unique challenges, including Storage Area Networks (SANs) and Network-Attached Storage (NAS), hybrid storage, all-flash storage, Software-Defined Storage (SDS), cloud storage, and beyond. With so many options it can be difficult to identify where to begin and even more difficult to hire dedicated resources that specialize in each of the storage solutions that your company has implemented. Further complicating matters, IT ecosystems also change annually for upgraded performance and scalability and these upgrades take additional resource time to prepare for and implement.

Read below for the best practices for identifying storage issues and how to resolve them. These actions are useful in understanding the specifics of your IBM Power Systems environment, finding the causes of storage latency, and establishing an IT storage strategy focused on optimal performance and cost-reduction.

Practices for Identifying Storage Performance Problems

Most storage issues will manifest themselves in a poorly performing end-user application. The first step to take is to profile your application looking for CPU bottlenecks and inefficient application logic. You should review any databases to ensure that they are fully up to date and are sized appropriately. Compress files as much as possible to improve your information throughput. Additionally, ensure that all your SQL queries are optimized. Once these issues have been eliminated, you can then turn your attention to narrowing down potential storage performance issues.

Locate the VMs, impacted servers, and volumes that have been failing to help narrow down the root cause of the storage issue. Collect data from the impacted hardware and software to gain a better understanding of the failed environment. The more data you collect, the more information you can utilize to determine the storage issue. Refer to your performance monitoring tools, such as IBM Performance Management for IBM Power Systems, that use predictive insights to look directly into your data and monitor its daily performance. This tool provides IBM iSeries support and generates a comprehensive report that will assist you in identifying any performance constraints. If you do not have the resources to track down these performance issues, enlist the help of an experienced third party who can help you identify and resolve your storage performance issues.

Continuous Supervision

Managing the storage performance for your IBM Power Systems does not solely revolve around detecting and repairing failures in your hardware. Instead, it is important to regularly oversee and keep track of each component in your network, including response times, usage percentage, and bandwidth. If you consistently examine these aspects of your network, you will have complete visibility and be able to stop problems before they arise.

Capacity Management

Much like continuously monitoring your IBM Power Systems infrastructure, managing your capacity and right-sizing your resource utilization can be a key element of optimal storage performance. Auditing how your capacity is changing to know where it is going in the future will allow you to acquire the right amount of storage. Carefully estimate your size requirements so that you can cost-effectively buy the appropriate amount of infrastructure to support your business needs. Some third parties offer virtualized offerings that enable you to pay as you go, reducing the need to plan carefully and providing you the flexibility to expand or contract depending on your businesses’ needs.

Meridian’s Expertise in IBM Power Systems Storage

Meridian IT’s managed services for IBM Storage will help you to determine what current issue could be impairing your storage performance. Below are some of the IBM Storage solutions that Meridian has provided to our customers.

  • IBM Easy Tier automatically moves the most frequently accessed data to the fastest storage, for continuous performance optimization. Further, Meridian delivers the response times you expect with quicker deployments to support your organization with confidence. As Easy Tier moves data to the suitable tier level within your storage system, you will be able to utilize performance monitoring algorithms to increase overall efficiency within your system.
  • IBM FlashCopy takes copies of IT environments, called point-in-time copies, to offer resilience and service continuity. With these copies, you can obtain read/write access immediately. This service is advantageous for clients that require 24/7 availability for systems.
  • IBM Storewize V7000 and V7000F allows for zero unplanned downtime. With this storage system’s 99.9999% high availability, you can utilize multi-cloud storage capacity to support your business. The Storewize V7000 is powered by IBM Spectrum Virtualize that allows you to automate your data movement and copy it directly to your on-prem infrastructure or the public cloud.

In order to get the most out of your data, it is important to accommodate your enterprise data requirements by choosing the right storage solutions for your business. Fine-tuning your storage infrastructure with Meridian can allow you to identify what elements of your system are bogging down your ecosystem. To keep up with the competition, performance is no longer a luxury, but rather a requirement. With customer expectations skyrocketing, uptime has become a priority. Slow applications and sustained downtime lead to lost revenue and unhappy customers.

With our vast knowledge and experience in IBM Storage Solutions, Meridian can help you make the right infrastructure decisions. Get your free IBM Power Systems health assessment today by calling +1 (888) 835-3815 or sending an email to sales@meridianitinc.com.