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Brief product description

BVQ for IBM Spectrum Virtualize integrates all products that use IBM Spectrum Virtualize software into the BVQ infrastructure end-to-end monitoring. From a hardware point of view, these are the products around the IBM SAN Volume Controller SVC, IBM Storwize and IBM Flash System. In the BVQ end-to-end infrastructure, these products can be monitored with the system health map, end-to-end monitoring, reporting and analysis are also available. With the integration into the end-to-end infrastructure of BVQ, questions can be clarified, like for example: How reliably does the storage work? Are there any risks? Are there problems caused by any VMware VMs or any PowerVM LPAR? How does the storage behave in the SAN? Are there any SAN bottlenecks that affect storage operations?


BVQ for IBM Spectrum virtualize is part of the BVQ overall product. A more detailed description of BVQ can be found here:
BVQ Base Product and BVQ spec sheet


Content


Supported IBM Spectrum Virtualize products and licensing

BVQ for IBM Spectrum Virtualize supports SAN Volume Controller, Flash and Storwize products

System type

BVQ support

min. BVQ versionLicensing
based on

Comment

SAN Volume Controller (SVC, except SA2/SV2)

yes

any

TiB

IBM Storwize V7000U

yes

anyTiB *1 

 

IBM Storwize V3500
IBM Storwize V3700

yes

anyTiB *1 


IBM Storwize V5000 Gen1
IBM Storwize V5000 Gen2

yes

anyTiB *1 


V5010, V5020, V5030

IBM Storwize V7000 Gen1
IBM Storwize V7000 Gen2

yesanyTiB *1 

IBM FlashSystem V840
IBM FlashSystem V9000

yes

anyTiB *1 
IBM FlashSystem FS840
IBM FlashSystem FS900
yesanyTiB *1 no performance stats gathered
IBM FlashSystem FS91xxyes5.5TiB *1 
IBM FlashSystem FS92xxyes6.1.3TiB *1 
IBM Storwize V5000 Gen3yes5.7.2TiB *1 V5010E, V5030E, V5100
SVC model SA2/SV2yes6.1.3TiB
IBM FlashSystem FS92xxyes6.1.3TiB *1 

*1 Enclosured based pricing is available for customers who have used this form of licensing before BVQ Version 6.1.




Spectrum Virtualize (SVC) & Storwize

Code version

BVQ support

BVQ version

Comment / Limits

<7.6.0.0

not supported

N/A

Out of IBM support (BVQ support on special request)

7.6.0.0 → 7.6.1.8supported4.0 → currentToleration support - Support of new V7.6 Feature: DRAID integrated in 4.1
7.7.0.0 → 7.7.0.5supported4.1.1 → currentToleration support - Support of new V7.7 Features: IO throttling planned for later release
7.7.1.1 → 7.7.1.9supported5.0.1 → currentToleration support - Support of new V7.7.1
7.8.0.0 → 7.8.0.2supported5.0.2 → currentToleration support - Support of new V7.8 Features: Cloud tiering planned for later release
7.8.1.0 → 7.8.1.13supported5.2.7 → currentToleration support - Support of new V7.8.1 Feature: Port congestion stats integrated in 5.5
8.1.0.0 → 8.1.0.2supported5.4 → currentToleration support - Support of new V8.1.0 Feature: Hot spare node planned for later release
8.1.1.0 → 8.1.1.2supported5.4 → currentToleration support - Support of new V8.1.1
8.1.2.0 → 8.1.2.1supported5.5 → currentToleration support - Support of new V8.1.2 Feature: Data Reduction Pool integrated in 5.6.3
8.1.3.0 → 8.1.3.6supported5.5 → currentToleration support - Support of new V8.1.3 Feature: Deduplication integrated in 5.6.3
8.2.0.0 → 8.2.0.4supported5.5.3 → currentSupport for FS9100 & V7000
8.2.1.0 → 8.2.1.13supported

5.6.2 → current

Toleration support - Support of new V8.2.1 Features: NVMe planned for later release
8.3.0.0 → 8.3.0.3supported5.7.1 → currentToleration support
8.3.1.0 → 8.3.1.5supported6.1.0 → currentToleration support
8.4.0.0 → 8.4.2.0supported6.2.6→ currentToleration support
All otheron requestN/A

Versions which are not mentioned above are considered as 'not supported'.
Please contact us
in this case!  
We reserve the time to test new versions internally first.

IBM FlashSystem FS840 / FS900

Code version

BVQ support

BVQ version

Comment / Limits

1.3.0.2 → 1.3.0.9supported4.0 → 5.4.0

 Tejas performance stats currently not gathered

1.4.0.7 → 1.4.0.10supported4.0 → 5.4.0
1.4.3.0supported4.0 → 5.4.0
1.4.4.0 → 1.4.6.1supported4.0 → 5.4.0
1.4.7.0supported5.4.1 → current
1.4.8.0supported5.4.1 → current
1.5.1.0 → 1.5.1.2supported5.4.1 → current
1.5.2.0 → 1.5.2.6supported5.4.1 → current
1.6.1.0 → 1.6.1.1supported5.4.1 → current
All otheron requestN/A

Versions which are not mentioned above are considered as 'not supported'.
Please contact us
in this case!  
We reserve the right to test unknown versions internally first.




BVQ for IBM Spectrum Virtualize licensing

BVQ for IBM Spectrum Virtualize is licensed by capacity. We offer license packs of 10TiB. Please contact your SVA sales representative for pricing information.
Details here: License information


BVQ for IBM Spectrum Virtualize data collection

BVQ collects data from the IBM Spectrum Virtualize environment for visualization and analyzing purposes. The collected information consists of capacity, topology, performance and event data. BVQ scan the IBM Spectrum Virtualize environment by reading the already available performance data from the SVC nodes and retrieves topology information using the SVC CLI. The connection between BVQ & IBM Spectrum Virtualize is secured via HTTPS, so no data is sent without encryption. The collected data is stored in the authentication protected BVQ database.

Typical scan intervals for IBM Spectrum Virtualize platform are between 1 min and 5 min.


More base information about BVQ for IBM Spectrum Virtualize

We have a lot of valuable information in our BVQ Release Notes.
You will find more interesting detail information here.

BVQ features and functions

Typical BVQ for IBM Spectrum Virtualize use cases


Finding answers to the following questions:

  • How healthy is my storage? Do I have risks, do I exceed limit values?
  • How does my storage interact with the infrastructure, are servers or networks overloaded and cause problems e.g. at application level?
  • How strong is the current utilization, when does it have to be expanded?
  • How is the load distribution? Can I improve utilization by redistributing?
  • How available is my data? Are the data mirrors & remote connections working? Can I adhere to the specified RPO?
  • How will the storage behave when more load is added?
  • Are there any risks or optimization potential that I have overlooked?

End-to-end infrastructure use case

  • Which VMs are using my storage?
  • Which SAN ports are loaded by a special server IO?
  • Is the communication between cluster node free of SAN blockage?


General BVQ Use cases

With BVQ, the administrator is always fully informed about all important operating states of the entire infrastructure. He also has a staid overview of the resources as well as the current load and existing performance reserves.

This high level of transparency improves the quality of the services while at the same time reducing costs. In very short time, BVQ provides a high level of information from which the administrator can derive measures for achieving higher operational safety .The factual knowledge gained with BVQ allows cost-optimized and verifiable planning and decisions on the further expansions.


The typical tasks that are performed with BVQ are:


  • Automated System analysis with the BVQ Systems Health map
    The only thing you have to de here is to activate the alerts of the BVQ Systems Health map.

    • Be alerted early if a problem occurs
    • Identify the problem and plan a response using the included solution description
    • Use the results from the Systems Health map to carry out a more in-depth system analysis with monitoring or the Expert GUI or request an analysis from SVA.
    • Connect the results from the Systems Health map with a ticket system so that the problems are automatically and promptly passed on to the right people.
    • Contact SVA for special alerts and tests or connections to external systems.
       
  • Monitoring using the web monitoring tool
    Use the dashboards supplied with the BVQ version, which you can easily adapt or expand.
     
    • Use the delivered dashboards to carry out monitoring at different levels.
    • Create new dashboards to enable special monitoring tasks.
    • Set up dashboards for application or system managers, so that ongoing monitoring tasks can be carried out directly by those responsible.
    • Contact SVA for special dashboards to be created.
       
  • Reporting using the web reporting tool
    Every platform comes with reports which can be run automatically or scheduled. New report types can be created with the BVQ Template Editor.

    • Reading out the results of automatically generated reports via a simple web address
    • Generation of new reports based on existing reporting templates
    • Create own new reporting templates to create new report types
    • Setup schedulers to create automated reporting and seining results directly to system or application managers
    • Contact SVA for assistance in creating a specific report template.
       
  • Performing analysis
    The BVQ Expert Analysis GUI comes with many analysis favorites which act like recipes to lead to very good results

    • Carry out planning analyzes based on measured facts and developments
    • Conduct risk analyzes to identify problems early and avoid them
    • With problem analysis through, you can quickly find the reasons for bottlenecks or misconduct.
    • Be curious to understand the interrelationships between the systems and the systems themselves better and better to become an even more valuable administrator.
    • Our system engineers at SVA will be happy to help you carry out analyzes.
  • Connecting ITSM environments to BVQ to access live measured data
    We already prepared base tables for every object type in BVQ which gives a quick start to retrieve the right data for your external applications like ITSM

    • Replace the existing interface types with a general BVQ interface in order to get from the many different languages for each individual system to a query language. This will significantly reduce the number of scripts and programming required.
    • In many cases, replace complex calculations with many accesses with results access from BVQ. This reduces the complexity in the scripts and the susceptibility to errors.
    • Integrate high-quality results from BVQ such as alerts or events directly into the systems.
    • Connect BVQ with Splunk, Kibana, ServiceNow, Matrix42, Icinga, ...,
    • Feel free to contact SVA for any type of ITSM connection or for ITSM project support.


Tools and definitions included in the scope of delivery

BVQ comes with many tools and pre-defined definitions so you can get started right after the installation. These tools include analysis favorites, monitoring dashboards, reports and prepared alert templates, and probes for the Systems Health map.

Solution packages included in BVQ for IBM Spectrum Virtualize

Systems Health map support and alerting templates for IBM Spectrum Virtualize

The BVQ Systems Health Map is an automatic system analysis that is displayed in a very easy-to-understand manner. The display uses a so-called sunburst diagram, which is interactive and allows drill downs in all levels.

The BVQ Systems Health Map is a web application that can be accessed via the BVQ server's entry page. The results of the BVQ Systems Health map are obtained from system alerts that are already included in the basic version of BVQ. BVQ 6.2 already contains over 300 system alerts that will be expanded further.

The results of the system alerts are sorted hierarchically according to the topology of the systems or according to categories. The results of the alerts are based on the traffic light principle with the additional color blue, which marks possible optimization potential.


Pict.: Image section from the BVQ Systems Health Map.

 

The BVQ Systems Health map acts like a constantly updated analysis of the overall system and can be used by the administrator as a daily task list to constantly improve the system and eliminate risks.  The chart is interactive and can be set with simple mouse clicks to exactly the level you are interested in. But it can also be used as an attractive wallboard representation to show a glance the overall status of the IT infrastructure.

Quick jump into deeper analytics (New in the upcoming version 2021H1)
 

With the System Health map, you can go to the first analysis stage at the push of a button. If, for example, a high latency has been determined, you can jump directly to a chart with the situation at the push of a button and from here you can freely jump to others
definable charts further analyzing to isolate the problem.
 



Pict: The picture shows the violation of the latency rule and also the limits at which the alert reacts.

 


Easy to configure

The Systems health map can be easily configured and put into operation. Alerts delivered with the Systems Health Map can be toggled on or off with a button or customized. Included best practice tests, typically have no additional parameters where the ranges of performance limit can easily be customized in tabular form.


Pict.: The configuration of the Systems Health Map is very clear and simple.
The included system tests are turned on or off. The parametrization is carried out in a table.

In addition occurring System Health map statuses can be sent as notification or written in freely definable log files. Access via REST interface allows ITSM systems such as ServiceNow, Nagios,  Kibana, Splunk, ... to actively use the System Health Map data.

System Alerts for the BVQ systems health map

In total, more than 250 alerts are available for the Systems Health map today. These alerts are fully defined and can still be adjusted using parameters in the Predefined alert section of the BVQ server
The Systems Health map for this platform includes alerts from the following areas:

  • System limits
  • Configuration
  • License compliance
  • Status
  • Capacity
  • Performance
  • Transmission


Predefined alerts

 

Alerting templates to create detailed alerts

More detailed alerting can be set up via alerting templates or using the free definition of alerts.
The alerting templates are very easy to use and are filled out using dialogue system. With these templates you can tailor alerts in many ways to the current environment.
For more special and complex alerts use the advanced editor in the custom rules area of the BVQ Server. The SVA Service Team can support you with creating complex alerts.

Monitoring for IBM Spectrum Virtualize

BVQ is delivered with a monitoring interface to the software tool Grafana, which is already used in many companies today for a variety of monitoring tasks. Grafana is part of the BVQ Installation process and can be installed optionally. It is also possible to Integrate BVQ into an existing Grafana installation, as long as the Grafana versions are compatible with each other.


Pict. : BVQ monitoring via a browser. BVQ uses the very common Grafana for the Monitoring Interface.
This makes it very easy to operate BVQ monitoring in conjunction with existing monitoring.


Prepared dashboards are available for each platform. The current list of dashboards can be found here.
Monitoring-Dashboards (included in delivery)


For access to the BVQ measured values, a dedicated Grafana data source was developed, which provides the complete range of all BVQ measured values. This data source also enables aggregations and peak value calculations on all topological levels and supports cross-platform end-to-end access.

Similar to the BVQ Expert GUI, the performance is very high and a large number of measured values can be displayed in a very short time.

The BVQ Grafana datasource also supports the development of your own dashboards.

The SVA Expert team is available for targeted training according to your requirements. Special dashboards can be created by us as a service measure.

Monitoring dashboards are always updated and extended.
Starting with the Entry Edition, you can design your own dashboards or adapt the existing dashboards.


  • Available dashboards
     

    SVC - All clusters overview

    This dashboard displays central metrics from SVC and Storwize nodes. It is recommended that this dashboard is used for all clusters of the complete installation.

    SVC- Cluster performance overview

    This dashboard provides an overview of a Storwize or SVC cluster

    • SVC - VDisk detail ...This dashboard displays tables and performance metrics of several selected MDisk groups and VDisks.
    • SVC - MDisk group detailThis dashboard shows the performance and latencies of all MDisk groups MDisks and VDisks in a cluster grouped by MDisk groups hosts and controllers
    • SVC - MDisk detail ...This dashboard displays performance metrics of several selected MDisk.
    • SVC - Node detail ..This dashboard displays central node metrics from SVC and Storwize nodes.

    SVC - Cluster capacity overview

    Displays the essential capacity information with additional information on the efficiency of SEV and compression.

    • SVC - MDisk group capacity detailDisplays the essential capacity information with additional information on the efficiency of SEV and compression for several MDisk groups

    SVC - VDisk to virtual machine

    This dashboard provides an overview of the SVC VDisk performance and the related VMware Virtual machine performance on different levels


BVQ for IBM Spectrum Virtualize also provides in depth Global Mirror Change Volume (GMCV) monitoring and analysis

Reporting for IBM Spectrum Virtualize

BVQ Reporting uses templates that can be easily assembled from existing and newly created elements.

This means you can quickly implement general and very specific reporting requirements.


Pict.: Two examples of reports that were generated with different methods.
Reporting via BVQ Reporting engine and via external data access through Excel.

 
BVQ ships with prepared reports for Storage, SAN and VMware. The creation of own reports is possible and explained in our online documentation.

Reports (included in delivery)


These reports can be created in the background as HTML or PDF files using a built-in scheduler. Completed reports can be sent by e-mail or simply accessed via a web link that always points to the latest report, so that reporting can be easily integrated into corporate communication.

The creation of your own reports is easy and can be carried out with BVQ on-board tools. There is also a separate Template editor with which the elements of the report are compiled via widgets.

Using the BVQ Connect Interface, reporting can also be carried out using other tools that are available on the market.


The SVA Expert team is available for targeted training according to your requirements. Special reports can be created by us as a service measure.


Reports are always updated and extended.
Starting with the Entry Edition, you can design your own reports or adapt the existing reports.


  • Available reports
     

    SVC General Performance Overview Report

    General performance overview report for Spectrum Virtualize and Storwize clusters.

    SRS Performance report

    This report is covering average IO rate (IO/s) aggregated by volumes or MDisks, grouped by SVC/Storwize system, pool or storage system.

    SRS capacity report

    This report is covering current allocated and virtual capacity (GiB) grouped by SVC/Storwize system, pool or storage system.

    Cluster capacity report

    Capacity report covering current and historical allocatable, allocated, unallocated and virtual as well as licensed capacity (TiB) grouped by SVC Clusters and MDisk groups.

    Backend Storage Capacity Report

    Capacity report for backend storage providing objects like SVC cluster, disk controller, disk type and disk array, reporting their current allocated and unallocated capacity (TiB) and their number of arrays and disks.

    Accounting report

    Accounting report covering current cost (€), real and virtual capacity (GiB) and 7d average IO rate (IO/s) grouped by the business organizational units: BVQ Cost center, Application group, Application and VDisk group.


Analytic favorites for IBM Spectrum Virtualize

For the performance and problem analysis, a system expert can use the BVQ Expert GUI, which is deliberately delivered as a separate application so that the user of monitoring, reporting or Systems Health map is not confronted with the higher complexity of an analysis tool.

The Expert GUI provides access to a very large number of metrics that can be used in various combinations and hierarchies. Special features of this GUI are an extremely high level of interactivity and performance in the analysis analysis and an extremely fast representation of large series of measurements.

For example, the GUI allows you to present 1000s of volumes or VMs on a chart in a very short time. This is very important because it allows you to spot outliers in no time and the speed of analysis is high.


Pict.: The analysis GUI offers prepared analysis dashboards with which most problem cases can be solved directly.

 

A goal in the BVQ analysis is to make problems or potential risks visible at a glance. To achieve this, special analysis dashboards have been developed, which are included in the scope of delivery. These dashboards cover most problem cases and are clearly documented in the product.
 
Analysis Favorites (included in delivery)

 

Using the BVQ Expert Analysis GUI, you can, for example, display thousands of volumes or VMs in a very short time in a diagram with various metrics. This is very important because you can use it to find outliers very quickly, which you can concentrate on in the following analysis steps. This is precisely the time advantage, which can sometimes be days, so that problems can be understood and solved quickly.

The following steps are perfectly supported by the high interactivity of the analysis GUI. Metrics can be shown and hidden. Topology-controlled drill-ups and dill-downs ensure that you can move quickly through the data, and BVQ ensures that you also see what belongs together topologically and avoids errors and incorrect interpretations.

In the case of multiple platforms or infrastructure layers, BVQ enables seamless movement between the worlds. This makes very complex analyzes, such as to visualize the load of individual storage volumes through operations in VMs, at the push of a button.

The BVQ team has developed a structured approach especially for the analysis, with which you can get to the actual point of the problem quickly and reliably.

BVQ analysis is very powerful and opens up so many possibilities. For this reason we offer analysis service in case of problems or health checks and training to enable to do the analysis by yourselves.


BVQ comes with a predefined set of favorites for analysis. These favorites can be seen as analysis cooking recipes and they are very well documented in the product.
The way how to use favorites and some of the major favorites are explained in more detail in the BVQ quick start guide.

The favorites tree consists of the areas.

  • General Section: Topology and performance overview
  • Analysis Section: Favorites used from experts for deeper analysis
  • Table View Section: Tables for all objects. These can be used for reporting or the REST interface.


List of included analysis favorites

The analysis favorites are shown here as a list, the details of which can be opened if you are a customer and have access to the detailed BVQ documentation.
Otherwise the names of the analysis favorites are very meaningful and give a good impression of the possible applications.