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Brief product description

BVQ for SAN is part of the BVQ network layer and integrates the processing of Brocade SAN and CISCO SAN measurement data into BVQ enterprise monitoring. BVQ for SAN can be connected to all members of the Storage, Compute and SAN layers of BVQ to provide a true end-to-end view across the infrastructure.


More information about the BVQ base product can be found here:
BVQ Base Product and BVQ spec sheet


Content


Supported SAN products

BVQ for SAN supports Brocade SAN and Cisco SAN products
Details here:

Supported SAN Systems

Brocade (BNA)

All SAN systems and software versions supported by the Brocade Network Advisor version listed in the following table are supported.

Please refer to Network Advisor Release Notes available on https://my.brocade.com for a list of supported Switch Hardware & Software.

Refer to the BNA install instructions.

Recommendations:

  • Please use standalone headless Brocade SMI Agent
  • If using a standard BNA installation, please deactivate change tracking for all fabrics

Tested Releases:

BNA version

BVQ support

BVQ version

≤ 14.4.1

not supported


14.4.2

supported

5.5.2 or higher*
14.4.3supported5.5.2 or higher*

'* BNA is reaching End of support by 02/08/2022. Use Brocade (REST API) instead.

Known Limitations:

SAN RoutingToleration support only.
SAN Director bladeLimited support. Currently the blade slot number is unknown.

Brocade (REST API)

Note

  1. Brocade REST API is supported on SAN switches running Fabric OS 8.2.1b and later. All switches running earlier versions cannot be monitored by BVQ!
  2. Fabric related information is gathered from the principal switch. Please make sure that the fabric principal is running a supported FOS version!
  3. Brocade switches configured in access gateway mode are supported but need to be added to the scanner configuration manually.

Tested Releases:

FOS version

BVQ support

BVQ version

≤ 8.2.1a

not supported


8.2.1b, c, ...

supported

6.2 or higher
8.2.2xsupported6.2.3 or higher
8.2.3xsupported2021H1 or higher
9.0.0xsupported2021H1 or higher
9.0.1xsupported2021H1 or higher

Known Limitations:

SAN RoutingToleration support only.

Attention

Please do not use Brocade (BNA) and Brocade (REST) scanners in parallel!

Although scanning the same switches via BNA and REST is possible, BVQ does not support such configuration!

Prior to configuring Brocade switches via REST API, please stop all scanner instances using the BNA!

Cisco

Performance and topology data for Cisco MDS switches is collected through the Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) using SMI-S.

Tested Releases:

DCNM version

OS

BVQ support

BVQ versionNote

11.1(1)

Windows

supported

6.1 or higher
11.2(1)Windowssupported6.1 or higher
11.3.(1)

Windows
Linux

not supported

A bug in DCNM 11.3.(1) prevents SMI-S access. A temporary fix for this issue is available from Cisco and can either be obtained from Cisco directly or contact bvq@sva.de.
For Windows, the final fix is included in 11.5.(1).

11.4.(1)

Windows
Linux

not supported

11.5.(1)

Windows
Linux

supported6.2 or higherDCNM 11.5(1) for Linux still requires the Fix mentioned in 11.3(1)



BVQ for SAN licensing

The BVQ for SAN is licensed by capacity. We offer license packs of 25 Ports. Please contact your SVA sales representative for pricing information.
Details here: License information


BVQ for SAN data gathering

BVQ collects data from the SAN environment for visualization and analyzing purposes. The collected information consists of capacity, topology, performance and event data. BVQ scan the SAN environment by reading the already available performance data from an SMI-S interface. The connection between BVQ & SAN 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 BVQ for SAN are 1 min.


More base information about BVQ for SAN

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


 

BVQ for SAN use cases


Typical use cases

  • Show the entire SAN in a clear topology view
  • Monitor all E-Ports and F-Ports to find buffer credits wait problems
  • Monitor all E-Ports and F-Ports to find overloads of a few ports or trunks
  • Support SAN bottleneck analysis
  • Get alerted on best practice or setup violations
  • Show the topology and linking between zones, aliases, members and nodes, node ports or switch ports
  • Check SAN zoning for correctness
  • Expose unzoned SAN node ports, hanging zones or hanging aliases
  • Support with cleaning up SAN zoning.
  • Use SAN performance and capacity data in systems such as Splunk, Elastic, Icinga or CheckMK
  • Feed SAN data and alerts into a ticket system or system management system to automate or control operations
  • Create SAN reports for management

End-to-end infrastructure use case

  • Show the end to end connectivity from SAN to Spectrum Virtualize storage and the reverse direction for the following devices: SVC Hosts, SVC Nodes, SVC Controllers

  • Check if Spectrum Virtualize storage Hosts, Nodes or Controllers have balanced workload across all used SAN Switch ports

  • Check if Spectrum Virtualize storage Hosts, Nodes or Controllers are attached to dual fabric


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.

Systems Health map support and alerting templates for SAN

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
  • Status
  • Performance
  • Transmission
  • Configuration


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 SAN

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
     

    SAN - Fabric overview for Brocade

    This dashboard displays central metrics and information for SAN Fabrics. It provides a basic overview of the selected SAN Fabric in terms of throughput, topology counters, performance metrics & error counters.

    SAN - Fabric overview for Cisco

    This dashboard displays central metrics and information for SAN Fabrics. It provides a basic overview of the selected SAN Fabric in terms of throughput, topology counters, performance metrics & error counters.



Reporting for SAN

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
     

    Brocade SAN overview report

    Brocade SAN summary report that includes the number of fabrics and switches, as well as the number of ports and their speeds. It also shows the important information for a limited set of switch and port parameters, as well as the physical and logical error statistics.

    Brocade SAN performance overview

    Brocade SAN performance overview report by frame rate (Rx+Tx) over fabric, switches and switch ports.

Analytic favorites for SAN

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



Analysis Favorites for Brocade Deprecated SANs

Analysis Favorites for Brocade SANs

Analysis Favorites for Cisco SANs