SVA GmbH is a leading system integrator in Germany and Europe's largest IBM business partner.
BVQ has been developed by SVA since 2006 and focused on IBM's SVC, Storwize and Flash storage products in the early years . Today BVQ also supports Netapp, DELL EMC Unity, Brocade SAN, Cisco SAN, VMware, IBM PowerVM and further storage and compute platforms will be added in the following years.
As the largest IBM Business Partner in Europe, SVA has been involved in a variety of storage virtualization projects with IBM's IBM Spectrum Virtualize (IBM SVC and IBM Storwize) products since 2003, and we discovered early, that monitoring and analysis is needed for the secure and efficient operation of every infrastructure .
in the first years BVQ was used Internally to support our customers, but found its way into the German and than later the international market in the following years on customer's request.
Today, the BVQ product has many unique selling points, that are necessary for consistent monitoring and successful analysis. This includes the ability to parse and visualize the performance history of many hundreds or thousands of volumes or VMs in parallel in only seconds, or to offer easy-to-understand recipes for specialized analysis and monitoring tasks. Depending on requirements and technical depth, various accesses to the data are offered
Brief product description
BVQ is the IT Infrastructure monitoring, analysis and reporting solution for all essential layers Compute, SAN and Storage.
These layers are integrated in BVQ into a comprehensive data model that allows true end-to-end monitoring, analysis, reporting and alerting.
All data is collected in real-time, archived on a long-term basis and are available for the following core applications.
- BVQ Systems Health map
displays a detailed system status of the entire infrastructure in an easy-to-understand diagram.
- BVQ Monitoring and reporting
visualizes the current operating status in clear dashboards and reports.
- The BVQ Analysis GUI
enables in-depth performance, capacity and risk analysis across the platforms.
- BVQ Alerting
covers all layers of the infrastructure and presents the results as expansion of the BVQ System Health map, in tables or via various notifications.
- BVQ Connect Interface
BVQ data can be easily connected to ITSM product using this REST interface. This makes data available to other applications such as Splunk, ServiceNow, Kibana, Nagios.
Prepared and ready to go
All applications are delivered with prepared solutions like dashboards and reports for all platforms, more than 150 probes for the BVQ Systems Health map.
Many analysis Favorites that can be used as recipes for a successful analysis and prepared system alerts, which only need to be parametrized to be directly executable.
BVQ turns measurement data into answers
BVQ is the cockpit for your IT systems. It creates a clear and logical end-to-end visualization of your infrastructure.
This gives you a constant, clear and detailed overview of complex technical details.
If anything unusual happens, BVQ alerts you automatically before problems occur, while the reporting function quickly gives you the latest analyses.
BVQ is 100% non-intrusive. This means there is no need to install special hardware or agents.
BVQ enables a complete service ecosystem that can bring the right expertise from SVA into the planning, customization and operation of your infrastructure monitoring.
Examples are the adjustments of the alerts to your needs, special dashboards or reports, problem or planning analyzes.
Or the SVA Remote Monitoring Service, which can be adapted precisely to your needs, in which BVQ plays a leading role in the early detection of problems.
A complete installation with scanner connection takes just a few minutes. So it only takes some minutes to see the first data.
Since BVQ comes with many prepared dashboards and reports, the system can be used immediately.
There are now many ways to optimally adapt the system to the environment.
This can now be done directly after installation. SVA also offers services to help with the adaption.
Currently the following platforms are supported:
- Storage Layer
(licensed by capacity)
- SAN Layer
(licensed by ports)
- Compute & HCI Layer
(licensed by virtual machines)
- Details about the currently supported system can be found here:
Supported environments and BVQ server requirements
- License information and maintenance agreement:
Maintenance agreement and general terms and conditions
- More information about Service
Services with BVQ
BVQ Use cases
ITSM systems use BVQ because it has access to all data and is strong in communication. This reduces the development times and costs for connecting and maintaining these systems.
General application scenarios:
BVQ continuously monitors all connected systems and reports deviations and problems. Violations of best practice, configuration rules or self-defined threshold values are recognized and reported immediately. The results are displayed on just one screen using the BVQ System Health map. BVQ is delivered with a large number of tests that only need to be switched on.
BVQ has a browser interface for monitoring and reporting.There are reports or dashboards for all platforms that can be used immediately. So you can start working immediately and achieve important results.
If you find performance bottlenecks in monitoring or alerting that are not easy to explain, use the BVQ Analysis GUI to start a deeper root cause analysis. The BVQ Analysis GUI is well prepared for this task because it allows you to quickly discover the problem areas and easily jump between the layers of one or more systems. Drill-downs allow the analyst to go deeper and deeper to find a problem causer. Drill-ups help him to visualize the effects of a problem. End-to-end analysis makes it easy to determine if problems are due to misbehavior in the system itself or to other systems. One of the great strengths of the BVQ Analysis GUI is that it displays the results of many objects simultaneously on a single chart to speed up the analysis process. The results of several 100 or 1000 objects can be visualized in seconds to find outliers. Another great strength of the GUI analysis is that it automatically keeps track of the topology so that drill-downs and drill-ups do not give false results. With this feature, you can also easily switch between systems, such as VMware to the storage or the SAN network to start an end-to-end analysis.
The REST interface allows to use the BVQ results in applications like Splunk, Elastic, ServiceNow, Power BI or SAP BI and many more. The REST interface is easy to use and dramatically reduces the development effort and data volumes in the connected systems by providing results in tabular form or as chat data. The full strength of BVQ can be used, such as End-to-end relations, all metrics, means or peak values or aggregations at all levels.
Major benefits and differentiators
With BVQ, the administrator is always fully informed about all important operating states of the entire infrastructure. He also has a staid overview of proven and available resources as well as the current load and existing power reserves.
This high level of transparency improves the quality of the services while at the same time reducing costs. With comparatively little time, BVQ provides a high level of information from which he 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 expansion of memory.
Another important use of BVQ is integrated alerting, with the highly aggregated representation of the Systems Health Map and proactive monitoring to avoid bottlenecks.
BVQ enables stress analysis of the hardware, logical devices, and connections across the SAN. In all areas, overloading of all essential components can be detected early and avoided.
- Easy and easy-to-understand monitoring and reporting for VMware, SAN
and storage in small to extremely large environments.
- Highly adaptive monitoring and automatic analysis of
Thresholds, Best Practice Rules, Risk Indicators and optimization potentials.
- Easy ITSM Connect with systems, such as ServiceNow, Elastic, Kibana or
Excel via REST API.
- Very powerful and flexible analysis system for fast results.
- True end-to-end viewing across all supported systems.
- SVA services support customization, operation and complex analysis
- Installation in minutes
True end-to-end capabilities
The differences between BVQ and other Multi-Platform products are easily explained.
In a first step BVQ creates a common topology from all applied platforms. Thus, the individual platforms (SAN storage compute) are no longer separate entities, but become part of a total infrastructure that BVQ now uses as an overall model.
Other platforms place the individual topologies side by side, creating one or two bridges between them. But you will not merge them into one topology.
From here the magic starts!
Suddenly, without complex calculations, it is possible to exceed the limits of shape limits in the simplest possible way.
Now you can see the FC ports used by your storage volume to measure the load on these ports.
Or, for example, monitor the storage volumes used by a VM virtual machine to determine if the VM is overloading storage or if the poor VM performance comes from storage, the SAN, or VMware itself.
BVQ Core applications
The BVQ Server is the central application, which we will only deal with at the end of this chapter because the information always refers to the other applications.
BVQ Systems Health map
Pre-configured tools and definitions for this area that are already included in BVQ:
List of predefined Alerts for BVQ Systems Health map (partially restricted information)
These results are based on a large number of system tests already included in the delivery of BVQ.
The BVQ Systems Health Map is integrated in the BVQ Server in the overview page of the entire BVQ system and can be accessed via a web interface
It collects the results of all system tests and, depending on their status, displays red, green or yellow. Optimization potentials are displayed in blue.
The results are topologically aggregated so that one can derive an overall statement about the system and its components via the individual statements.
Pict.: Image section from the BVQ Systems Health Map.
The Systems Health Map is interactive and can be set with simple mouse clicks to exactly the level you are interested in.
In another presentation the Systems Health Map is not organized topologically but thematically. This is especially helpful if you want to group organizational units or risk priorities.
The Systems Health Map is currently shipped with a large number of prepared probes and can be extended with specialized, custom-tailored alerts.
The System Health map is 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.
But one can also see the Systems Health Map as an attractive representation of a wallboard (monitor on the wall of the data center) where you can see at a glance how good the current system status of the monitored IT infrastructure is.
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 systems such as ServiceNow, Nagios, ELK, Kibana, Splunk, ... to actively use the System Health Map data.
BVQ Monitoring interface
Pre-configured tools and definitions for this area that are already included in BVQ:
The interface is very powerful and allows access to all measured values in different groupings.
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.
Grafana is part of the BVQ Installation process and can be installed optionally. For all layers and platforms pre-prepared dashboards are delivered with the installation and Grafana .
It is always possible to create your own dashboards. The implementation is clearly displayed in our online documentation.
We are available for targeted training according to your requirements. Special dashboards can be created by us as a service measure.
- BVQ for NetApp reports
- BVQ for EMC Unity reports
- BVQ for IBM Spectrum Virtualize reports
- BVQ for IBM PowerVM reports
- BVQ for VMware reports
- BVQ for SAN reports
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.
These reports can be created in the background as an HTML or PDF file. Reports can be sent by mail after creation, or you can use an HTML link that refers to the latest report at any time.
With these you can easily incorporate reporting into the corporate communication.
BVQ ships with prepared reports for Storage, SAN and VMware. The creation of own reports is possible and explained in our online documentation.
There is also the possibility of training or creating special reports as a service.
BVQ Analysis GUI
Pre-configured tools and definitions for this area that are already included in BVQ:
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 render 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 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.
Interactivity is a top priority in the BVQ Expert GUI. It is always possible to branch from a measured value to the entire topology via drill down or drill up. BVQ takes the lead here and assists the user when traveling through the data, in the form, that correct objects are always selected automatically.
This speeds up the work of the analyst and reduces potential errors and misinterpretations.
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 (see section True End to End Analysis)
During installation, you are introduced into the use of the analysis GUI. In-depth analysis training can be added on demand.
Analyzes can become very complex. For this reason, a special analysis can also be requested as a service of SVA. Typical analyzes are problem analyzes, health checks or planning analyzes.
There are two possibilities here that differ in complexity and adaptability.
BVQ already has a predefined set of template system alerts which only need some parameters to be used.
This process is very simple as it is dialog-driven.
Pict.: Dialog system for the parametrization of the system alerts. This makes it very easy to define typical alerts.
Complex alerts can be generated with system support. These alerts are completely free in their design and can use all the metrics and levels of the system
Experts have the option to define alerts completely freely and without restrictions. All existing metrics can be used without restrictions.
The results of alerts can be reused differently. E-mails, entries in various logs, sending by e-mail or applications such as Slack or Jira are possible.
Access via the REST interface allows systems such as ServiceNow, Nagios, ELK, Kibana, Splunk, ... to access the alert information.
BVQ Connect interface
Pict.: The interface dialog in the BVQ server which provides an URL for a predefined table
The BVQ Server takes over all calculations for reporting, external interfaces and alerting and presents the System Health map. In more detail:
The database will be installed when BVQ is installed.
The management of the probes and the categories is done in the server.
Here you can find the alert templates and the dialog system with which complex alerts can be created.
Self-defined alerts can be part of the System Health map.
Here you will also find the log files and the possibility to add new scanners directly or delete them.
Depending on the nature of the platform, the scanners read the data at intervals of minutes or a few seconds.
These data are then further processed in the BVQ server and stored in the database.
The reporting engine also contains the control of the BVQ Rest Interface.
The BVQ Server takes over all calculations for reporting, external interfaces and alerting and presents the System Health map.
In more detail: