Storage Manager (STM) and Storage Resource Monitor (SRM) v6.0 Release Candidates are now available in the SolarWinds Customer Portal for customers on Active Maintenance through April 1st, 2015. Release Candidates can be installed on your production systems and are fully supported. The Product Team is eagerly awaiting your feedback in the Storage RC Forum. The Product Team would also love your feedback about your storage environment on our short survey so we know how to plan our future releases. Before I go on, I want to take this space to thank all of our early UX feedback participants and all of our Beta participants for helping us to build the product you wanted! We couldn't have done it without you!

 

On to the meat!

 

 

What is Storage Resource Monitor?

 

In short, Storage Resource Monitor (or SRM for short) is SolarWinds storage monitoring product.

 

 

The details that matter for you probably depend on whether or not you are an existing Storage Manager (STM)/Storage Profiler (PL) customer or looking at a storage monitoring tool from SolarWinds for the first time.


For Folks Looking at a Storage Monitoring Tool from SolarWinds for the First Time


When you purchase SRM, you will get two modules - the SRM Orion Module and the SRM Profiler Module (formerly Storage Profiler). This will allow you to get the full breadth of monitoring of SAN and NAS devices that SolarWinds supports in one product offering. As we improve our offerings, you won't have to worry that you "chose the wrong platform" as you get them both! SolarWinds - keeping it simple. For the astute Product Blog reader, you may notice that this is very similar to how we are delivering Virtualization Manager as described in this post: VIRTUALIZATION MANAGER (VMAN) 6.2 RC IS NOW AVAILABLE!


For Existing Storage Manager and Storage Profiler Customers


As I hinted at in my original Beta blog post, if you are an existing Storage Manager (STM) and Storage Profiler (PL) customer, you are coming along for the ride. If you are on Active Maintenance through GA you will get the new SRM Orion Module as part of their Active Maintenace on STM and PL. The one change you will notice is that the STM/PL bits have been lightly rebranded as the Storage Resource Monitor Profiler Module. When you install the SRM Profiler Module v6 (or upgrade your existing STM or PL system) and apply your new v6 key, this will work the same as your previous STM/PL install albeit some improvements we made for v6.0. Note that nothing is being taken away from you with this release, you can keep running your STM/PL server as you do today and you will retain that functionality on upgrade to v6.0.

 

SRM Orion Module vs. SRM Profiler Module - What's the difference?

 

There are extensive differences in the core platforms of each module, which I'm not going to enumerate here. For the most part, they both contain features you would expect out of a monitoring tool - alerting, reporting, device collection - most done in different ways. However, I will call out two of the key differences worth noting:

 

Device Support

 

The SRM Profiler Module has about a 10+ year head start on the Orion Module in device support although the team is planning on closing that gap quickly (keep your eyes on the Storage Manager - What We Are Working On post for updates coming soon!). Right now, the SRM Orion Module supports the following devices:

  • EMC VNX / CLARiiON family
  • EMC VNX NAS Stand-alone Gateway / Celerra
  • Dell EqualLogic PS Series
  • NetApp E-Series (LSI)
  • IBM DS 3xxx / 4xxx / 5xxx
  • Dell MD3xxx
  • NetApp Filers running Data OnTAP 8 in:
    • 7-mode
    • Cluster-mode (aka Clustered Data OnTAP)

 

The SRM Profiler module device support is approximately 25 device families at last count and can be seen on SolarWinds website for more detail.

 

SolarWinds AppStack Integration

2-4-2015 2-50-37 PM.png

It's hard to say more than has already been said in aLTeReGo great AppStack post All New AppStack Environment View and an Opportunity to Earn $100.00 Plus 2000 Thwack Points. With the AppStack Environment View, you can now see infrastructure performance and availability at every level in relation to the application and other supporting infrastructure. If our early feedback on this is any indication, this should greatly help reduce mean time to resolution for any IT Pro. Note that in order to use the SRM Orion Module with other AppStack enabled products, you will need the latest versions of those modules, notably SAM 6.2, VMAN 6.2, and WPM 2.2. As I mentioned in the Beta blog post, we really believe in a vision of Application-centric IT infrastructure management and the AppStack Environment view is the most tangible outcome of that vision. In the picture to the right, you can see SAN and NAS device information in the AppStack - brought to you by the SRM Orion Module.

 

Upgrade and Licensing Scenarios


So if you are a STM/PL customer today, you have a few options for upgrading

  • If:
    • You have device support or functional needs that span both modules
    • You have processes, reports, etc that depend on the old system and want to use that until you get used to the new platform.
  • Then:
    • Upgrade your STM/PL bits to v6.0, Deploy the SRM Orion Module standalone or on top your other Orion modules (e.g. NPM, SAM), integrate the two together
      • In this case, upgrade of STM/PL 6.0 and integration is required in order to share the one license key.
  • If:
    • You are a heavy "Orion shop" and all of your arrays are now supported by the new Orion module.
  • Then:
    • Deactivate your license key on your STM/PL Server. Decomission your STM/PL server. Deploy the SRM Orion Module standalone or on top your other Orion modules (e.g. NPM, SAM). Apply your v6 STM/SRM key on SRM Orion.
  • If:
    • You want to adopt the cumulative features we've added to the product (for example in 5.7 or HotFixes) or adopt the refactored virtualization support
  • Then:
    • Upgrade your STM/PL bits to v6.0. Ignore the SRM Orion Module. Apply your v6 STM/SRM key on SRM Profiler.


If you are installing the SRM Orion Module with the following Orion Modules, you will need to also upgrade those modules:

 

What About the Previous Storage Manager-Orion Integration Module?

 

One note for existing customers that had Storage Manager's previous lightweight integration module installed on Orion, the new SRM Orion Module consumes all of the previous functionality of that lightweight module and effectively replaces that module. It is recommended that you uninstall that module before proceeding with install of the SRM Orion Module.

 

Licensing

 

The shared SRM licensing is important and deserves some clarification. We strove to make the licensing flexible for existing and new customers. The first thing to understand is that both modules collect data independently. That said, if you are monitoring the same device from both modules, and you've enabled integration between them, the device will only be counted once against your license. An example should help:

 

2-3-2015 8-57-04 PM.pngIn the picture to the right, we have both the SRM Orion Module and the SRM Profiler Module deployed. Together they are monitoring 3 arrays: a Hitachi Data Systems device, a Dell MD3xxx device, and a NetApp Cluster-Mode device. In this case, the Dell MD3xxx is being monitored independently as far as data collection by both systems, but the integration and exchange of licensing information ensures that you are only charged for the MD3xxx's 100 disks one time. Therefore, for this system the license count math is:

  • HDS - 150 disks
  • MD3xxx - 100 disks
  • NetApp - 300 disks
  • Total - 550 disks

 

Finally, in this integration scenario, the single key needs to reside on the Profiler Module. For existing customers, it should be no muss, no fuss, as your key is already there an if you're online, your new version 6 key should update automatically at the next license sync. Alternatively, if you wanted to run either module stand-alone, you would activate the key directly on that module's server - both modules are not required to run if you only want to use one or the other.

 

There's obviously a bunch here that I haven't talked about, but that should address most of the frequently asked questions I've received so far. The team is eagerly awaiting your feedback in the RC Forum!