Evaluating Analytics Platforms for
Infrastructure & SAN Performance

True analytics require correlation, context, and real-time collection

You're searching for answers, not data

When it comes to infrastructure data analytics, you need a proven platform that offers sophisticated insights and real performance. What you don’t need is a lightweight, unsubstantiated product—leave the test-driving to someone else. With Virtual Instruments, not only do you get real insights into system-wide (not just SAN) performance, you get real answers. And that’s the difference between winning and losing.

Evaluating analytics platforms for your infrastructure is an extensive undertaking. But not all platforms are equal. The depth and breadth of information and answers that you can get from an insightful, end-to-end platform can help you maximize the performance of your infrastructure, mitigate risks, and ensure that your applications exceed the expectations of your end users.

The goals for a true analytics platform are twofold: ensure that every component in your infrastructure is performing at its best while also giving you the power to accurately pinpoint and resolve issues that may arise.

In order to accomplish those goals, you must have an end-to-end view across your entire IT stack, and a correlation engine to generate authoritative and actionable insights. You need a powerful, scalable platform that works with all the vendors and equipment you have—no upgrade required.

Vendor-specific tools are insufficient

Vendor and device-specific tools and legacy approaches to infrastructure monitoring give IT a limited and biased view into the server, network, and storage layers of the infrastructure. While this can help you if you know exactly where a performance issue is, these tools only show you one piece of the puzzle. It can also be costly to upgrade your entire system to work with your analytics platform. In fact, the cost of replacing and upgrading equipment could outweigh the platform’s benefits.

Metrics from a device or vendor monitoring platform can provide some insight into the overall health of various components like Fibre Channel links and fans. However, it’s extremely challenging to try to take all the granular metrics from each device and add them up to get an accurate understanding of overall infrastructure utilization and health. It’s even more difficult to determine the performance of the systems across the all of the layers of infrastructure. This device specific machine data, along with real-time wire data must be aggregated and correlated into analytics data (and answers) by a platform that provides a comprehensive, unbiased view into how the infrastructure is performing as a whole. That’s the difference between data monitoring and true analytics.

Data and metrics aren't enough, either

With the amount of data that is generated by your infrastructure and the various devices and management tools that you have in place, you can find yourself drowning. Without context applied to the data, or real-time visibility into the performance of your infrastructure, you’re still only treading water.

True analytics requires contextualization and correlation of metrics and data points from the entirety of your infrastructure in order to yield any meaningful or actionable insight. Being able to visually see each of your entities, whether they’re grouped by application workload, environment, or configuration, is imperative to both optimize your infrastructure and resolve any issues that arise.

You need a powerful correlation and analytics engine that works in real-time, across your entire system—not just your SAN.

True analytics deliver answers

There are many management applications that give you insight into the performance of various components of your infrastructure. But what’s really necessary is a holistic, vendor-agnostic view.

Here’s a simple checklist of elements for any analytics platforms that you may be considering:

Scalability

The platform must aggregate, persist, and measure millions of data points as well as have the ability to collect and aggregate data from any device and from any vendor, across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Your platform should support growth, not limit it.

Analytics and Correlation

Intelligently match trends and anomalies to components, events, and transactions, and then apply these insights to predictively manage and optimize your infrastructure performance. This is how you get answers.

Unbiased Insights

The platform must include off-the-wire data, correlated with system-wide metrics gathered from across your heterogeneous infrastructure, and then analyzed and presented as authoritative answers without vendor or device bias. So you can continue to use the best equipment in every part of your infrastructure system.

System-wide Visibility

See the reality of what is going on in your environment—from the application and VM all the way to the LUN—regardless of component, vendor, or technology. Look at the big picture, not just one piece of the puzzle.

Real-time Monitoring

Don’t accept averages or summary data. Seeing every frame and every transaction delivers the granularity that you need to see real performance. You need foresight, not hindsight.

Without all of these elements, you’re not really in the race—you’re just watching from the sidelines.