Are you a member of a cult?

Steve Duplessie from the Enterprise Strategy Group sent out an amusing tweet the other day:

I am unsure about unnatural love, but perhaps the level of enthusiasm he is seeing comes from:  ease of use, awesome GUI, consistent performance, freedom from planning RAID groups, simple growth and upgrade path… I could keep going…  it all adds up.

So if you are a member of the cult of XIV, I have a little present for you:
A really nice and simple reporting tool.

Here is what you need to do:

1)  Download XIV Capacity Report 3.7 from this link.  Click where it says Downloading this file.

2)   You will get a zip file with five files in it.   Unzip them into a folder on a Windows workstation.  The Windows workstation also needs the XIV GUI installed on it (actually you only need the XCLI, but the Windows version of the GUI will give you that).

3)  Of the five files you just unzipped, you need to edit the file called:  xiv_capacity_report_get_files.vbs.   Open that file with a text editor (such as Notepad).  The easiest way to do this is to right-select the file and choose edit.

4)  You need to edit the  section that looks like this:

' *********** Edit this list of IP/names and user/password for your own configs ************************
myConfigs.Add "1", "-m -u admin -p adminadmin"
myConfigs.Add "2", "-m -u admin -p adminadmin"

Lets say you have two XIVs, the details for which are:

XIV1 :     Management: IP    Userid:   admin    Password:   passw0rd
XIV2 :     Management: IP    Userid:   admin    Password:   passw0rd

So we edit the section I mentioned above and make it look like this:

' *********** Edit this list of IP/names and user/password for your own configs ************************
myConfigs.Add "1", "-m -u admin -p passw0rd"
myConfigs.Add "2", "-m -u admin -p passw0rd"

Now save the file and we are done editing.      If you only have one XIV, then delete the line starting with myConfigs.Add “2” (or put an apostrophe at the start of the line to comment it out).  If you have more than two XIVs, just add extra lines for myConfigs.Add “3”myConfigs.Add “4” and so on, adding details for each machine as shown above.  You can ignore the lines further down in the file that start with an apostrophe, these are just examples.

Unless you acquire another XIV, you will not have to do this file editing again.

5)  Now double-click on the icon:   xiv_create_capacity_report.bat.  This is a Windows bat file that will create a Windows command prompt while it is running.   It uses XCLI commands, so if the XIV GUI or XCLI is not installed, it won’t work.   The output will be a new folder with today’s date and time.  Inside that folder will be a report that will be named something like:  xiv_capacity_report_2011_10_30_17_6_36.xls

You can now open the report and check it out (presuming you have Microsoft Excel or some other software that can open XLS files).   On versions prior to 3.8 I got a message talking about file formats, when I opened the file:

You can ignore this message.  If you save the file as an XLS you won’t get this message again.    This issue was fixed in version 3.8.
The report itself will have five tabs as shown below:

For every column in every tab, filtering (or sorting) is already setup.   This makes it really easy to re-arrange the data to suit what you’re looking for.

Arrays Tab
List details about all your XIVs including: serial numbers, code versions, soft and hard capacity, how much of the soft and hard space is allocated,  how much is free and how much space is being consumed.   Great place to grab the machine serial number or confirm which machine has space available.

Pools tab
Lists every pool in every XIV showing every possible sizing metric you could possibly want.  Cells will be coloured red or yellow if limits are being reached.   It is a great place to confirm if your pools are filling up and whether a pool is a good candidate to be changed to Thin Provisioning.  Sort column L (allocated vs used) or column N (Hard Capacity Utilization) to identify good candidates for swapping to Thin Provisioning.  These are the pools that can give up some hard space.

Hosts tab
Will list every defined host for every XIV.   You can straight away spot how much space has been allocated to each host and more importantly, how much is being used.   Cells will be coloured yellow or red if limits are being reached.    Some nice tricks:

  • Sort by column F (Allocated vs Used) to identify hosts that have asked for lots of space, but not used much of it.
  • Compare column G (# of volumes) with column I (# volumes mirrored). You may have critical hosts that require every volume to be mirrored, so a quick compare will confirm if there are exceptions.

Volumes tab
Will list every volume defined on every XIV.  This is a great tab to check which volumes are being mirrored, how many snapshots exist for each volume and how much space is being used by each volume.  Again cells in the Used column will be coloured red or yellow if space is becoming short.  Some great tricks here:

  • Sort column F or G (Used GB and %) to identify volumes with no or little data in them.   Perhaps they are not really needed?  Perhaps they are over-sized or should be in a Thin Provisioning pool.
  • Sort column H (Mirrored) to identify all volumes where Mirrored = No.   Should they be mirrored?
  • Sort column K (Host Mapped) to identify all volumes not mapped to a host.   Unmapped volumes are a great potential source of space!

Failures tab
The Failures tab shows any failed components in your machines (like failed disks).

So please download the tool and try it out.   Service providers love using this tool for reporting, it is so quick and easy to set up and run.   Every time you run the tool you get a new report, so you can automate report creation and keep a nice history.

If you were signed into IBM developerWorks when you downloaded the tool and an update is made available, you should be notified by email, provided your IBM ID is set-up properly with a valid e-mail address.

And as for cults… there is only one cult I ever really liked and they really were called The Cult.   The video takes about 15 seconds to get going and yes, the lead singer is dressed like a pirate.   Enjoy! (if you like 80s rock…).


About Anthony Vandewerdt

I am an IT Professional who lives and works in Melbourne Australia. This blog is totally my own work. It does not represent the views of any corporation. Constructive and useful comments are very very welcome.
This entry was posted in IBM Storage, IBM XIV and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Are you a member of a cult?

  1. thanks for this. wish I knew about it earlier since I’ve been tracking all of this in spreadsheet form for years now.

  2. Double thanks then. One thing that I have always wanted to know about our XIV but have not been able to determine is during heavy workloads, at what point will I exhaust my cache? I’ve spoken with one of my local territory reps and he did not know of a way to determine this, except for messages within the event log that would point to (MEMORY_​COMMITMENT_​IS_​NEAR_​LIMIT). I wish there was some way to do real time monitoring of the cache levels because I’d like to know which workloads are more cache intensive.

  3. I agree… I would like to see this too. Sounds like a feature request! Of course with Gen3 having bucket loads of cache and the option of 500GB or SSD per module (also acting as read cache)…

  4. Pingback: Are you a member of a cult? « Storage CH Blog

  5. Sorry Devastator, constructive comments are very welcome but abusive comments will be deleted.

  6. Version 3.8 released and is available for download.

  7. Pingback: XIV Performance Monitoring Tools | Aussie Storage Blog

  8. Pingback: Report generation tools for XIV | Aussie Storage Blog

  9. Roger The Viking :-) says:

    Hi, sorry to say that you also need excel installed, question is which version, I have office 2003 (yes its old) and that is not enough to create the excel file.
    What version of excel needs to be installed ?

  10. Pingback: Report generation tools for XIV - The Business of IT Storage Blog - IBM Storage Community

  11. Marc van hoof says:

    When can we expect a new version with excel coloums like cache hit and ssd hit.
    Would be nice to have this on host ,volume, pool etc basis

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