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Upgrade TPC to V3.3

TPC, an enterprise-class storage-area network (SAN) management application, has been the go-to workhorse IBM provided to customers in the open-systems space.

Illustration by Rich Lillash

New functionality made available with the release of the IBM* TotalStorage* Productivity Center (TPC) V3.3, announced July 5, is designed to appeal more to enterprise-level customers by offering improved scalability and reporting capabilities. 

TPC, an enterprise-class storage-area network (SAN) management application, has been the go-to workhorse IBM provided to customers in the open-systems space. TPC manages data stored in file systems all the way down to the storage subsystems themselves - all while also being able to create and assign those systems and subsystems and all of the zoning of the fabric components in between.

Being an open storage infrastructure-management solution, TPC provides a means by which to centralize management and control of a storage infrastructure - including disk, data and the underlying fabric - providing asset, capacity, performance and availability management. Using TPC, customers have the opportunity to reduce the effort inherent when managing complex multi-vendor environments and improve administrator efficiency and storage utilization.

"TPC provides many tools for analyzing the SAN fabric itself to support the best practices a customer may choose to define," says Mike Griese, technical support management lead for IBM TPC. "It can suggest the best fit for storage a customer may want to assign to a host and provide a lot of the performance analysis for the fabric and the storage subsystems to keep the storage network running to its peak performance. It's designed to run from the small and mid-sized business (SMB) space running - maybe - a single TPC installation, to large enterprises with several individual TPC servers all reporting data back to a master console. So there's quite a bit of scalability that can be leveraged with TPC. It's primarily a tool designed to manage open systems." The TPC V3.3 release is focused on three primary functions:

  • Roll-up reporting
  • Analytics and planners
  • Configuration analytics and auditing

Roll-Up Reporting

One of the most important TPC scalability enhancements found in the V3.3 release is the roll-up reporting functionality (see Figure 1). Through roll-up reporting, a single TPC server can bring together asset and health information collected from multiple TPC instances.

Previously, customers could manage up to about 15,000 disk volumes or 7,500 data hosts/servers that would be running a TPC for a data agent. That adequately covered almost everything many businesses had operating. However, for the truly large enterprises, it wasn't quite sufficient.

"What we've done with TPC V3.3 is we've created this roll-up reporting capability where you can have a number of distributed TPC server installations each managing a portion of the enterprise and they can, in turn, report the capacity and asset information they've discovered up to a master TPC console which can generate enterprise-wide reports," says Griese. "This has greatly enhanced our scalability."

Roll-up reporting consolidates reports - including asset reports, database-asset reports, capacity reports and database-capacity reports - from all subordinate TPC servers, thereby centralizing operations throughout an enterprise through scalable asset and capacity reports gathered from multiple sites.

Ryan Rhodes is a freelance writer for IBM Systems Magazine.

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