Catching the Unicorn: Intuitive, Actionable Operations Reporting in Simpana 10

Posted 5 August 2013 8:38 AM by Commvault



In the storage industry, delivering truly intuitive and actionable reporting capabilities is sort of like catching a unicorn. Most vendors talk a great game around the importance of reporting capabilities and dashboards, but few actually deliver on the rhetoric. Given the importance and value of delivering great summary views with drill-down capability into the status on the data infrastructure, this is really quite surprising. Many so-called "modern" data protection solutions continue to rely on .csv data dumps, imports into Excel or other manual processes to generate customized summary views.

With Simpana® 10 software, Commvault has really stepped up its game by delivering reporting capabilities that are incredibly efficient, easy to create and use and, most importantly, provide real value to both Simpana administrators and to IT management looking to strategize for the future. I want to take a few minutes to walk you through some of the new reporting capabilities available in Simpana 10 that make efficient data management possible:

WEB INTERFACE: Newly revamped reporting capabilities in Simpana 10 are some of the hidden jewels in this release. Reporting in Simpana 10 begins with a completely revamped web-based GUI. The new interface delivers powerful, intuitive and easy-to-view summary reports that can be accessed securely from any browser, anywhere in the world.

INSTRUMENTATION LEVEL REPORTS: A great example of instrumentation-level reporting is the deduplication policy summary, shown below, which can be configured to deliver up-to-date stats on storage consumption, deduplication ratio, size and status of the DDB and much more.

Deduplication Policy Instrumentation Level Reporting Example
Deduplication Policy Instrumentation Level Reporting Example

CUSTOM REPORTS: While there is an extensive set of canned reports that can be immediately selected, the real power is the ability to fully customize reports. The custom report capability in Simpana 10 not only allows admins to create fully customizable views of the operating environment (from status to storage consumption to SLA attainment and dedupe/compression ratios), it also permits users to create their own reports and dashboard views that can be shared with other administrators or up the chain to management. The ability to share reports and dashboards also ties in with the embedded role-based access controls (RBAC) in Simpana 10 so that administrators or management only see reports they are permitted to see for a fully customizable management experience.

SLA Dashboard Example
SLA Dashboard Example

DASHBOARD & SUMMARY VIEWS: The detailed reports on instrumentation and job level statistics are great for day-to-day tasks performed by storage administrators. But what makes a good reporting solution a really great reporting solution is its ability to quickly provide dashboard summary views that are easily read and understood by senior management to assist in driving decision making, rather than just providing a view for "what happened last week. " A great example is the SLA report, which provides a quick, at-a-glance view of Service Level delivery, rather than simply job success rates. This type of report can be integrated into a custom dashboard, along with reports like storage consumption, network traffic reports and other higher level summary views, that will allow senior IT staff to determine the overall health of the data management infrastructure so they can begin to plot strategy, rather than simply react.

TREND REPORTS AND HEALTH CHECKS: One critical piece in the reporting puzzle new in Simpana 10 is the ability to track long-term trends occurring within the data infrastructure, compare them to best practices, and recommend actions based on those reports. Operating conditions in the modern data center are in a state of ongoing change. This comes with the agile nature of the converged infrastructures and virtualized workloads. New applications are rapidly developed, tested, and brought online. Existing workloads shift resources based on service delivery requirements. New users are added as the business expands. And so on. Even seemingly innocuous changes, like quarterly patch or service pack releases, can have downstream consequences on the operating environment. And when things do go south, it is critical to have baseline data and trending information that can quickly help hunt down what changed, when and what was the impact of that change. This is the value of the Commvault trend and health check reporting new in Simpana 10. As in the example below, the Commvault Simpana Health Check reports can provide summary views for current conditions within the operating environment. A simple red/yellow/green dashboard provides at-a-glance status for the environment that compares existing conditions with known best practices. These reports also include a full set of drill down options that include details on why a parameter may have fallen out of spec and also recommend measures to take to resolve any red or yellow conditions.

Health Check Reporting to Optimize the Environment
Health Check Reporting to Optimize the Environment

COMMVAULT MONITOR (MOBILE) APP: One of the most popular reporting capabilities in Simpana 10 out of the gate is the CommVault Monitor App. This option delivers reporting capabilities for admins on the move and addresses the needs of an increasingly mobile workforce. With support for iOS and Android mobile devices, admins can track the health of their environment and quickly drill down into any problem areas — all from the road.

CommVault Monitor App
CommVault Monitor App

Want to catch the unicorn and step up your reporting capabilities to see what's really going on in your IT environment? Learn more about Simpana 10 Reporting and Insights.

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