How we tested SRMs

Our testing required that both products auto-discover a storage-area network comprising nine host bus adapters from QLogic and Emulex, two QLogic Fibre Channel switches, Nexsan SATABlade and SATABeast storage arrays, Windows 2000 and 2003 servers and Red Hat ES 3.0 and 4.0 and SUSE Linux 10 servers.

Our testing required that both products autodiscover a storage-area network comprising nine host bus adapters from QLogic and Emulex, two QLogic Fibre Channel switches, Nexsan SATABlade and SATABeast storage arrays, Windows 2000 and 2003 servers and Red Hat ES 3.0 and 4.0 and SUSE Linux 10 servers. The IP network had three segments in a simulated WAN configuration and two SAN segments using logical unit number masking.

In addition to discovery, we tested the ability of each product to manage devices, comparing the native management interface of the vendor-supplied management software to the management options available through the storage resource management interface.

In addition to management, we tested the ability of the software to set alarms based on thresholds being exceeded, such as exceeding 80% utilization of a volume or switch port bandwidth, failures of devices. We tested this by unplugging a port to see whether an alert message would be sent and then examined the ability of the software to create and execute a script on an alert, for instance adding space to a volume when its use reached 80%.

We also tested the reporting tools, creating a report of storage use by utilization and department, showing both disk-space use and bandwidth consumption, as administrators might do for a chargeback report.

Finally, we looked at any additional tools, such as the topographic mapping capabilities, that show logical maps of the SAN, as well as the capabilities of optional extras such as the Exchange and database-monitoring tools.


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