Imagine the scene inside a data center... amidst the massive array of servers and back-end storage that store, process, and transmit data on a continual basis, data center managers deal with situations that often overwhelm their capabilities. They need access to information and data, which is not readily available, to ensure reliability and uptime and to manage costs. The challenges in managing the data center and its infrastructure are vast and unrelenting, and the demand to improve performance, track capacity utilization and balance the needs of a business is constant. “Businesses need to understand that they cannot manage what they cannot measure,” says Mark Fitzsimmons, Founder, Arxscan. “There is a dire need for visibility into the enterprise network that can help businesses gain a better understanding of their infrastructure and measure productivity,” he adds. With a clear understanding of these long-standing challenges, Arxscan brings a new approach to providing cutting-edge visibility into an organization’s storage infrastructure.
"Creating a way that can deliver an end-to-end reporting and analysis solution in a quick and cost-effective way is all part of a complete picture"
Powered by unprecedented reporting and analytics capabilities, Arxview—a lightweight, inexpensive, and easy-to-use solution from Arxscan provides current state analysis and future planning perspective in the data center intelligence vertical that IT managers are becoming more critically dependent upon.
Laying the Groundwork
Arxview’s original design philosophy is centered on customers’ need to understand what types of data is being stored in their enterprise infrastructure. Over time the solution has evolved into a single point of presence that provides storage, server, and virtual environment capacity along with utilization and application mappings.
Today Arxscan has solidified its presence in the market place with an ability to combine operational and logical views of the data center. “Decision makers and operators are beginning to understand that in order to close the gaps in operational efficiency and to effectively serve their user base, they need vendor-agnostic, multi-tiered views of the storage environment,” says Fitzsimmons.
In order to close the gaps in operational efficiency and to effectively serve their user base, data center managers and operators need vendor-agnostic, multi-tiered views of the storage environment
Arxview provides them an understanding of how the environment is utilized by the end user, which will eventually deliver key viewpoints that can accelerate high priority projects—consolidations, cloud migrations, virtualization—as well as streamline day-to-day operations.
Arxview presents the complete view of an organization’s environment in different ways including nested trees, charts, maps, tables, and dynamic topology views. These views serve as windows into the infrastructure of an organization, showing the nested storage hierarchy as well as the dependence criteria between various logical or business units and their data. The mapped objects include disks, logical unit numbers, volumes, aggregates, filers, arrays, blade chassis, virtual machines, virtual data centers, regions, physical data centers, and more. Logical units in the organization like business groups, applications, projects, and teams use Arxview to get an overview of how their firm’s IT dependencies traverse the entire storage network. The solution captures a variety of metrics related to physical SAN, NAS, DAS, and switching equipment while showing relationships between the entities from an enterprise level down to disk, LUN, and file-level.
By displaying a complete picture of performance, capacity metrics, and resource utilization through a lightweight, web-based user interface, Arxview saves resources and operators’ valuable time, guaranteeing a balanced and fully-optimized storage environment. The interface also offers easy sharing capabilities.
The Arxview Data Center Analytics Engine (DCAE)
According to Fitzsimmons, many solutions designed to effectively run a data center often monitor specific types of equipment or treat “reporting” as a secondary function. Arxscan’s approach is very different, and often successful: combining the power of unprecedented reporting and analytics to provide a broader and deeper visibility across the entire environment.
Arxview Data Center Analytics Engine (DCAE) is creatively engineered for this need, as the solution captures all virtual storage overlays and their physical environment dependencies including database capacity, location, storage usage, line of business, cloud client or any other logical structures.
A Quick, Simple Installation Method
Arxscan’s success in meeting reporting and analytics demands of the storage marketplace didn’t happen by chance. “It’s by listening to the needs of our customers and partners and turning that feedback into a powerful, ever-expanding solution,” says Fitzsimmons.
“Most data center professionals are skeptical when they hear that the Arxview DCAE installs in just a couple of hours. Experiences with other storage software coupled with complexities of their environments have trained them to assume that it takes weeks, sometimes months of meetings and costly external resources to install tools,” says Fitzsimmons. The completely agent-less system of Arxscan needs no installation on any of the devices; it’s just a single point-of-install for the actual software that is performed via WebEx making the deployment and configuration entirely remote. “When they see for themselves that Arxview lives up to the promise, they know we are a complete solution provider.”
The Arxscan team works with customers in every step of the procedure during installation and setup to ensure that the solution is running where and how the companies want it to run. Once the solution starts collecting required data, Arxscan schedules follow-up checkpoints—none of which, including the initial install involves cost to the customer—to assuage their doubts and ensure that the system is running without any hiccups in the environment. This highly efficient operating model and the remote delivery process collectively help Arxscan to keep the entire process cost free for their customers.
Disrupting the Market
As the growth of virtualization and cloud computing further complicate the data storage landscape, Arxscan is strengthening their user base with its unique ability to untie the intricacies in data storage.
Arxscan’s solution has been installed in over 1,600 data centers worldwide for customers from every type of industry that run their infrastructure in a wide range of environments— from a couple of storage arrays all the way up to multi-petabyte facilities. The credit goes to the way the Arxview DCAE is built, where it can be used by all operational, planning, and management users in an organization, giving it a collaborative design. “It is this design that makes the Arxview DCAE a unique and effective solution for customers and partners who continue to and add value to Arxscan’s efforts,” says Fitzsimmons. “One should remember that the more an organization has the ability to collect and analyze data about their environment, the more they will be able to know and plan for their potential, and the better they’ll manage their information and infrastructure,” he concludes.