NetScout launches Cisco VSan troubleshooter

NetScout Systems has announced software for monitoring Cisco Systems' virtual storage area networks.

NetScout Systems has announced software for monitoring Cisco Systems' virtual storage area networks.

The nGenius probes allow for real-time monitoring of VSans, so traffic in each area can be analysed and a network's requirements worked out.

Virtual Sans are a way of partitioning a physical San into sections and confining any network problems, such as a failed port, to the confines of the affected virtual San. This allows storage admins to build more scalable and reliable Sans able to support multiple applications in a single physical infrastructure. 

Up until now there has not been a way of monitoring the performance of VSans as opposed to the actual physical ports, switches and links in the physical San.

"NetScout is helping our mutual customers effectively address the growing challenges of deploying and managing large San infrastructures," said Cisco director of marketing for storage Bill Erdman. 

"We have introduced VSan and Inter-VSan routing features in the Cisco MDS 9000 to provide San managers with the means to control and segment their storage traffic better," 

The addition of switch roving capabilities in the nGenius Fibre Channel Probes offers a way to troubleshoot Fibre Channel segments and switches. Connected to a mirror port on a switch, an nGenius Probe can rove to all ports in the switch, allowing San managers to troubleshoot under or over-utilisation, identify bandwidth hogs on a port, or execute a packet capture on a port to perform detailed analysis.

Nancy Marrone-Hurley, a senior analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group, is also in favour. "NetScout is providing a level of visibility into SANs that no other vendor can provide today," she said.

The nGenius 9800 Fibre Channel Probe can be configured todiscover and monitor virtual SANs present on Enhanced Inter-Switch Links (EISL) automatically  in Cisco Fibre Channel San implementations. All the network performance analysis details provided on Fibre Channel segments are now extended to the VSans. 

As for other San segmentation products, NetScout vice president of marketing Jim Frey said, "Conversations are going on with both Brocade and McData. They are a bit behind Cisco in rolling their technologies out."

NetScout recently announced the bundling of nGenius with a RedHat Enterprise Linux server, to make installation of the management software easier. The software itself was revamped in July.

The latest enhancements are available in nGenius Performance Manager 2.0.1 Service Pack 1 and nGenius Probe Firmware CDM 2.1 for nGenius 9800 Fibre Channel Probes at no additional charge.

Chris Mellor writes for

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