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Virtual Instruments to launch hardware NAS probe in 2016

Maker of SAN testing product Virtual Wisdom is all set to announce a beta-tested hardware NAS probe in 2016, but currently NAS protocols supported will be limited to NFS and CIFS

Storage performance testing supplier Virtual Instruments is set to make its first hardware network-attached storage (NAS) probe available in the first half of 2016.

The product will work in a similar way to its existing Fibre Channel SAN product Virtual Wisdom, with the use of a Traffic Access Probe that taps into Ethernet traffic to monitor and analyse end-to-end response times, IOPS, throughput and other key metrics.

Use of such a hardware NAS probe would allow customers to monitor performance and trouble-shoot NAS systems.

Benefits would include the ability to ensure acceptable access times and throughput between NAS systems and virtual machines, as well as to identify bottlenecks and issues that cause slowness and errors at the server, in the storage and across the network.

Virtual Instruments’ services and systems consulting director, Nicholas Dimotakis, said: “We’re expanding our capabilities to IP-based storage. It’s something our customers have been asking for and we have had some betas running over the past year.”

Initially the Virtual Instruments hardware NAS probe will only support NAS protocols, NFS and CIFS. When asked when the product would support clustered file systems – increasingly popular and must-haves for HPC storage – such as Lustre and GPFS, Dimotakis said that hadn’t been decided yet.

SAN monitoring tool Virtual Wisdom was designed to monitor storage traffic and interrogate Fibre Channel frames and their SCSI payload. It does this by creating an out-of-band copy so administrators can monitor traffic bottlenecks in terms of Input/Output, throughput, utilisation and queue depth, for example.

Virtual Instruments’ Virtual Wisdom monitoring product is offered as hardware or as a virtual appliance. It supports Fibre Channel SANs in VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and IBM Power VM environments, as well as NAS in NetApp environments by a software probe.

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