WSP for Data Centres

Wizards Storage Portal for Data Centres

Data hosting’s perfect storm

This should be an excellent time for data hosting companies. The need to provide businesses with extra storage and backup facilities has never been stronger. According to Google executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003. At Edge 2012, the IBM Senior VP of Systems and Technology group emphasized the following:

  • 2.7 Zettabytes projected volume data this year
  • 750 million people are on Facebook
  • 1 billion people using smart phones and tablets
  • 1 trillion interconnected devices by 2015

There are many factors involved in the growth of data. From natural business growth to analytics, email, sharing on social media, embedded data and compliance requirements. It is estimated that roughly three quarters of companies’ IT investments are tied up in just keeping the lights on, then you realize they have to do something different. Today a small or mid-size business needs as much storage space as an enterprise organization did a few years ago.

According to a 2010 IBM survey, almost 80% of CEOs worldwide thought their IT environment would grow much more complex in the coming years, yet only less than half saw their companies as well-equipped to deal with this development. Many companies simply cannot keep pace with the hardware storage needs in house – both in terms of managing the complexity of what they have and being forced to continually invest in new hardware and virtualisation software. One result is that companies are outsourcing backup and storage to data hosting companies as well as the responsibilities for Storage Resource Management.

Hosting companies challenges

It’s never been a better time for data hosting companies to increase their revenues…and margins. However, storage is relatively cheap and data centres have many challenges in gaining market share profitably under fierce competition with cheap storage and limited IT budgets putting pressure on prices.

To efficiently manage increasingly large quantities of backup data, data centres frequently rely on IBM’s Tivoli Storage Management (TSM). TSM continues to be a very successful and excellent storage management software solution, ideal for automating data backup and restore functions for very large installations and so it is no surprise that it is prevalent in data hosting companies. However the vendor’s monitoring and analysis tools such as TCP often proves to be complicated and cumbersome to manage, requiring large amounts of dedicated time from specialized staff to manage, and multiple licenses can be complicated to administer.

Wizards Storage Portal makes TSM management easier

This is why Debriefing Software’s Wizard’s Storage Portal has proven so popular with many hosting companies. Wizards Storage Portal is a cloud-based solution that eliminates routine and resource demanding Storage Resource Management tasks in IBM TSM and offers a whole range of unique and simple to use features that help hosting companies manage their clients backup and storage more effectively.

The client-side system delivers secure meta-data monitoring the performance of the TSM installation to the cloud, where the where the Wizards Storage Portal converts this information into easily selectable analytical reports and charts, updating the information every 10 minutes which can then be accessed instantly via multiple platforms including an iPhone or iPad.

The customisable dashboard provides an overview of the backup status and performance in real time 24/7. It is simply and quickly set up by choosing the relevant widget from more than 200 preconfigured charts and reports.

Whenever the reports show a performance outside of expectations, the user can then drill down simply by clicking through as far as node level and then back up again to an overview if necessary.

Specific data centre benefits

Several Wizards Storage Portal features are particularly useful for hosting companies. The Remote Backup Centre (RBC) allows a data centre to create a contract with end users, set the price per gigabyte, and then track and invoice customers for the amount of storage used. The data centre can then track the occupancy and other performance information, and set alerts when performance thresholds are breached, or problems arise to ensure backup is working as expected, The Remote Backup feature also provides the customer with access to review at a high level their backup status and performance at any given time. See how easy it is to use here.

Other particularly relevant features for hosting companies include:

  1. Active Log Browser – quickly identify specific system activity and error information amongst thousands of log files or locate the nodes generating the most errors. See the Activity log browser being used in this video here.
  2. Active Alerts – set policies that send an alert automatically by SMS or email 24/7 if performance levels are breached, or scheduled events fail so that issues can be dealt with immediately.
  3. Occupancy History - draws a historic occupancy graph for whatever domain, file space-type, storage pool or timeframe is specified to ensure the system is either being optimized or not heading to capacity issues.
  4. Node Occupancy - will list the highest occupancy growth with specific data.
  5. Scheduled daily reports – save valuable time by scheduling relevant reports to be sent directly to an email box at the intervals specified so they can be reviewed without having to log on to the Wizards Storage Portal.
  6. TSM Client Events – see which schedule events have not be completed and launch and investigation immediately.

In summary, Wizards Storage Portal is an ideal tool for hosting companies to not only reduce the cost of managing their clients backup and storage by eliminating repetitive and resource demanding tasks, but as the TSM installation is continuously monitored and analyzed in real-time with active alerts sent immediately, the service levels provided will be raised significantly.

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Debriefing Software A/S
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P: +45 70 20 75 30