This week at HP Discover, the Storage Essentials team unwrapped version 9.7 of the product for customers to see. The next release, code-named Castle, features a number of enhancements with support for several new EMC storage platforms, support for Windows 2012 and updates to support a lot of new versions of array code. Storage Essentials 9.7 also focuses heavily on performance improvements and is expected to be released in July.
One of the major shifts in architecture for Storage Essentials is a move away from embedded Oracle database to an embedded PostgreSQL database. The new database platforms appears to be less resource intensive [from my own testing], quicker to install and just as responsive as the previous embedded Oracle. Upgrade and migration from 9.6.1 to the new release migrates the data painlessly, since Storage Essentials packages its own database export utility that pulls out the data from Oracle and pushes it into PostgreSQL easily. The overall installation time is considerably less since the switch to PostgreSQL.
For 9.7, the Storage Essentials team has worked to improve load times and performance of the application. One of the changes made for performance is decoupling the topology calculation which relates elements together after discovery so that it can be run once at the end of the collection process. In my environment, the changes have reduced the time to perform a backup data collection from about an 1 hour and 20 minutes to about 16 minutes, including topology calculation, as a result of optimization in the code. Another performance improvement deals with how the data is loaded into the Java applet of the application. The improvements result in faster loads of the Capacity Manager, Backup Manager and Performance screens.
Storage Essentials is a storage resource management software. It provides topology visualization for storage environments, centralized storage system event logging, performance reporting and a wide array of preconfigured reports for the SAN switches, arrays and hosts. Storage Essentials can collect information from SAN connected hosts, monitor file servers and NAS resources, monitor capacity and performance.
Disclaimer: I spoke about the next generation version of Storage Essentials along with Inge De Maere and Kara McMillian during HP Discover. I worked with HP Storage Essentials team as a beta user of the new version and they invited me to share my customer experience during the What’s New session.