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SolarWinds Storage Profiler 4.12 review

Are your storage networks out of control? SolarWinds claims its Storage Profiler software is easier to use and better value than most other SRM products. Read this review to see if it really can bring order to chaos.

Price
£1,975

If there's one thing businesses can be sure of it's that demand for network storage will never stop growing. However, despite being faced with this voracious appetite, administrators simply can't keep on feeding it with more hardware. They must instead manage existing resources more effectively to reduce wastage.

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SRM (storage resource management) was always supposed to be the answer, but we remain unconvinced by many of these products as they can be expensive and overly complex with few capable of managing mixed vendor environments. Storage Profiler from SolarWinds aims to avoid all these problems as it's designed to be easy to use, good value and capable of working with a wide range of network storage hardware.

Network resources supported include file and backup servers, RAID arrays, HBAs, NAS appliances, IP and FC SANs and VMware environments. However, pricing can be complex as Profiler has a number of optional components with the base product capable of monitoring SANs, NAS appliances and HBAs from vendors such as NetApp, EMC, Cisco, HP/3PAR, Dell/EqualLogic and IBM.

Licensing is based on the number of physical hard disks to be monitored, so even if your NetApp array has one virtual drive, a license is required for each member disk. Profiler can also monitor FC switches from Cisco, Brocade and QLogic, but this costs an extra 690 per switch.

For Windows Servers and VMware systems you need the Virtual & Server Profiler. It includes agents for Windows systems which provide enhanced reporting on system utilisation and resident files. Profiler doesn't use SNMP to gather information about system utilisation, so if you want to know about CPU, memory, disk and network usage on your Windows servers you will need this agent. It instead uses the VMware API to query host systems about system utilisation, VM activity and storage usage. It also provides details on end-to-end mappings and the relationships between VMs, datastores, LUNs and physical arrays.

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