CloudIQ – A Web-Based Fitness Tracker for Your Storage

The healthcare industry is being revolutionized right in front of our eyes.  The world is shifting away from a visit to the doctor or a hospital, to a world in which it is easier than ever to get a complete view of your health anytime – from anywhere.

We have fitness trackers, 3D-printed medical devices, AI, VR, robot-surgeons, and “wellness clinics” at your local pharmacy.  Healthcare is being transformed and I can’t imagine how it will evolve over the next 5-10 years.

We are seeing the same transformation take place within storage system management and it’s why we are committed to bringing Dell CloudIQ to all our storage products over the next 12 months.

Dell’s CloudIQ is like a fitness tracker for your storage environment.   It’s a web-based application that leverages machine learning to proactively monitor and measure the overall health of storage systems through intelligent, comprehensive, and predictive analytics.

It pulls in over 5 billion data points and runs 5.5 million health checks per day to generate a storage health score between 0 -100. One score is able to give you a rough idea of how your systems are doing, and you can view all of your systems right from one page.

The more it’s used, the more of a benefit you see. Our customers have been able to achieve an extremely high average storage health score of 97 (out of 100) across our Dell Unity install base, and our SC and VMAX Series Early Access customers, with PowerMax and XtremIO right around the corner.

How Do We Come Up With The Health Scores?

You may wonder how these scores are determined. Well, the process is actually fairly simple. CloudIQ is continuously running proactive Health Checks across five categories to generate a health score:

  • Components – checks for faulty components, such as faulty power supplies or a worn out cooling fans
  • Configuration – understands context and configuration for components including host connections that are not set up with redundancy
  • Capacity – Detects capacity issues that could result in downtime – such as oversubscribed storage volumes or pools that are at their capacity limit
  • Performance – Pinpoints performance issues, such as when CPUs are running at very high utilization; it will also identify imbalances, so that workloads can be shifted around for optimal performance
  • Data Protection – Audits data protection policies to ensure data is protected as required to help ensure both replication RPOs and snapshot policies for scheduling and retention are being met

The most impactful issue generates your total CloudIQ health score.  But, it doesn’t end there.  It also allows you to drill in and get helpful remediations for how to solve the identified issues.

Let’s take an example in which a low health score causes us to dig in deeper.

We click on the system and see Configuration is the top health check category impacting this storage system health score.

Based on the CloudIQ’s analysis, the biggest impact to our score is a host that is incorrectly connected to our storage system by both iSCSI and FC.

When clicking on the alert – CloudIQ offers a specific tip on how to resolve the issue with a reference to a support KB article. So CloudIQ lets you quickly identify the source of the issue and make the necessary changes to restore our health score.

Just like a fitness tracker, CloudIQ is always working in the background to deliver a health score along with smart, centralized monitoring for our Dell Unity customers today, and for PowerMax and SC Series as part of our CloudIQ early access program – contact your sales team to learn the details.

Like any sensible person shouldn’t wait to go to the doctor until after they get sick, organizations can treat their data center storage in much the same way by getting proactive with CloudIQ.

About the Author: Brian Henderson

Brian Henderson is Director of Product Marketing for ISG Portfolio Messaging and Programs at Dell Technologies. A technical marketing leader with deep history in storage, networking, cloud, and big data, Brian works with his team to develop content and activations for Dell's cross portfolio of infrastructure solutions. Previously, Brian led product marketing for Dell’s unstructured data, networking and midrange storage solutions.