EMC ViPR Review

ViPR SRM gives us insight into our VNX arrays that are distributed across the United States, but it doesn't permit setting up LDAPs via Web UI.


Valuable Features

  • Graphing of LUN and disk performance
  • Alerting of certain array events (disk failure, performance issues)

Improvements to My Organization

ViPR SRM gives us insight into our VNX arrays that are distributed across the United States. If we were not using ViPR SRM we’d manually be pulling .NAR log files from each VNX and that would take hours. Optionally we would use VNX M&R ,which is not customizable.

Room for Improvement

  • New versions frequently have database schema changes that break existing customized reports
  • After each upgrade, all reports that were customized lose all changes. Have to go through each report and re-add/change columns
  • Long standing issue where underutilized hard disks will show latency up to 100,000ms. This makes alerting on disks with high latency (20ms+) impossible
  • Unable to setup LDAPs via Web UI
  • UI should support a diagnostics feature so I don’t have to SSH into the server and run diags manually
  • The documentation that explains the custom properties and values for reporting is difficult to use
  • There are loads of capacity reports that duplicate the same information. It’s difficult to figure out which reports to use
  • UI makes you drill down up to 10 levels deep to find information

Use of Solution

I've used it for 36 months.

Deployment Issues

After upgrading to SRM 3.6, many of the reports did not have the proper graphing algorithm and were displaying incorrect data. This took approx. 6 weeks to fix. Created an “Alert” and after applying the change SRM stopped working for half a day. Started working again after some scheduled database job ran.

Stability Issues

Frequently, we see IOPS and MB/s spikes going into millions (like 10,000,000 IOPS). This is an impossible situation for our infrastructure. This issue causes the SRM reports and alerting to stop working correctly for one or more days.

Customer Service and Technical Support

EMC Technical support is generally very attentive and will escalate to EMC Engineering as needed.

Previous Solutions

Previously used EMC VNX M&R which is a lower cost product with less features.

Initial Setup

The initial setup with EMC Professional Services was complex and took about five days, but subsequent new installs by me were completed in approx. three hours.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

The original SRM install required a $25,900 installation fee via EMC Professional Services. EMC would not support the product without the fee. Newer installs can be installed by the customer.

SRM pricing was rolled into the VNX 7600 array pricing; I don’t know how much it costs. Was quoted $6,000 for VNX 5300.

Other Solutions Considered

Other Advice

This product has a steep learning curve. Setting up monitoring for a VNX is not that difficult. Changing existing reports becomes more challenging, and creating your own custom reports is difficult. Also, reports are buggy, some columns are blank.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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