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  • 1.

    Symmetrix Optimizer builds a database of device activity statistics on the Symmetrix back end.

  • 2.

    Using the data collected, configuration information, and the user-defined parameters, the Optimizer algorithm identifies busy and idle devices and their locations on the physical drives. The algorithm tries to minimize average disk service time by balancing I/O activity across physical disks by locating busy devices close to each other on the same disk, and/or by locating busy devices on faster areas of the disks. This is done by taking into account the speed of the disk, the disk geometry, and the actuator speed.

  • 3.

    Once a solution for load balancing has been developed, the next phase is to carry out the Symmetrix device swaps. This is done using established EMC TimeFinder® technology, which maintains data protection and availability. Users can specify if swaps should occur in a completely automated fashion, or if the user is required to approve Symmetrix device swaps before the action is taken.

  • 4.

    Once the swap function is complete, Symmetrix Optimizer continues data analysis for the next swap.

Demo mode

The demo mode of Symmetrix Optimizer (previously known as the analysis mode) enables customers to see the potential Symmetrix performance improvements that Symmetrix Optimizer would make, before they actually purchase the product. In demo mode, Optimizer fills up a sample database and generates a list of swaps that would lead to improved back-end Symmetrix performance. It then produces graphical output comparing the current performance with the predicted performance if the suggested swap were to be executed.

Even though this mode isn’t considered an official feature of Symmetrix Optimizer, it is a useful evaluation tool for potential customers of Symmetrix Optimizer.

Demo mode is available through the service processor and, by default, is enabled. There is no customer interface to enable demo mode or retrieve its output—these are both service-processor-resident capabilities and, as a result, require a CE. Because of this, demo mode should not be used once Optimizer has been purchased and implemented. If a customer has purchased Optimizer but does not want to allow it to make swaps, the user approval mode should be used instead of demo mode.

Supported environments

Symmetrix Optimizer consists of two major components:

  • The Optimizer processing engine runs continuously on the Symmetrix service processor and collects the statistics, performs the analysis, executes, and monitors the configuration changes. This component is associated with the version of Symmetrix Enginuity™ software running on the Symmetrix array. Versions of the Optimizer engine (with different functionality) are referred to as different revs of Optimizer (Rev5 – 5x71, Rev6 – 5772 and Rev7 – 5773).

  • The client user controls for Optimizer parameters. This client can be the EMC SMC, EMC ControlCenter® GUI, or SYMCLI command line interface.

Optimizer is available for Symmetrix arrays running Enginuity software versions 5x66 and later. Refer to the EMC Support Matrix (found on the Powerlink® website) for details on minimum versions of Enginuity software release levels required, along with the compatible user control interfaces for each revision of Optimizer and the required service processor versions.

Since Symmetrix Optimizer operates on Symmetrix devices and physical disks, there are no compatibility requirements at the host or application level. However, since NCR Teradata operates by spreading activity across volumes, Symmetrix Optimizer is generally not sold into this environment.

EMC Symmetrix Optimizer A Detailed Review


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