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.

For testing we had all options licensed and found installation to be a simple task with the Profiler server loaded on a Windows Server 2008 system in a few minutes. It doesn't offer automated agent deployment so we installed these manually on our Windows Server 2003, Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 test systems.

The console's home page opens with a basic summary of managed systems and provides plenty of links to help and tutorials. Profiler uses policies and rules to control most functions. One rule allows agents to auto-register with the server which we found occurred within seconds of the agent being loaded.

A network discovery tool looks for EMC, LSI, NetApp and VMware systems and a new feature is support for SMI-S. Our test environment also included a VMware ESX Server 4 system which Profiler found and, once we had provided login credentials, added it to the list of managed hosts. SNMP must be configured for VMware and we found SolarWinds provides excellent instructions for this.

The main console page has an overview of monitored resources with pie charts showing total usable and raw storage plus VMware datastore usage. Beneath this are tables showing the top ten servers with the least amount of storage capacity available along with the highest processor and memory usage.

Select any of these graphs and you can drill down for more information and eventually arrive at individual systems. This window shows disk, processor, memory and network performance graphs as well as a capacity analysis which lets you see if free space on each volume is declining or increasing.

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