During a recent Dell TechCenter TechTuesday chat a question came up about performance monitoring with the Dell PowerVault MD3000i Internet SCSI (iSCSI) array. The initial question was how to do performance monitoring from Linux, and we addressed it in a follow-up discussion thread. The answer at this point was to use iostat for the Linux OS or perfmon in the Microsoft Windows OS to monitor performance on each host that was attached to the PowerVault MD3000i array. The follow-on question is how do you monitor the performance for the entire array?

The management tool for the PowerVault MD3000i, PowerVault Modular Disk Storage Manager, does not include any performance stats beyond basic iSCSI port-level stats. Some investigation into the command-line interface for the PowerVault MD3000i revealed that there is a command to capture the performance stats on the array. Using the smcli, which is installed as part of the MDSM, it is possible to collect the performance stats for the array, controllers, and virtual disks to a .csv file.

This stat collection turns out to be pretty cool and not too hard to do. Just a simple command and a little bit of spreadsheet magic and you too can produce cool performance graphs of your PowerVault MD3000i. The details are posted here on the TtechCenter site.