News Column

Patent Issued for Embedded Advisory Framework for Storage Configuration Management

July 29, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- EMC Corporation (Hopkinton, MA) has been issued patent number 8782341, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Niranjan, Thirumale (Bangalore, IN); Kozlovsky, Vitaly S. (St. Petersburg, RU); Gumenyuk, Ivan V. (St. Petersburg, RU).

This patent was filed on June 29, 2012 and was published online on July 15, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Some data storage systems include complex arrangements of storage disk arrays, configuration management interfaces, and storage processors. A system administrator faces many choices in making adjustments to the configuration of a data storage system in response to changing conditions, many of them resulting in suboptimal performance. Along these lines, the system administrator may seek advice with regard to provisioning additional storage when a storage processor generates an alert that the available storage on a particular storage disk array has fallen below a threshold.

"Conventional configuration advisory tools for data storage systems use standalone applications that employ a set of heuristics based on historical configuration and failure event data. Along these lines, suppose that a data storage system needs to be configured to support a certain quantum of work of a given characteristic (called a 'workload'). A system administrator will either contact a support center, which will use a standalone tool, or use a standalone tool himself. The tool will take the input characteristics of the workload, and consulting the set of heuristics that it is supplied with, will provide advice on how to configure the data storage system."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Unfortunately, there are deficiencies with the above-described conventional configuration advisory tools because of their static nature and their inability to adapt to new usage paradigms Rather, the set of heuristics that the tool uses is based on a human expert interpretation of a set of failure events and configuration settings submitted by other system administrators in the past. This causes three problems. One, if the support center cannot recognize the failure event and/or the configuration settings at the time of the failure event, then it is unlikely that the tool would be able to use the set of heuristics to provide configuration settings in response to the failure event. Two, the tool is unable to learn from other deployments of the same product. Three, the tool is unable to learn from its own decisions in the past.

"In contrast to the above-described conventional configuration advisory tools which are unable to adapt to new information quickly, an improved technique involves consulting a predictive model to optimize a configuration of a data storage system. A customer at a data storage system requests a configuration optimization from a customer support center by sending values of input parameters to the customer support center. Such input parameters represent a current state of the data storage system, e.g., initial configuration. The customer support center then receives configuration parameters in response to inputting the input parameters into a predictive model running on a host computer. The customer uses the configuration parameters to define the configuration state in which the data storage system runs.

"Advantageously, the improved technique allows for real-time generation of optimal configurations for data storage systems. Because the predictive model is based on a flow of information from a large pool of customers, the predictive model is able to respond to any well-formulated state without excessive extrapolation. In fact, the improved techniques allow for input from different models of data storage systems (e.g., Clariion, VNX, and Isilon from EMC Corp., Hopkinton Mass.) to be combined into a single, unified model that is agnostic with respect to the model of data storage system from which a system administrator sends input parameters.

"One embodiment of the improved technique is directed to a method of providing optimal configurations for data storage systems on a network in response to configuration queries from the data storage systems. The method includes receiving a configuration query from a particular data storage system, the configuration query including values of input parameters of a set of input parameters, the values of the set of input parameters being indicative of a state of the particular data storage system. The method also includes inputting the values of the input parameters into a predictive model that outputs configuration parameters in response to the host computer being provided values of the input parameters. The method further includes sending values of adjusted configuration parameters to the particular data storage system, the adjusted configuration parameters being used to provide an optimal configuration for the particular data storage system.

"Additionally, some embodiments of the improved technique are directed to a system constructed and arranged to provide optimal configurations for data storage systems on a network in response to configuration queries from the data storage systems. The system includes a network interface, a memory, and a processor coupled to the memory, the processor configured to carry the method of providing optimal configurations for data storage systems on a network in response to configuration queries from the data storage systems.

"Furthermore, some embodiments of the improved technique are directed to a computer program product having a non-transitory computer readable storage medium which stores code including a set of instructions to carry the method of providing optimal configurations for data storage systems on a network in response to configuration queries from the data storage systems."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Niranjan, Thirumale; Kozlovsky, Vitaly S.; Gumenyuk, Ivan V.. Embedded Advisory Framework for Storage Configuration Management. U.S. Patent Number 8782341, filed June 29, 2012, and published online on July 15, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8782341.PN.&OS=PN/8782341RS=PN/8782341

Keywords for this news article include: EMC Corporation, Information Technology, Information and Data Storage.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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