There are two basic ways to get information from your storage environment. The hard way is by deploying agents on each of potentially thousands of hosts. The other method is to use agentless discovery techniques. There are also many challenges to trying to manage your environment by deploying agents:
Storage administrators don’t generally have control of servers.
Server administrators often don’t want to or can’t deploy agents.
Storage administrators may have to deal with host administrators from different departments.
Logistical issues: For data centers with thousands of hosts running a variety of operating systems, just deploying and updating agents can be overwhelming.
Storage Operations Manager (SOM) offers an easier way: Agentless Discovery. We recently published a whitepaper, which provides more details on how agentless discovery capabilities of SOM can be used to get significant information on your storage environment - including storage path analytics and presented storage details. You can access the whitepaper here.
In conclusion, with the path analytics in SOM 10.10 (refer to this previous blog announcing SOM 10.10), significant information can be extracted from the host environment without having to contact the server or discover it in any manner. This can be used to identify the specific set of servers that require more attention (e.g., by amount of storage presented being at a critical level or based on analytics), and then proceed to the next level of discovery, using an agentless mechanism, to understand how the presented storage is configured in terms of multipathing, volume management and file systems.
In this way, a combination of rule-based inference, created hosts, and protocol-based agentless and agent-based discovery mechanisms can be used to optimize management of hosts in large environments, while significantly improving time to value.