IT Infrastructure Insights

Customer Impact: Avoiding Unplanned Outages

Jan 24, 2020

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Every week Visual One reviews each customer environment and sends email and reports summarizing the findings, trends, and specific issues of interest.

Visual One not only provides reports and analysis, it also provides predictive analytics to proactively project when potential capacity upgrades will be needed, when performance bottlenecks will occur, and even potential outages based on error trends and other device specific data.  Clients don’t even need to sign on to the application to get these application benefits because Visual One proactively sends emails with the results of its analysis every week.

The Unplanned Outage

Every storage array notifies you when components fail – since drives can be the most mechanical part of the storage arrays this is the component that fails most often – and the more you have the more likely for a failure.  Visual One notifies you when drives fail, but that is not the interesting notification.  Visual One also checks to be sure you have proper hot spare coverage – at all times.

This past year we had 2 different types of “surprise situations” arise here customer “hot spare coverage” was incomplete:

  • Vendor setup with incomplete setup
  • Failed drive causing hot spare takeover with no hot spare remaining

In both of these cases the first time the customer was made aware of this condition was when the Visual One email was sent to the customer – and the customers reaction was:  “ wow, I am glad you let me know might have let this condition linger had we not known- and then if another failure had occurred it would have cost us a lot of money, not to mention the loss of confidence in it….There s a difference between a drive failing and one failing causing a hot spare coverage issue!”

This is never a big deal if it is handled in advance and always a big deal when it is not.