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Waiting and the Progress Bar

January 22nd, 2009

I sent a twitter out last night from my car as I sat in Holyhead waiting for my ferry to Dublin (we live an exotic life). How much of our lives do we waste waiting around for stuff? As an Englishman (in the loosest possible sense), I know how to queue and I do so very politely and quietly!

But then this British past time of queueing and waiting has transcended into the IT world. How many times have you sat there watching a progress bar as something installs, or you wait for something to copy. What happened to multi-tasking?

I have one of my colleagues on site setting up a local SnapMirror to a swing filer so we can replicate to this, move it to another office, then replicate to the DR filer, then resync the SnapMirror relationships from Primary to DR without having to do a full baseline over the leased line.

The trouble is, even with local mirrors, you still have a lot of waiting around. This particular customer has a FAS270c, so we can only setup 4 baselines from each. This means we then have to baby sit this process until each copy finished, and the next can be started. There has to be a better way.

Sure, Protection Manager will do this job, but why is a customer with only a FAS270c going to buy Protection Manager?

I’m going to set myself a task this year, sort of a New Years resolution, I need to get to grips with the API! I’ve written a lot of scripts with BASH and Batch over the years (a few of which I’ve posted up in the last few days), but these don’t always suit, there’s a lot of setup, and Windows Batch scripting is only so flexible, and Linux BASH scripting needs some techie knowledge (my colleagues aren’t all *nix inclined).

There must be a better way! I need a simple way to poll the SnapMirror status in order to see what state the transfer is in, if it’s complete, then great, I can kick off another SnapMirror initialize.

This then has added advantages. This same customer only has an 8meg leased line to replicate daily changes on 2TB of storage. Technically possible, sure, but scheduling these transfers when it’s split across 40 volumes is again a pain. Maybe I’ll publish my Excel calculator for this later also!

So take the original API plugin that monitors SnapMirror initializing, and use this to monitor SnapMirror updates and we have a winner!

Cheap and easy SnapMirror scheduling for the low-end or cost-concious customers. And in this current climate, everyone is greatful for a little cost savings.

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