I have been studying for my CCIE Storage Lab for quite some time. In practicing the various technologies available on the MDS, I mostly prefer to use the command line to do almost all of my work. There are however a few situations where I find the GUI environment to be a good way to get things done. This means using Device Manager and/or Fabric Manager.
There are many tasks where you are dealing with a matrix of data, such as role creation or FICON configuration. I find that when dealing with data such as this, GUI’s can be very good at helping you assemble your configuration.
Setting up roles in the MDS is not really difficult, but it can take some time depending on the complexity of the role you are configuring. I have found that using the GUI in Device Manager is a great way to configure roles. You can very simply look at the various commands that are available and check the various boxes for the commands and contexts which you wish to use them.
FICON configuration for blocking/prohibit is pretty straight forward. But I find that looking at the configuration in the Device Manager is a great way to both configure and check your work with regards to FICON ports.
The Device Manager is pretty much hands down the best way to deal with RMON. The CLI expects that you configure various RMON events by OID, and who knows all those? Not to mention you have to include the port number in OID format as well. The Device Manager makes this much easier, even if just to get the configuration started. After you get your event, port number, and basic information configured via the GUI, then you can finish any other detailed configuration via the CLI.
Intelligent Fabric Services (SSM)
I find that many of the Intelligent Services can be configured easily via the GUI. For example, the DMM can be configured via the Fabric Manager GUI.
These are just some of the things you may wish to configure partially in your lab, or just use to check your configuration. If you use the GUI for different parts of configuration please share your tips!