Building storage networks: The book

Sometimes, trade publications, consultants, and systems integrators just aren't enough. And that can be the case with something as potentially challenging as implementing a storage network. In those cases, you need a book. A book.

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For the last few years, Marc Farley's Building Storage Networks has been the de facto standard reference book for storage professionals. Recently, Osborne/McGraw-Hill released the second edition of the publication, which, among other new additions, uses a new analysis method to help readers sort out storage network products by their wiring, storing, and filing characteristics. If that sounds confusing, check out the first installment of our two-part excerpt in this month's issue.

Of course, the book covers storage area networks (SANs), SAN applications, and Fibre Channel, but the new edition also contains a lot of added material on such subjects as network-attached storage (NAS), IP storage (including IP tunneling and iSCSI), InfiniBand, snapshots, database storage, and distributed file systems.

Also in this issue

Speaking of emerging technologies, the Enterprise Storage Group's Arun Taneja provides an excellent overview of iSCSI, FCIP, iFCP, mFCP, and iSNS-all of which are under consideration as standards, and some of which may significantly alter the storage networking plans at many IT organizations.

Another hot (but not new) technology-virtualization-has been stirring up considerable debate among storage professionals, mostly because nobody knows, or agrees about, what it is. This month, we kick off a three-part series on the subject by John Maxwell. Although virtualization is usually bandied about in the context of SANs, John rightfully points out that it's an important technology in non-SAN environments. Since the vast majority of you haven't implemented SANs, this may be a better context in which to tackle virtualization. Future installments of this series of articles, however, will focus on the implications of virtualization in SANs.

And no coverage of storage networks would be complete without an update on Fibre Channel, the enabling technology that made it all possible. The big news on the Fibre Channel front is the move toward second-generation 2Gbps components, which is the subject of this month's Special Report.

But not all storage projects revolve around SANs and NAS. In many cases, storage administrators are concerned primarily with age-old, but still tricky, issues like optimizing storage to maximize database performance. If that's one of your primary tasks, be sure to read Mark Teter's article titled "Deploying cost-effective database storage," which provides technical tips for Oracle and SQL Server administrators.

Dave Simpson, Editor-in-Chief

This article was originally published on September 01, 2001