www.infostor.com - new and improved

Reacting to reader requests and complaints, we recently enhanced and restructured our website. Among other things, we've archived all our back issues and added a sophisticated search engine to help you with your storage-related research. For example, a search for "SAN" returns more than 250 results (articles).

In addition, you'll find news and business briefs, posted daily and weekly. And we're now posting the majority of the content that you find in our print edition. (Previously, we only put our special reports up on the site.) Please visit the site and let us know how we can make it even better for your needs.

For your bookshelf

If you're interested in SANs, you'll want to read Marc Farley's just-released Building Storage Networks, published by Osborne McGraw-Hill (www.osborne.com), $44.99. This huge (656 pages) volume provides both basic introduction material as well as technical how-to tutorials, and seemingly (I haven't read the whole thing yet) covers all aspects of SAN design. It also explores network-attached storage (NAS), RAID tuning, SAN-based backup, clustering, Internet-related storage, and a variety of other timely issues.

Farley occasionally writes for InfoStor. An excerpt from Building Storage Networks appears in this issue (see "Distributed intelligence and data sharing," p. 34-42).

Although not as new, another excellent book is The Holy Grail of Data Storage Management, by Jon William Toigo, published by Prentice Hall PTR (www.phptr.com). In addition to covering all the ins and outs of storage management, this 322-page book covers topics such as SAN, NAS, interfaces, RAID, tape, and optical.

We highly recommend both books, whether you're a storage administrator, network manager, or third-party integrator.

In this issue

SANs aren't taking off quite as quickly as expected, and part of the reason may be lack of a "killer app." That application may be coming this year with the advent of server-less backup, the topic of Heidi Biggar's Special Report this month. How it works is a little confusing because a variety of vendors are jockeying for position, but as her report points out, the potential benefits are enormous.

I'd also like to call attention to Richard Lary's feature on SAN security, one of the issues that threaten to plague SANs once they do achieve widespread acceptance. To avoid potential security problems, start with this article. Richard must know what he's talking about because he recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to I/O technology (see news story in this issue).

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Dave Simpson, Editor-in-Chief

This article was originally published on March 01, 2000