[techbooks] REVIEW: "Designing Storage Area Networks"
- BKDSGSAN.RVW 990926
"Designing Storage Area Networks", Tom Clark, 1999, 0-201-61584-3,
%A Tom Clark tclark@...
%C P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew Place, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2T8
%I Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
%O U$19.95/C$29.95 416-447-5101 fax: 416-443-0948 bkexpress@...
%P 202 p.
%T "Designing Storage Area Networks"
All things old are become new again. Data independence has become
platform independence. Time sharing has become client/server.
Database integration has become data warehousing. Systems analysis
has become enterprise resource planning. Terminals have become thin
clients. And clustering has apparently become the Storage Area
Network (SAN), at least in terms of disk attachment.
Chapter one is an introduction, but only to the book. There is, for
example, discussion of the limitations of current networks, but the
scope is limited to server based networks with SCSI (Small Computer
Systems Interface) disks. While predominant, this model is not the
only one around. There is an overview of basic networking concepts
along with a quick introduction to network attached storage and a
simple SAN model in chapter two. The preliminary background on fibre
channel protocols that is provided in chapter three is interesting,
but possibly more detailed than desired by the target audience
managers and administrators addressed in the preface. In addition,
the presentation could have been improved for communications
professionals by placement within the standard OSI (Open Systems
Interconnection) layered model. SAN topologies are listed in chapter
four, but, again, the level of detail is probably more than users want
while some of the explanations could be clearer.
Chapter five presents the major components of a SAN. Diagnostic
procedures and tools get a quick once-over in chapter six. The
discussion of network management, in chapter seven, mentions a number
of peripherally related technologies, but seems to conclude only that
management is possible. Chapter eight describes some applications
that might benefit from SAN technologies. There is speculation about
future development of the technology in chapter nine.
The preface states that the book is intended for managers, system
administrators, consultants, and data storage technical staff. SANs
are a hot topic right now, and this book does provide a background for
this audience. However, the material is not written at the proper
level for this audience. Administrators and planners do not need to
know the microscopic details of semiconductor laser fabrication. They
do need to know what the technology is for, its strengths and
weaknesses, and where it fits into the system they already have in
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKDSGSAN.RVW 990926
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Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do
not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do
understand. - Mark Twain
http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade