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[techbooks] REVIEW: "Designing Storage Area Networks"

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKDSGSAN.RVW 990926 Designing Storage Area Networks , Tom Clark, 1999, 0-201-61584-3, U$19.95/C$29.95 %A Tom Clark tclark@vixel.com %C P.O. Box 520, 26
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 1999
      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
      %D 1999
      %G 0-201-61584-3
      %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

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
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      Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do
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      understand. - Mark Twain
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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