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Using SANs and NAS Paperback – February 12, 2002
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"I can say this book is a must for any person engaged in storage administration." - Virantha Mendes, news@UK "In true O'Reilly style, Preston has managed to cover almost every aspects of network-based storage within two-hundred pages, without cutting back on detail or avoiding more complex configurations which people may need." Verdict: The definitive guide for administrators and builders of network storage systems and management solutions -9/10 LinuxFormat, August 2002
About the Author
W. Curtis Preston has specialized in designing data protection systems since 1993, and has designed such systems for many environments, both large and small. His lively prose and wry, real-world approach has made him a popular author and speaker.
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The book also primarily focuses on Fibre-Channel and Network Attached Storage as these were the only available option in its space in 2002. Time has moved on, of course, but for the 2009 update a mere addendum with a few pages of coverage for iSCSI was included.
Note carefully the dates of the reviews praising this title. I'm sure it was in fact an excellent book in its day, but the 2009 publication date is more than a little deceptive.
As someone who has not had exposure to Fiber Channel hands on the book did a great job of explaining the technology and what part it plays. It gives a real nuts and bolts explination of the peices and what they all do.
The book then goes into describing SAN. It gives some typical uses along with the advantages and even the disavantages of SAN. In the next chapter it describes one of the major advantages to SAN in terms of Backup and Recovery. It doesn't go into detail and tell you what the commands are to do these things but more what you need to get the job done and what role each part plays.
The next three chapters are on NAS. The first one gives an overview of NAS and goes into uses along with the advantages and disadvantages of it. The second chapter gives information on how to manage NAS and is a bit too specific but does give a good foundation for the things that you need to look for to get the most out of NAS. The thirst chapter is on Backup and Recovery in a NAS environment. It gives a good overview of the technologies that exist but again gets into a little too much detail and is hung up on specific technologies.
Overall I would suggest this book to any IT people who have a solid background in server and network technology but are looking for what storage solutions exist and how they can be leveraged.
As with most O'Reilly books, it doesn't underestimate the reader, yet still manages to cover all the bases from basic to bread-and-butter, and beyond. The prose style is casual but very precise and always clear.
I want to stress what an earlier reviewer pointed out: it is especially strong on real world backup and restore issues...which is MUCH more important and complex than is initially apparent.
If you are tasked with building a real-world storage infrastructure: read this book first. BTW, because my local B&N was out-of-stock, I paid extra to have [Amazon.com] expedite this slim volume, (grumbling all the way), and ended up happy as a clam about it. Best IT book investment I ever made.