Mr. Poelker,

I work for a telecom company in Canada and I am looking to get my hands on a "beginners" book on SAN. There are a number of different publications available but most of them push specific suppliers and end up as a "Product & Service" catalogue. I am looking more for a SAN overview, easy to understand configurations and pros/cons. I have a marketing/finance background so I do not want to get lost in the "techy" documents. What would you recommend/suggest?

Thanks.

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Hmmmmm, perhaps I need to write a book....

Well, searchStorage is a wonderful place to start. There are numerous papers available, including SAN books that are always advertised. Mark Farley and Tom Clark both have books out that are easy to understand and valuable reading. I gave Tom's book to one of my sales execs and he said it was easy to understand. I don't think there is a "SAN for Dummies" out yet but maybe I can fix that.... SAN is not a real easy topic to cover, due to all the different components and protocols involved. I personally like to use the RFCs (Request for Comments) as a basis point for understanding how SANs REALLY work but sometimes, dental surgery is more fun. Although vendor sites are mostly vendor specific, many have easy to understand diagrams and pretty straightforward explanations. The switch vendors are probably the best place to start since they have to cover the whole SAN and not just the storage. McData, Brocade, Inrange and Qlogic have some good general explanations on their sites.

Chris

Editor's note: Also, take a look at searchStorage's bookstore for more books on storage networking.

Editor's note: Do you agree with this expert's response? If you have more to share, post it in our Storage Networking discussion forum.

This was first published in February 2002

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