Can you tell me the best way to get training and experience for new and emerging SANS technologies? I am a networking professional with 10 years of experience and want to specialize in SANs.

I passed the basic CCNA test for Cisco to help me understand WAN and switching. What direction do you recommend I take to get the best exposure for these technologies?


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Each storage vendor has its own specific solution sets and the only way to get experience with all the storage platforms out there is to actually get some hands on experience. A few ways to get a good general understanding of good SAN design is to:

1. Go to the free seminars held in your area by the switch vendors. Brocade and McData have seminars on a regular basis.

2. Go to the conferences like Storage Networking World, Storage Decisions, etc.

3. Get trained on Brocade, McData, , Inrange, Cisco, Nishan, etc. Since the switches sold by the SAN storage vendors are OEM'd from one of these companies, you will be able to apply that training to any solution.

Your CCNA training will come in handy for data replication solutions. Make sure you are very knowledgeable in the area of IP transports, DWDM technology, Sonet and what link types to use for different bandwidth requirements. When transferring block I/O over IP networks you have to do the math to make sure the link can handle the amount of data you are pushing.

For in depth knowledge of how SANs actually work, visit the IETF site and read all the applicable RFCs. It may be dry reading but there is a heck of a lot of good information there, down to the bit level.

The best way to get experience is to lock yourself in a lab somewhere for a few weeks and actually play with it all. That's the only way to find out for yourself how everything works when put into real world practice.

Read all the books you can on the subject. Some good authors are --> 752778&partner_id=69>Tom Clark from Nishan, Chris Beauchamp from Brocade, Marc Farley, Jon Wiliam Toigo and you can always pick up a copy of my book, Storage Area Networks for Dummies.

Another good idea is to head into the chat area of .VbnRa9J6CJO.2@.ee83ce4!viewtype=&skip=&expand=>SearchStorage.com and follow the threads to find out what real users are experiencing.

Chris

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This was first published in June 2003

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