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Fast Guide: Storage basics

Storage covers a lot of territory and it can be overwhelming for the beginner. In our Fast Guide: Storage basics, we break it down into categories -- and keep it simple. We start out with basic storage terms, then go on to management, networking and primary storage. Keep this Guide handy and it will provide you with what you need to know for a good storage foundation.

Storage covers a lot of territory and it can be overwhelming for the beginner. In our Fast Guide: Storage basics,...

we break it down into categories -- and keep it simple. We start out with basic storage terms, then go on to management, networking and primary storage. Keep this Guide handy and it will provide you with what you need to know for a good storage foundation.

Five basic storage terms

  • iSCSI
    Internet small computer system interface
  • LAN
    Local area network
  • NAS
    Network-attached storage
  • SAN
    Storage area network
  • RAID
    Redundant array of independent disks
  • Glossary
    More storage terms from

Data protection

  • What is a backup?
    Backup is the essential function of any storage manager's day. It's also the cause of most concern. Expert Dorian Cougias explains the backup basics.
  • The ABCs of CDP
    Find out how continuous data protection works (and doesn't work). Plus: A few products to check out.
  • Pros and cons of disk-to-disk backup
    Disk-to-disk backup has its limitation. Learn how to overcome them by using D2D in combination with other media.
  • When to choose tape
    Wouldn't you like to know when to skip new, higher-priced technologies and stick with tape?
  • Three ways to secure backups
    Securing communications, access and media are key elements to keeping backup safe and sound.
  • What about backup media?
    Explore the different types of backup media and get a concise breakdown of how much you'll be spending to implement and maintain each of these options.
  • Cost justifying your backup plan
    Before starting any backup project or implementing any type of backup operation you need to consider the impact lost data has on your company's bottom line. Create a backup plan that not only jibes with the CTO but the CEO.
  • Database backup basics
    Making a functional backup of a database while it's running is a difficult task. Take a look at the different methodologies of backing up a database (SQL Server/Oracle) and learn about the basics of replication.
  • Backup School
    If you want to know all about backup, then you need to attend Backup School. Storage expert Dorion Cougious, as the professor, will take you from backup basics to reading the last tape for optimal recovery.

Storage management

  • Where do I begin?
    Determining ROI for storage management can be a challenge, given the varying types of metrics used. Expert Jamie Gruener takes a look at how to begin your own ROI analysis of storage management tools, including the metrics you need to consider, how to measure them and how to use the results to your benefit.
  • How to select storage management tools
    Take a look at the various types of storage management tools, and how to choose the right ones for your needs.
  • How to choose e-mail archiving tools
    In this condensed article, Contoural Inc., a Los Altos, Calif.-based storage consulting company, makes recommendations on how to approach this task.
  • Checklist: Ten steps to data replication
    Right here is where you will find tips and best practices to help your team devise a data replication architecture that reduces downtime and saves money.
  • Storage Management Survival School
    Storage management school is in session. Management experts will talk you through starting a storage management plan, operational best practices and setting up a storage management group.


  • Do you need a SAN?
    Join expert Chris Poelker to get a good feel for the basics of a SAN, such as what a SAN is, if you need a SAN and where a SAN fits into your IT environment.
  • SAN building blocks
    So now you know if you need a SAN, learn about the different parts that make one up.
  • My first SAN
    The best place to start is always at the beginning. SAN expert Chris Poelker covers SANs from soup to nuts.
  • Learning Guide: SAN
    It doesn't matter if you're a SAN beginner or a veteran. Our SAN Learning Guide has all the latest information. Find out if a SAN is right for you.
  • SAN School
    What is a SAN? What are the benefits and pitfalls of installation? How can a SAN fit into your organization? These questions and more are answered SAN School.
  • The different between a SAN and a NAS
    Expert Randy Kerns explains the difference between a SAN and NAS -- architecturally speaking that is.
  • How to use a NAS gateway
    NAS gateways are moving off the array and into the network. Find out how to manage them.
  • Learning Guide: NAS's editors have put together a NAS Learning Guide to help the beginner, as well as the seasoned NAS veteran, navigate NAS technology.

Primary storage

  • What is SATA
    SATA is a new standard for connecting ...
  • What is SAS
    SAS is a method used to accessing computer peripheral devices that ...
  • What is Fibre Channel
    Fibre Channel is a technology for transmitting data between computer devices at data rate of ...
  • SATA connectivity issues
    So you bought a SATA hard drive, now what? Find out what our expert told one user about system configuration to get it right.
  • SAS disk drive advantage?
    Find out what the advantage might be to putting out a new serial SAS disk with new infrastructure.
  • Fast Guide: Fibre Channel basics
    Check out the pros and cons of FC, new developments in low-cost FC and comparisons with other storage protocols.
  • Tech Report: Flexible RAID arrays
    Expert Jerome M. Wendt says the key to good management is " selecting the right mix of disks and RAID levels."
  • Accommodating arrays
    Selecting the right mix of disks and RAID levels is crucial to any good storage shop.

Must have basic storage resources

  • Fast Guide: Storage technologies
    This is a guide you will surely need to keep handy. Listed here are the various storage technologies divided into two parts, one for the personal or small business computer user and one for the enterprise user.
  • The essential RAID primer
    This RAID Primer is essential for anyone needing to know the many RAID levels. Each level's description is concise and to the point.
  • Storage Survival Guide's Storage Survival Guide is your one-stop training center for the best technical learning guides, fast guides, webcast schools and advanced storage education on the Web. This content is a great too for the beginner.
  • ITKnowledge Exchange
    Discuss storage basics with your peers in our ITKnowledge Exchange forum.

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