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Practical Storage Area Networking


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  • Copyright 2003
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-201-75041-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-201-75041-6

The rate at which information is produced and shared is growing at an astounding pace. As a result, the size, complexity—and importance—of storage systems has increased dramatically. The implementation of a Storage Area Network (SAN) allows system and storage administrators to ensure the consistent storage and retrieval of data on a network. The multipath nature of a SAN, with its characteristic one-to-many relationships between host and storage devices, provides unmatched configuration flexibility and availability, as well as the load-balancing and increased connectivity essential to the creation of a scalable network.

With its unique focus on the nuts and bolts of SAN construction and operation, Practical Storage Area Networking explores the full technology, from the more common Fibre Channel SANs to cutting edge IP SANs, and beyond. This book examines SAN design, integration, maintenance, and security, highlighting best practices for each. Its close attention to the ideal practices of SAN implementation provides SAN builders with an invaluable frame of reference that bridges the gap between concept and deployment.

Among the topics covered in Practical Storage Area Networking you will find:

  • SAN project selection, logical layout, and capacity planning
  • I/O requirements by SAN type
  • Project modeling, including storage sizing and assessment
  • Hardware and software component selection
  • SAN topologies
  • Configuration, zoning, and testing
  • Management tools and consoles
  • Event and performance monitoring
  • Application integration
  • Scalability, SAN performance, and feature enhancements
  • Packed with extensive insights and experience-based advice, Practical Storage Area Networking will help you build and deploy a successful SAN on your network.


    Sample Content

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    Practical Storage Area Networking: Project Modeling

    Downloadable Sample Chapter

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    Sample Chapter 3

    Table of Contents

    (NOTE: Each chapter concludes with a Summary.)



    1. SAN Definitions, Concepts, And Components.

    What is a SAN?

    NAS vs. SAN.

    SAN Hardware.

    Logical Endpoints.

    Network Devices.

    Application Devices.

    Gateway Devices.

    SAN Software.

    Operating Systems.

    HBA Drivers and Firmware.


    SAN Applications.

    Typical SANs.

    NAS Replacement.

    Storage Consolidation.

    Capacity Planning.

    New Project.


    Implementing a SAN Project.

    2. SAN Project Selection.

    Storage Solutions.

    Potential SAN Projects (Likely Choices).

    Typical Problems.

    Identifying a SAN Type.

    Understanding Trade-offs.






    I/O Requirements by SAN Type.

    Storage Consolidation SAN I/O.

    NAS Replacement SAN I/O.

    New Project SAN I/O.

    Capacity Planning SAN I/O.

    Experimental SAN I/O.

    Application I/O.



    I/O Size.

    I/O Patterns.

    Storage Requirements.

    Additional Project Requirements.

    File Sharing.

    Multipath I/O.

    Data Transfer.

    Data Replication.

    3. Project Modeling.

    Storage Requirements.

    General Rules for Sizing Storage.

    Requirements by SAN Type.

    I/O Size Requirements.

    I/O Assessment and Analysis Tools.

    Analyzing Key Application I/O Characteristics.

    NAS Replacement SAN for an NFS Server.

    Storage Consolidation of a Data Warehouse (ETL) System.

    Analyzing I/O in Other SAN Types.

    Simplified SAN Application I/O Models for Verification.

    Modeling the NAS Server Replacement.

    Modeling the Data Warehouse ETL Consolidation SAN.

    Final Project Definition.

    NAS Replacement SAN Definition.

    Storage Consolidation SAN Definition.

    Capacity-Planning SAN Definition.

    Other SAN Types.

    4. SAN Design.

    Hardware Components.

    Host Systems and HBAs.

    Storage and Fabric Devices.

    Special Purpose Devices.

    Software Components.

    Host Operating Systems.

    HBA Device Drivers.

    Fabric Device Firmware.

    Storage Device Firmware.

    SAN Service Software.

    Storage Service Software.

    Component Map.

    Component Selection by SAN Type.

    NAS Replacement SAN.

    Storage Consolidation SAN.

    Capacity Planning SAN.

    New Project SAN.

    Experimental SAN.

    SAN Topologies.

    Simple Topologies.

    Complex Topologies.

    Legacy Devices.

    Data Migration.

    5. SAN configuration and Testing.

    Topologies for SAN Types.

    NAS Replacement SAN.

    Storage Consolidation SAN.

    Capacity-Planning SAN.

    New Project SAN.

    Experimental SAN.

    Zoning, LUN Masking, and LUN Allocation.

    Planning for Zones.

    Implementing Zones.

    SAN Specific Feature Deployment.

    Application Specific Fabric Configuration.

    A Complete SAN.


    NAS Replacement SAN.

    Storage Consolidation SAN.

    Capacity-Planning SAN.

    New Project SAN.

    Experimental SAN.

    6. SAN Control and Monitoring.

    Management tools.


    Other Network tools.

    In-band Management Facilities.

    Management Consoles.

    Event Monitoring.

    Performance Monitoring.

    Fabric Zoning Reconfiguration as an Application.

    SAN Fabric Security.

    SAN Problem Diagnosis.

    7. Future San Technologies.

    SAN at a Distance.

    Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing.

    SCSI Over IP.

    IPFC on the SAN.


    Fabric Performance Increases.

    Storage Feature Enhancements.

    SAN/Application Integration.

    Storage Virtualization.



    Index. 0201750414T09032002.


    This book is for systems administrators, storage administrators, or anyone else who has been given the difficult and unglamorous task of ensuring that data can be stored and retrieved consistently, for any application, in their environment. Anyone with intermediate knowledge of storage devices and how they are integrated into applications and systems can use the information in this book to build a SAN. SANs have become a major technology for deploying storage, and there is extensive discussion about it's merits and limitations, but very little about the actual nuts and bolts of SAN building and operating. My aim for this book is to enable builders of storage systems to progress from thinking about SANs to doing them, by explaining what I have done when implementing my own SANs.

    I will cover the topic of SAN building with examples from my own experiences with SANs. The examples are not intended to be a complete recipe because each environment is unique. I decided to illustrate a number of good practices that I have developed for myself to help bridge the gap between the concept for a SAN and the physical deployment of a SAN. My hope is that these practices create a framework for SAN builders to refer to when a SAN is the solution to the problem their particular requirements present.

    The book gives particular focus to the assessment of I/O behaviors in host systems, storage devices, and applications. This focus is the staring point for the SAN designs discussed throughout the book. I believe that the focus on I/O assessment is particularly important because it helps set expectations and parameters for an initial SAN design.

    The discussions of several typical SANs are consistent throughout the book and take the reader through the assessment, design, deployment, and operation phases of these SANs. The reduction of a SAN project into these phases helps reduce the amount of work involved in building a SAN by ordering the work in a logical way.

    Applying the methods in the book is described by their use in the SAN examples. A SAN builder will be able to make any necessary modifications for their own environments. The use of the methods in this book will enable more successful SAN projects.



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