Using SANs and NAS
Help for Storage Administrators
By W. Curtis Preston
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 2002
Pages: 226

Data is the lifeblood of modern business, and modern data centers have extremely demanding requirements for size, speed, and reliability. Storage Area Networks (SANs) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) allow organizations to manage and back up huge file systems quickly, thereby keeping their lifeblood flowing. W. Curtis Preston's insightful book takes you through the ins and outs of building and managing large data centers using SANs and NAS.

As a network administrator you're aware that multi-terabyte data stores are common and petabyte data stores are starting to appear. Given this much data, how do you ensure that it is available all the time, that access times and throughput are reasonable, and that the data can be backed up and restored in a timely manner? SANs and NAS provide solutions that help you work through these problems, with special attention to the difficulty of backing up huge data stores.

This book explains the similarities and differences of SANs and NAS to help you determine which, or both, of these complementing technologies are appropriate for your network. Using SANs, for instance, is a way to share multiple devices (tape drives and disk drives) for storage, while NAS is a means for centrally storing files so they can be shared. Preston exams each technology with a vendor neutral approach, starting with the building blocks of a SAN and how they can be assembled for effective storage solutions. He covers day-to-day management and backup and recovery for both SANs and NAS in detail.

Whether you're a seasoned storage administrator or a network administrator charged with taking on this role, you'll find all the information you need to make informed architecture and data management decisions. The book fans out to explore technologies such as RAID and other forms of monitoring that will help complement your data center. With an eye on the future, other technologies that might affect the architecture and management of the data center are explored. This is sure to be an essential volume in any network administrator's or storage administrator's library.

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by PowerReviews
oreillyUsing SANs and NAS

(based on 3 reviews)

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Excellent Introduction to SAN/NAS

By Jon

from Salt Lake City, UT

About Me Sys Admin


  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples


    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Using SANs and NAS:

    I have limited storage experience and I was a bit lacking in the NAS/SAN concepts that I needed and that is what this book helped with. Although it was written in 2002, I believe it still proves relevant and gives a thorough introduction into SAN and NAS technologies. I appreciated the thorough explanations on topics like NDMP backups, history of the different technologies and how things got to where they were as of the book writing, and making sure terms were clear such as the difference between Fibre and Fiber channel as there is alot to learn. I would recommend this to anyone looking to learn about NAS or SAN, either a beginner or someone looking to brush up.

    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


    Using SANs and NAS Review

    By s.weinberger

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Using SANs and NAS:

    These book, helps me to build a small SAN with an backup-Solution.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


    Using SANs and NAS Review

    By Mel Beckman

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Using SANs and NAS:

    The most complete treatment of the subject for network administrators that I've found. Better than Tom Clark's "Designing Storage Area Networks" (which is still very good and worth getting), because the information is more hands-on practical.

    Author W. Curtis Preston's writing is very clear, and friendly to boot. You get the feeling you're working with an old hand who's showing you the ropes of this technology. Preston's diagrams are first rate, and his comments on industry hype fun to read. The multitude of practical technical tips are priceless.

    Preston provides deep coverage of backup and recovery -- issues often glossed over by vendors and other technical treatments. For example, many storage network users are shocked to learn during a catastrophe that their carefully-backed-up data will take hours or days to restore. Preston's careful design advice helps you avoid such pitfalls.

    In contrast, Clark's "Designing Storage Area Networks" focuses on the low-level technical details of storage network hardware and protocols, saying little about day-to-day management.

    The books are inexpensive; I recommend you buy both. But if you can only buy one, Preston's is it.

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