The authors are employed at IBM's storage competence centerin Mainz, Germany. They work at the interface between technologyand customers. Their duties cover a wide field of responsibilities.They develop and test new software for storage networks. Theypresent the latest hardware and software products in the field ofstorage networks to customers and explain their underlyingconcepts. Last but not least they deploy and support respectivehardware and software in customer environments.
Ulf Troppens (centre) studied Computer Science at theUniversity of Karlsruhe. Since 1989 he has been primarily involvedin the development and administration of Unix systems, storagesystems, data and storage networks and distributedapplications.
Rainer Erkens (left) studied Mathematics at the Universityof Mainz. His experience in the management of computers anddistributed applications goes back to 1992. Since 2005 he is atechnical support manager in IBM's European StorageCompetence Center.
Wolfgang M¨ uller-Friedt (right) studied ComputerScience at the FH Darmstadt. He is a software architect focussingon the software development of management applications for storagenetworks which support open standards such as SMI-S and IEEE1244.
Nils Haustein (left front) studied Electrical Engineering atthe TU Chemnitz. For several years he is with IBM's advancedtechnical sales support in Europe where he is focussing on digitalarchiving.
Rainer Wolafka (right front) studied Electrical Engineeringat the FH Frankfurt and Software Engineering at the Santa ClaraUniversity. Since 1997 he is working in the field of storagenetworks and the software development of management applicationsfor storage networks.
Preface by the Authors
This Preface answers the following main questions:
- What does this book deal with?
- Who should read this book?
- How should this book be read?
- Who has written this book?
WHAT DOES THIS BOOK DEAL WITH?
The technology of storage networks fundamentally changes the architecture of IT systems. In conventional IT systems, storage devices are connected to servers by means of SCSI cables. The idea behind storage networks is that these SCSI cables are replaced by a network, which is installed in addition to the existing LAN. Server and storage devices can exchange data over this new network using the SCSI protocol. Storage networks have long been a known quantity in the world of mainframes. Fibre Channel, iSCSI, FCoE and Network Attached Storage (NAS) are now also taking storage networks into the field of Open Systems (Unix, Windows, OS/400, Novell Netware, MacOS).
Storage networks are a basic technology like databases and LANs. Storage was previously installed in the servers. Now most storage capacity is provided in external devices that are linked to servers over a storage network. As a result, anyone who is involved in the planning or operation of IT systems requires basic knowledge about the fundamentals and the use of storage networks. These networks are almost as widespread as SCSI, SAS and SATA but are more complex than LANs and TCP/IP.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I deals with fundamental technologies relating to storage networks. It guides the reader from the structure and operating method of storage devices through I/O techniques and I/O protocols to the file systems and storage virtualisation.
The second part of this book presents applications that utilise the new functions of storage networks and intelligent disk subsystems. The emphasis here is on the shared use of resources that are available over a storage network, scalable and adaptable storage architectures, network backup and digital archiving. Another important focus of the book is business continuity with strategies for continuous and loss-free operation as protection against small failures and large catastrophes. Further focal points are the discussions on the management of storage networks and the management of removable media. Last but not least, the SNIA Shared Storage Model provides a reference model to describe storage networks.
At the end of the book we have added a glossary, an index and an annotated bibliography, which in addition to further literature also highlights numerous freely available sources on the Internet.
Section 1.4 sets out in detail the structure of the book and the relationships between the individual chapters. Figure 1.7 illustrates the structure of the book. At this point, it is worth casting a glance at this illustration. Note that the illustration also describes the subjects that we will not be covering.
Long before the second edition was printed, many readers of the first edition wanted to know what the differences are between the two editions. Here we want to express that our approach was successful, we aimed at introducing basic concepts rather than presenting actual products and overly technical details. The chapter on I/O techniques was the only one that required some updating on Fibre Channel and iSCSI. The key distinction of the second edition is the addition of two new chapters covering the topics of digital archiving and business continuity. We have also expanded the coverage on the copy services of intelligent disk subsystems.
WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK?
Our approach is, first, to explain the basic techniques behind storage networks and, secondly, to show how these new techniques help to overcome problems in current IT systems. The book is equally suitable for beginners with basic IT knowledge and for old hands. It is more an introduction to the basic concepts and techniques than a technical reference work. The target group thus includes:
- System administrators and system architects
- System consultants
- Decision makers
After reading the whole book you will be familiar with the following:
- The concepts of storage networks and their basic techniques
- Usage options for storage networks
- Proposed solutions for the support of business processes with the aid of storage networks
- The advantages of storage networks
- New possibilities opened up by storage networks.
HOW SHOULD THIS BOOK BE READ?
There are two options for reading this book. Those readers who are only interested in the concepts and usage options of storage networks should read Chapter 1 (Introduction) and Part II (Application and Management of Storage Networks); they can use Part I as a reference to look up any basic technical information they might require. Readers who are also interested in the technical background of storage networks should read the book through from the beginning.
WHO HAS WRITTEN THIS BOOK?
Ulf Troppens began work on this book in 2001. Rainer Erkens joined him soon after, providing his contributions on the topics of storage virtualisation, management of storage networks and NDMP for the first edition in 2002. In 2004 Wolfgang Müller-Friedt expanded the English translation - which was presented with the 'Editor's Choice Award 2005' by Linux Journal - with his sound knowledge of magnetic tape, tape libraries and their management. Lastly, the second edition has been expanded considerably through contributions by Nils Haustein (digital archiving) and Rainer Wolafka (business continuity).
All five authors have different roles at the Storage Competence Center of IBM in Mainz, Germany. Our responsibilities range from the development and testing of new software for storage networks to providing guidance to customers on the procurement of suitable products and the respective underlying concepts as well as on the installation and support of relevant hardware and software for customer environments. We advise customers on how storage networks can help to solve problems in their current IT systems. This experience has made us familiar with the types of questions customers have in respect of storage networks. Our involvement extends to customers with experience in storage networks as well as to those who are novices in this field. The positive feedback we have received from readers of the first edition show that our work has helped us to structure the content of this book and to choose topics in a way that are important to readers of books on storage networks.
Our intention has been to take off our 'IBM hats' and to write this book from an unbiased viewpoint. As employees of IBM in the area of storage technology, the experience and opinions that have been formed in our day-to-day work have of course had some influence on this book. In this connection, we have to be very familiar with our own company's products as well as with those of our competitors and to position these products so that we inevitably have a view that goes beyond the IBM scope. In the end, this book is our personal work and has no connection with IBM apart from our employee relationship. Most importantly, this book does not represent any of the official opinions of IBM.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FOR THE SECOND EDITION
We would like to give special thanks to our technical advisors on the second edition: Dirk Jahn (Archiving), Hans-Peter Kemptner (Business Continuity), Robert Haas (Limitations of RAID 5) and Hermann Strass for the Foreword. Other contributions were made by Jens-Peter Akelbein. We also appreciate the help we received on the publishing side from Rene Wiegand (copy-editing), Ulrich Kilian (LaTeX) and Rene Schoenfeld (editorial), all who helped to make our manuscript ready for printing.
With regard to the second English edition we would like to thank Birgit Gruber, Tiina Ruonamaa, Brett Wells, Liz Benson, Anna Smart, Sarah Tilley, Mary Lawrence and Sarah Hinton (all Wiley & Sons) as well as Deepthi Unni and her team at Laserwords. Last but not the least we thank Hedy Jourdan for the great translation of the new parts from German to English.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FOR THE FIRST EDITION
We would also like to use this preface to thank some of the people who have made a significant contribution to the first edition of this book. From a chronological point of view, we should start by mentioning the editorial department of iX magazine and the copy-editing staff of dpunkt.verlag as they set the whole project in motion in March 2001 with the question 'Could you see yourselves writing a book on the subject of storage in the network?'
Regarding content, our colleagues from the IBM Mainz storage community, especially the former SAN Lab and the current TotalStorage Interoperability Center (meanwhile renamed to Systems Lab Europe), deserve mention: Without the collaboration on storage hardware and software with customers and employees of partner companies, business partners and IBM, and without the associated knowledge exchange, we would lack the experience and knowledge that we have been able to put into this book. The list of people in question is much too long for us to include it here. The cooperation of one of the authors with the students of the BAITI 2000 course of the Berufsakademie Mannheim (University of Applied Science Mannheim), from whom we have learnt that we have to explain subjects such as 'RAID', 'disk subsystems', 'instant copy', 'remote mirroring' and...