Storage Networking & Information Management Primer


This section of the SNIA Education website contains information about the technologies around networked storage and managed information. From NAS and SAN to content-addressable storage, from file area networks to security to the basics on disk and tape, this material will be a helpful primer to gain an understanding on the tools and solutions for today's storage challenges.

These selections come from leading authors and SNIA contributors, and in some cases are official SNIA technical tutorials, produced in SNIA vendor-neutral fashion. SNIA does not claim that each article is forever accurate, current, or represents a complete picture on every technology. Each author's opinions and observations do not necessarily represent a SNIA architecture or technical recommendation. However, there are other resources to consult, and there are more advanced training opportunities--including SNIA-endorsed storage certification courses--that will help in greater discernment. These articles are included, however, in that they represent significant contributions from some of the leading technologists in our industry.

Note: The materials for this primer are copyrighted by either SNIA or the original publishers, and there are significant restrictions on their use, republication, or copying in any form. Please consult each article for the relevant copyright information; in some cases, helpful links are provided so that you can purchase an entire text from an author.

Primer Contents

1. What Storage Networking Is and What It Can Mean to You

from Storage Area Network Essentials: A Complete Guide to Understanding and Implementing SANs

Authors: Richard Barker and Paul Massiglia, Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Published: November 2002, ISBN: 0471034452. Copyright© 2002 by John Wiley and Sons, used by permission. All rights reserved.

This chapter discusses introductory subjects such as:

  • What a storage area network is
  • What properties a storage area network must have, should have, and may have
  • The importance of software to storage area networks
  • Information processing capabilities enabled by storage area networks

To purchase the entire book from which this chapter is taken, please click here to purchase at Amazon.com.

2. Storage Devices: Disk and Tape

Reproduced from the book Storage Networking Fundamentals: An Introduction to Storage Devices, Subsystems, Applications, Management, and File Systems

Author: Marc Farley, Publisher: Cisco Press, ISBN: 1587051621. Copyright© 2005, Cisco Systems, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., 800 East 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240. Written permission from Pearson Education, Inc. is required for all other uses.

Storage devices perform the fundamental function of storage networks, which is the reading and writing of data stored on nonvolatile media. They operate in the microscopic realm, combining advanced magnetic physics, chemistry, and electronics. Demands to increase capacity and performance continue to force the industry to conduct fundamental scientific research on the microscopic characteristics of materials. This chapter mostly examines disk drive technology as the device that is used tar more than any other. Tape drives are looked at at the end of the chapter.

To purchase the entire book from which this chapter is taken, please click here to purchase at Amazon.com.

3. The SNIA Shared Storage Model

A helpful guide to understand the various components in a networked storage environment. Useful in understanding terminology and how various components interact in the storage infrastructure. A series of SNIA tutorials.

(PDF format; full booklet available for download)

4. Storage Management: The SNIA Technical Tutorial

The author introduces the protocols and issues related to the management of storage, and details the SNIA development foundation for SMI-S, the storage management industry specification being developed by the SNIA.

Author: Roger Cummings. Copyright © 2004 Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). All rights reserved. Photography, illustration, and text incorporated into SNIA printed publications are copyright protected by SNIA or other owners and/or representatives. Downloading, screen capturing or copying these items in any manner for any use other than personally viewing the original document in its entirety is prohibited.

(PDF format; full booklet available for download)

5. Introducing File Area Networks

Authors: Michael O'Connor & Josh Judd. Publisher: Infinity Publishing, May 2007. Copyright© 2007 by Brocade Corporation; all rights reserved, chapter selections used by permission.

This book contains information about File Area Networks (FANs). It is also
designed to be useful as a desktop reference for FAN administrators. Information from many white papers, classes, and the authors' experience has been combined to create this work.

(PDF format; full booklet available for download)

6. IP Storage Whitepaper: The IP Storage Forum

This paper is aimed at a rather wide audience ranging from executives to technical specialists. The first section is a high-level overview of what is IP Storage, why consider using IP Storage and briefly discusses how IP Storage is different from other storage networking technologies. A significant portion of the material presented comes from earlier Storage Networking World Conferences, particularly the "IP Storage Technologies" presentation by David Dale and Peter Hunter and the presentation of "NAS and iSCSI Technology Overview" by Wolfgang Singer. The second section contains a more technical discussion of the three main technologies deployed in IP Storage; namely iSCSI, iFCP and FCIP. All three of these protocols are now fully ratified and vendors have a wide range of products in the market that are utilizing them.

(PDF format; full booklet available for download)

7. Storage Security: The SNIA Technical Tutorial

This tutorial contains information about storage security. After a detailed introduction to some of the history behind digital security, the author, Roger Cummings, outlines the salient issues that need to be considered when designing and deploying a secure storage networking infrastructure.

Author: Roger Cummings. Copyright © 2004 Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). All rights reserved. Photography, illustration, and text incorporated into SNIA printed publications are copyright protected by SNIA or other owners and/or representatives. Downloading, screen capturing or copying these items in any manner for any use other than personally viewing the original document in its entirety is prohibited.

(PDF format; full booklet available for download)

8. Storage Virtualization: The SNIA Technical Tutorial

This booklet contains information storage virtualization, and discusses both in-band and out-of-band virtualization technologies.

Authors: Frank Bunn, Gene Nagle, Rob Peglar and Nick Simpson. Copyright © 2004 Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). All rights reserved. Photography, illustration, and text incorporated into SNIA printed publications are copyright protected by SNIA or other owners and/or representatives. Downloading, screen capturing or copying these items in any manner for any use other than personally viewing the original document in its entirety is prohibited.

(PDF format; full booklet available for download)


9. Storage Industry Resource Domain Model
This technical position from the SNIA Technical Council describes a model of the various resources in the storage industry. These are represented as services and categorized into the Storage Resource Domain, Data Resource Domain and the Information resource domain. Slides and a paper are available.

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