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  Book Review
 

Storage Virtualization : Technologies for Simplifying Data Storage and Management
Book author: Tom Clark

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Tom Clark is one of most lucid, current writers on storage networking topics. His books on Designing Storage Area Networks and IP SANS are good introductions to these topics. His latest book, Storage Virtualization (2005 Addison Wesley press), provides a much-needed Rosetta Stone for interpreting and putting into perspective the various meanings for this much ballyhooed concept.

The book gives a good overview of files and records, basic storage device and system architecture, and storage interconnects. It also provides a guide to techniques for virtualization as well as in many uses to which storage virtualization can be used. He gives us a detailed description of various paths to storage virtualization including virtualization at the host, at the storage target, as well as in the storage network fabric. The book also discusses specialized virtualization appliances and virtualization services such as pooling heterogeneous storage assets, mirroring, point-in-time snapshots, and hierarchical storage management (also known as ILM). Clark covers more advanced topics such as virtual tape, virtualization and storage automation and finally storage as a utility. He also provides descriptions of numerous commercial solutions where appropriate. His description of the fiber application interface standard (FAIS) in chapter 8 is the best I has seen.

This book is accessible to several levels of readers from undergraduate and graduate students, IT administrators, as well as storage professionals. It will serve as a good textbook which I recommend for inclusion in a class covering advanced network storage concepts. The book is organized into 14 short chapters, each followed by a comprehensive review at the end of the chapters. It also includes useful appendices vendors for various storage virtualization solutions, short observations and speculation by various analysts and practicing storage professionals, and a comprehensive glossary.

Although there are a few grammatical errors, they do not lead to serious misunderstanding of the excellent content. Overall, I highly recommend this book and enjoyed reading it.Tom Clark is one of most lucid, current writers on storage networking topics. His books on Designing Storage Area Networks and IP SANS are good introductions to these topics. His latest book, Storage Virtualization (2005 Addison Wesley press), provides a much-needed Rosetta Stone for interpreting and putting into perspective the various meanings for this much ballyhooed concept.

The book gives a good overview of files and records, basic storage device and system architecture, and storage interconnects. It also provides a guide to techniques for virtualization as well as in many uses to which storage virtualization can be used. He gives us a detailed description of various paths to storage virtualization including virtualization at the host, at the storage target, as well as in the storage network fabric. The book also discusses specialized virtualization appliances and virtualization services such as pooling heterogeneous storage assets, mirroring, point-in-time snapshots, and hierarchical storage management (also known as ILM). Clark covers more advanced topics such as virtual tape, virtualization and storage automation and finally storage as a utility. He also provides descriptions of numerous commercial solutions where appropriate. His description of the fiber application interface standard (FAIS) in chapter 8 is the best I has seen.

This book is accessible to several levels of readers from undergraduate and graduate students, IT administrators, as well as storage professionals. It will serve as a good textbook which I recommend for inclusion in a class covering advanced network storage concepts. The book is organized into 14 short chapters, each followed by a comprehensive review at the end of the chapters. It also includes useful appendices vendors for various storage virtualization solutions, short observations and speculation by various analysts and practicing storage professionals, and a comprehensive glossary.

Although there are a few grammatical errors, they do not lead to serious misunderstanding of the excellent content. Overall, I highly recommend this book and enjoyed reading it.

Tom Coughlin
President
Coughlin Associates
www.tomcoughlin.com