I picked up two books this weekend on storage area networks (SAN) and SAN virtualization. The first is Resilient Storage Networks by Greg Schulz and the second is Storage Virtualization by Tom Clark. Since there are relatively few books out there on storage, both authors spend time up front with very basic info about SCSI, Fibre Channel, FICON, etc. Resilient Storage Networks is a good overview of SAN technology and design. The best chapters are toward the end where it talks about large distributed storage network design and heterogeneous SANs with Windows, Unix, and Mainframe. Storage Virtualization, which I just started, looks pretty good as well. The author (who’s written several good books on storage), goes into detail about virtualization possibilities at all levels of the storage stack from disk to array to fabric, etc. Storage virtualization is another foundational component required for dynamic systems and infrastructure optimization. Decoupling logical from physical, whether it be data from drives or operating systems from servers is the key. With these foundations in place, the appropriate management tools and processes can then be developed for optimization, ie. data located where its needed, or server cycles allocated to needed workloads. This is a topic I’ll be writing about pretty frequently.