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Storage Area Networks For Dummies® by Alex Nikitin, Christopher Poelker

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Chapter 1. The Storage Area Network

This chapter is dedicated to helping you get a handle on what a storage area network (SAN) is, the basics of how one works, and whether one is right for your needs. You'll discover all the parts that make up a SAN, the things that make one run, and who actually makes all the different parts that you can buy. Putting a SAN together is somewhat like putting together one of those high-end stereo systems; you have many components and many different manufacturers to choose from. This chapter helps you choose the ones that suit your needs and create something that you can be proud of.

These days, becoming proficient with SANs can mean a major boost to your career. Perhaps you're bored to death in your current position and would like a change of pace. SAN administration is one of the highest-paying jobs in Information Technology (IT) today. If you add storage area networking to your rŕsumŕ, you may find your phone ringing off the hook as headhunters vie to offer you a six-figure income (hey, might as well dream big).

Defining a SAN

First, the basics. In today's terms, the technical description of a SAN (Storage Area Network) is a collection of computers and storage devices, connected over a high-speed optical network and dedicated to the task of storing and protecting data.

In a nutshell, you use a SAN to store and protect data. A SAN uses the SCSI (Small Computer Storage Interconnect) and FC (Fibre Channel) protocols to move data over a network and store ...

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