Introduction to Storage Area Networks and System Networking

An IBM Redbooks publication


The plethora of data that is created by the businesses of today is making storage a strategic investment priority for companies of all sizes. As storage takes precedence, three major initiatives emerge:

Flatten and converge your network
IBM takes an open, standards-based approach to implement the latest advances in the flat, converged data center network designs of today. IBM System Networking solutions enable clients to deploy a high-speed, low-latency Unified Fabric Architecture.

Optimize and automate virtualization
Advanced virtualization awareness reduces the cost and complexity of deploying physical and virtual data center infrastructure.

Simplify management
IBM data center networks are easy to deploy, maintain, scale, and virtualize, delivering the foundation of consolidated operations for dynamic infrastructure management.

Storage is no longer an afterthought. Too much is at stake. Companies are searching for more ways to efficiently manage expanding volumes of data, and to make that data accessible throughout the enterprise. This demand is propelling the move of storage into the network. Also, the increasing complexity of managing a large numbers of storage devices and vast amounts of data is driving greater business value into software and services.

With current estimates of the amount of data to be managed and made available increasing at 60 percent each year, this outlook is where a storage area network (SAN) enters the arena. SANs are the leading storage infrastructure for the global economy of today. SANs offer simplified storage management, scalability, flexibility, and availability; and improved data access, movement, and backup.

Welcome to the era of Smarter Networking for Smarter Data Centers.

The smarter data center with improved economics of IT can be achieved by connecting servers and storage with a high-speed and intelligent network fabric. A smarter data center that hosts IBM System Networking solutions can provide an environment that is smarter, faster, greener, open, and easy to manage.

This IBM Redbooks® publication provides an introduction to the SAN and Ethernet networking, and how these networks help to achieve a smarter data center. This book is intended for people who are not very familiar with IT, or who are just starting out in the IT world.

For more information, and a deeper dive into the SAN world, you might find the following Redbooks publications especially useful to expand your SAN knowledge:
Implementing an IBM b-type SAN with 8 Gbps Directors and Switches, SG24-6116
Implementing the IBM System Storage SAN32B-E4 Encryption Switch, SG24-7922
IBM System Storage b-type Multiprotocol Routing: An Introduction and Implementation, SG24-7544
IBM Converged Switch B32, SG24-7935

Also, be sure to see the IBM System Networking Redbooks portal for the latest material from the International Technical Support Organization (ITSO):

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Why, and how, can we use a storage area network?
Chapter 3. Fibre Channel internals
Chapter 4. Ethernet and system networking concepts
Chapter 5. Topologies and other fabric services
Chapter 6. Storage area network as a service for cloud computing
Chapter 7. Fibre Channel products and technology
Chapter 8. Management
Chapter 9. Security
Chapter 10. Solutions
Chapter 11. Storage area networks and green data centers
Chapter 12. The IBM product portfolio
Chapter 13. Certification

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Publish Date
17 November 2012

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