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iSCSI SAN Books, Articles, Training

Posted on 2010-01-12
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I would love recommendations for ways to get a solid basic foundation in iSCSI technology.

I'm looking for resources that will allow me and my team to get up to speed quickly on implementing, managing, and troubleshooting iSCSI SANs. Books, articles, and even training class recommendations would be welcome.

Some context:
We will be getting our first iSCSI SAN (an entry level Dell MD3000i). We've got lots of networking and general sys admin experience floating around, but this is our first foray into SANs.

I got the Dummies book on Storage Area Networks because the first bullet point on the book cover talked about iSCSI SANs - but boy was that a disappointment. There was a paltry 3-4 pages about iSCSI (some of which was repeat information). There are some other iSCSI books out there, but they look to be 7-8 years old - but maybe that's fine?

I'm also open to suggestions for articles - but I'm looking for something that will offer technical knowledge, not just higher level business-need driven articles.

Really good training class recommendations are also welcome.

Thanks

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Question by:shofarslee
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8 Comments
 
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 26302560
Best thing to do is download Openfiler which may act as an iSCSI NAS/SAN and it's free.  You can put it on a workstation or server with a decent hard drive and go from there.  Depending on whether you will be using to connect Microsoft/Linux Server and provide additional volumes or for instance VMware datastores you should be able to setup a lab quickly and inexpensively.

The basics are the same, once you get the concepts the particulars are not that difficult.

What will you be using the SAN for?
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 26302639
The official specification, along with every possible technical document you could ever want is at the official ANSI site, http://www.t10.org   Just search the site for iSCSI and you can read until your brain explodes :)

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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:ComputerTechie
ComputerTechie earned 400 total points
ID: 26302966
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Free Backup Tool for VMware and Hyper-V

Restore full virtual machine or individual guest files from 19 common file systems directly from the backup file. Schedule VM backups with PowerShell scripts. Set desired time, lean back and let the script to notify you via email upon completion.  

 
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 26305447
I used the free iSCSI target on Windows from www.rocketdivision.com to learn iSCSI.
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Author Comment

by:shofarslee
ID: 26305910
Any direct experience with the Cambridge Computer Associates iSCSI training class? The name is familiar, but I don't know anyone who has actually taken a class with them.

Also, anyone found a book that gives a solid introductory foundation on iSCSI?

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:shofarslee
ID: 26351319
Any other suggestions?

Cambridge Computer Associates looks like a possibility as they are located sort of near us, but again I'd love any direct experience people have had with this group since training class quality can really vary. I had run across them on a Google search earlier, but didn't know anything about them.

The Openfiler/RocketDivision.com (StarWindSoftware.com) suggestions would have been nice a few months ago, but since we're getting in an iSCSI SAN, might as well learn on the thing itself.

The t10.org site is a bit daunting as a starting point.

We did purchase installation services with the iSCSI SAN, but to get the most bang for the buck, I'd like us to have gotten a solid basic foundation before we dive into this so that it's not just mindless "follow the instructions of the install guy", but can be a more productive and insightful session.

Thanks
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LVL 47

Accepted Solution

by:
David earned 1600 total points
ID: 26351475
Well, you asked for info, so the t10.org site has ALL data, and all specs, but it is written for storage architects and developers, not users :)

Solutiontechnology is great. I know some of the people there, and these guys not only teach advanced classes for programmers and architects, but they also teach classes suitable for administrators.   They've been in the 'biz forever, are are the defacto training resource for people who are in the storage business. They also publish textbooks and self-based training.

http://www.soltechnology.com
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 26351550
P.S.  Solution Technology even has people that are voting members of the standards boards, so the only way to stump them is to ask a question where answer is undefined or ambiguous.   If that is the case, they have instructors who have the credentials to take it to the t10, t11, whatever, and they modify a future version of the appropriate spec to resolve the problem.   (I do not work for them in any way, but have attended one of their classes and one of their instructors was a co-worker of mine years ago)

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