Book Review: Data Storage Networking: Real World Skills for the CompTIA Storage+ Certification and Beyond

Data Storage Networking, is a great book to cover the fundamentals of storage protocols, including their pros and cons. This book would be suited for people just learning storage concepts or needing to brush up on skills. I could also see a physical copy of this book being used for new staff building experience. For the CompTIA cert component, I can’;t comment as it’;s not a cert I’;m looking at attaining.

Content: The book starts with a primer on storage as a whole. Covering very broad high-level concepts of the role storage plays in IT. The absolute fundamentals are covered as well as demonstrating the importance of correct storage to a business.

From there we start looking at storage media, covering their concepts and characteristics. We learn about different the components of a mechanical drive and concepts of read and seek times. Technologies around SSD, including the different types of flash memory are discussed in details. There’;s a section called “Further considerations” which I thought was a great addition to a fundamentals book, where topics such as cost measurement are discussed, including how 15k drives will run hotter than 5.4k drives.

The chapters flow in a clear and logical order, details are concise and easy to digest with excellent examples. We learn about storage arrays, what makes defines an array, SCSI commands etc. Common array technologies are covered in a vendor agnostic manner, simply explaining what arrays are capable of and explaining the purpose and drawbacks.  From arrays, we take the next logical step, the protocols we use to connect to the arrays. We move throughout a number of storage concepts from NAS and Objects to Capacity Optimization and Management.

One of the stand out sections for me was on replication. Advantages and pitfalls of various replication technologies are mapped out with matching use cases to help cement the knowledge.

Summary: I found the book easy to digest and depth of detail excellent for a fundamentals reference book. I could see this being an excellent starting point for someone brushing up on storage skills or a first book before moving to product / vendor specific material.